Sunday, January 9, 2011

Going Skiing?

Pilates is a perfect cross training practice!

Pilates is perhaps the best cross training for skiing possible. The benefits of Pilates are balance, flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. By balancing muscles, improving flexibility and balance, you can not only prevent common injuries but also improve your performance enabling you to ski longer with less time in the lodge. If you spend any time in Colorado or Utah where moguls can become monsters, you’ll appreciate the additional core strength gained from Pilates.
Skiers recruit power from the hips and core and skiing relies on a lateral side-to-side hip movement to access the control of the ski. Tapping into a strong core, you’ll improve your balance, agility, and be more in control. Integrating core strength into your ski edging, you’ll transfer energy to your skis. By tightening your core, you’ll reduce impact on your back, hips, and knees. Since core strength improves balance you may also find yourself falling less. Being flexible and agile at high speeds, changing snow conditions, varying steepness of trails, and obstacles such as trees, moguls, and people is common to skiers. As you improve your alignment and core strength your movements become energy efficient, minimize wear and tear on your joints, and more enjoyable. You’ll be more in tune with your body, know your limits, and enjoy your season.
The Wunda Chair, Reformer, Cadillac, Mat, and all apparatus exercises benefit the beginner to advanced skier. One featured strengthening addition to the Reformer is the Jumpboard. The Jumpboard exercises on the Reformer strengthen the small supporting muscles in the feet and ankles, while strengthening the core and legs. There are several variations of movements using the Jumpboard. “Moguls” on the Jumpboard specifically strengthen the lateral leg and hip muscles recruited while skiing. While “Cross-country” strengthens the anterior and posterior leg and hip muscles.

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