Exercises to Prepare for Winter Sports

With winter already making its way to our area (we know, it feels like summer was just yesterday!), it is time to start preparing for winter sports. Living in the Reno/Tahoe area provides us with ample amounts of fun to be had in the winter, however, preparing for those winter sports is key to preventing injuries and allowing you to enjoy the winter activities you love all season long.

Dr. Eisenhauer, DO shares the best preventive exercises that will strengthen your muscles and better prepare you for winter sports. Whether you ski, snowboard, sled, or ice skate, these exercise will help make your season much more enjoyable, plus- they might help you avoid some first-day soreness!

Quadriceps

Wall sits are a great way to build those muscles without straining your joints. Stand with your feet apart and parallel with the width of your hips, stretch your arms out in front of you and lower yourself gently until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Lift up, but not so far that your legs are completely stretched out, and repeat.

-Do 2 to 3 sets of 20 reps quite slowly, with 2 minutes rest between each set.

Hamstrings

Sit on a mat with your hands on the floor and one foot against the wall. Bend your other leg and place your foot up in the air. Using your foot as a support, lift your pelvis then lower it to the ground level without sitting down fully and then lift again.

-Do 3 to 6 sets of 10 reps on each leg, with 2 minutes rest between each set.

Balance

While standing, balance on one foot, keep your upper body nice and straight, take hold of a light weight (or a bottle of water) in each hand, extend your arms straight out in front and jump 4 times, turning by a quarter of a circle each time so you end up facing the same way again. Repeat on the other leg.

-Do 5 circles on each leg. If you feel comfortable, close your eyes to really challenge yourself.

Abdominals

The crunch is the most traditional: lie on your back with your knees bent, your arms crossed over your chest or your hands behind your ears and find a spot to look at on the ceiling. Lift your upper body by taking your shoulders and top of your back off the floor then lower slowly, without resting your head.

-Do 2 to 4 sets of 10 reps, with 1-minute rest between each set.

Obliques

Still lying on your back, bend your right leg and rest the heel of the left leg on it. Place your hands behind your head and bring your right elbow towards your left knee. Make 5 movements in a row towards the same knee, then switch sides.

-Do 2 to 4 sets, with 1-minute rest between each set.

Back

On all fours, gently and simultaneously stretch a leg and the opposite arm out. Hold the position for 10 seconds, then change legs and arms. Make sure that your back is nice and straight, and the bum cheek of the lifted leg is well contracted. If you feel comfortable, repeat the exercise with a weight in the hand of the stretched out arm.

-Do 5 sets of holding the leg and arm still for 10 seconds on each leg.

We hope these examples have provided you with some good ideas to get prepped for the powder! As always, if you’ve experienced previous injuries or are new to exercises like the examples we provided, consult your doctor.