Going for the snow? Here’s how functional training for snowboarding and skiing can help you
The winter break is on, which means it’s time to head to your local chalet and enjoy someextreme sports. But how can you make sure that you’re optimally prepared forsliding down the mountainside? Make sure your list of exercises include thefollowing ones: Yoga Squat, Lunges, Hip Extension with Reverse Fly andRotations.
Two words: Functional Training.
Though FunctionalTraining, at its heart, aims to help your body perform everyday activities tothe best of its ability, its benefits transcend day-to-day movement. Why? Thesetypes of exercises work multiple joints and muscles at the same time, whilebuilding on your overall strength, agility and balance - all perks that’llserve you well on the slopes.
By focusing onFunctional Training techniques, you’ll more easily avoid injury (as you’ll bemore attuned to how to move your body correctly), traverse your track’sobstacles more easily due to improved coordination and maintain better balanceon your skis/snowboard, too. So - without furtherado - here are some great Functional Training exercises to get you fighting fitfor the season ahead.
Benefits: Increasesyour overall flexibility and amps up your leg strength. Ready to do some coolflips in the snow?
1. Exhale while squatting down withyour hands raised high.
2. Inhale with your head facingdownwards, while bringing your hands down to touch the ground and straighteningyour legs.
3. Exhale as you return to youroriginal squat position, bringing your hands back above your head.
4. Inhale as you stand up completely.
Benefits: Lunges(which are an exaggerated reflection of walking) strengthen all your major legand buttock muscles, helping you to navigate your skis or board with heighteneddexterity.
1. Stand in an upright position.
2. Bring one foot forward, then bendboth knees so that they’re at a 90 degree angle (with your front knee facing upand back knee facing down). Make sure that your front knee is bent directlyabove your ankle.
3. Keeping the weight in your heels,push yourself back up to a starting position.
Hip Extension with Reverse Fly
Benefits: Boosts yourbalance and coordination skills while strengthening your shoulders, glutes,legs and upper/mid/lower sections of your back.
1. Hold a light dumbbell in each handand stand up straight.
2. Fully extend your right leg behindyou, with your toes on the floor.
3. Lean forward with your hips whilelifting your right leg - still extended straight - behind you, so that you’refully balanced on your left leg.
4. With your head straight, move yourchest towards the floor, stretching out your arms.
5. Return to the start position andrepeat with the opposite leg.
Benefits: Thisexercise has two great pluses, building on your core strength while teachingyou the correct way to move your back (avoiding injuries from twisting it).
1. Tie a resistance band to a stableobject that’s roughly the height of your waist.
2. Holding your band with both handsand maintaining an upright position - with one side of your body towards theobject on which your band is tied - rotate in a slow and controlled manner awayfrom the object, with your core contracted at all times to support your spine.
3. Switch sides and repeat.