Whether you are planning on carving turns on the slopes or on the waves of northwest groundswells, getting ready for these winter activities is paramount for keeping the likelihood of injuries low. If you have not been conditioning during the “pre-season” you might not enjoy yourself as much as you potentially could.
I wrote Fit to Surf and Fit to Ski & Snowboard some years back to provide some basic guidance when developing a surf-specific or ski-specific conditioning program. While nothing beats holding a book in your hand, I thought I might give you a few movements you could try that might just be what your body needs to improve your chance of really tearing it up this winter.
This year has seen more sitting in front of webinars and zoom rooms than ever. That means we have a population of winter sports enthusiasts with extremely restricted hips. These restrictions will lead to compensations and increase your likelihood of injury. So here are four moves to try and help even things out:
- Crossed Knee Lift
Purpose: To balance muscular tension surrounding the hips and pelvis to allow more freedom of movement and powerful turning potential.
Lie on your back with your arms out at right angles. Cross one ankle over the opposite knee. Lift the leg off the floor so the knee is directly above the hip joint from all perspectives. Hold for one minute before switching to the opposite side. Perform an additional set on the side that felt the most restricted. Here is a video instruction for additional guidance.
- Crossover Twist
Purpose: Free up the ability for the ribs and pelvis to move in opposing directions. This will allow for more powerful bottom turns & cutbacks.
Lie on your back with your arms out at right angles. Cross one ankle over the opposite knee. Use the foot still on the floor as a hinge and pivot that leg and sole of opposite foot over to the side and down on the floor. Keep both shoulders on the floor and allow the knee that is above the body to move away from the chest and point to the ceiling. Hold this position for one minute before returning to the starting position. Perform the same movement on the other side. Perform an additional set on the side that felt more restricted. Here is a video instruction for additional guidance.
Purpose: Train the muscles to control when the body is off axis and almost off balance.
Stand in a forward stride position with a slightly wider than normal stance. Bend into the forward knee and allow the hips to travel toward the front foot. Maintain a straight knee on the back leg at all times. The heel of the back foot may lift off the ground as the pressure is felt in the forefoot. Raise the same side arm of the forward leg overhead and feel your rib cage tilt sideways and away from the forward leg. Keep the head level and bring the other arm forward with the palm face up. Here is a video instruction for additional guidance.
- Hamstring Matrix
Purpose: Reduce the likelihood of injury to the knees and lower back while increasing power production of the hips and legs.
Place the heel of one foot on a chair or bench. Keep the knee of that leg straight but not locked out. Reach forward with one arm and then the other for 5-6 repetitions. Next, reach one arm up and overhead to the opposite side before switching arms and traveling in the opposite direction. Allow the rib cage to follow and send the hips off in the opposite direction. Third, reach across the front of the body and feel the torso rotate along with the reach before returning to the starting position. Do the same action to the opposite side with the opposite arm. Perform 5-6 repetitions for these movements as well. Here is a video instruction for additional guidance.
You can practice these actions daily in addition to your current strength & conditioning program. If you would like more help, just simply give us a call and we can set up a training session to ensure you enjoy the surf & snow the most you can.