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ready, set, train, snow

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Date
December 2014

Written by
Lauren Hunsberger

Photography by
Michael Matti

Rose NelsonNot all training for snow sports can or should take place on the mountain. To master the art of skiing or snowboarding this winter, or at least try and avoid the bevy of potential injuries that could occur, get to work with these on-land conditioning exercises and drills.

We talked with three Bellevue Club trainers about how to prepare your body for snow sports, and across the board, they agreed top priorities include: strengthening your legs and core and improving balance and stability. Addressing these aspects of fitness will increase your performance as well as help with injury prevention, specifically of the knees, shoulders and hips. With that in mind, the following are their go-to moves for snow sports conditioning.

rose nelson

1. Raised Plank Core Rotation 

Benefits: Strengthens obliques, strengthens shoulders, improves balance

Rose NelsonStart in a raised plank position with a perfectly flat back. Keeping your core muscles engaged and using slow and controlled movements, rotate open reaching one hand to the ceiling and then back down. Repeat on the other side. 

Beginner: Perform for 30 seconds, keeping your focus on form instead of number of reps.
Advanced: Perform the exercise for one minute, keeping your focus on form instead of number of reps. 

2. Single-Leg Lateral Ski Jump 

Rose NelsonBenefits: Plyometric cardio training, improves lateral movement, strengthens legs

Lay a workout or yoga mat on the ground vertically. Begin at one of the back corners and stand on one leg. Jump over the mat onto the other leg while also traveling forward and repeat until you reach the front of the mat. Once you get to the front corner, reverse and travel backward.  

Beginner: Perform for 30 seconds, keeping your focus on form instead of number of reps.
Advanced: Perform the exercise for one minute, keeping your focus on form instead of number of reps. 

Rose Nelson3. Single-Leg Deadlift

Benefits:  Strengthens hamstrings, increases balance, improves hip stability

With a dumbbell (weight depends on your fitness level) in each hand, find your balance on one leg. Keep a flat back and your core and glutes engaged while hinging forward from the hip joint until your spine is parallel to the floor. Then return to standing position using the strength of your legs. Keep your knee soft throughout the movement, and do not lock out the joint. Also, be sure to work within the flexibility of your hamstrings. 

Beginner: Perform for 30 seconds, keeping your focus on form instead of number of reps. Beginners can also perform this exercise without weights.
Advanced: Perform the exercise for one minute, keeping your focus on form instead of number of reps.

Sabine Jacquessabine jacques

1. Basic BOSU Squat 

Benefits: Strengthens quadriceps, increases knee joint stabilization, improves balance

Sabine JacquesThose not used to a BOSU Ball should start by stepping on and off a few times to get used to the prop. Once comfortable with the BOSU Ball, step up on the ball with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your feet flat and engage the inner thighs as you squat down, and then return to a standing position. Do 12 reps holding the last one for an eight-count.  

Beginner: Hold your arms out straight with no added weight.
Advanced: While standing, hold a body bar with two hands down in front of you. Raise your arms to chest-height when you go into the squat, and lower them when you return to standing. 

Sabine Jacques2. One-Leg BOSU Lunge

Benefits: Strengthens quadriceps, increases knee joint stabilization, improves balance

Stand a few feet in front of the BOSU Ball with legs hip-width apart, and place the ball of one foot on the BOSU. Staying completely upright, press through the heel of your front foot and go down into a lunge. Make sure your knee remains directly over your ankle and doesn’t move forward during the action. Return to an upright position and repeat for 12 reps, holding the last one for an eight-count. Switch legs and repeat. 

Beginner: Hold your arms out straight with no added weight.
Advanced: Hold dumbbells (weight depends on your fitness level) as you perform the exercise.

Sabine Jacques3. Basic BOSU Squat 

Benefits: Improves core strength, strengthens shoulders, improves balance

For this exercise, flip the BOSU Ball over with the flat surface facing up. Holding the sides, get into a plank position, making sure your back is flat. Engaging your abdominal muscles, pull one knee in toward your chest and then return it to the ground. Repeat on the other side. Be sure to keep your core engaged the entire time and don’t let your back droop. If you feel it in your lower back, please stop. 

Beginner: Complete 12 reps with each leg.
Advanced: Put a push-up in the middle of each rep (left leg, right leg, push-up; left leg, right leg, push-up; repeat).

Tyler GreerTyler Greer

1. side lunge

Benefits: Strengthens quadriceps, increases knee joint stabilization, improves balance

Tyler GreerFind a slick surface (i.e. wood floors) to work on, and place a small, folded towel underneath one foot. Keeping your body centered, drive through the heel of your standing leg and activate your quads and glutes. Then descend while sliding the foot with the towel out straight to the side. Return to an upright position and then switch sides.

Beginner: Perform eight to 12 reps. 
Advanced: Increase number of reps or hold dumbbells.

Tyler Greer2. hip rotation

Benefits: Strengthens core, increases hip joint stabilization

Standing with your feet apart, hold a medicine ball with both hands near one hip. From your hips, rotate your torso to the opposite side, extending all the way through your core. Be sure to pivot on the ball of your foot so you don’t torque the knee. Return to center, and then rotate to the other side.

Beginner: Use an eight-pound medicine ball and perform for eight to 12 reps.
Advanced: Use a 12-pound medicine ball and perform for eight to 12 reps.

Tyler Greer3. SQUAT JUMP 

Benefits: Strengthens quadriceps, increases knee joint stabilization

Standing with feet hip-width, descend into a squat, driving the hips back, while keeping a straight spine. Pull your arms back, and hold for two to three seconds. With power, jump up and extend your arms. Land as softly as possible back into a squat, keeping tension off your knee and your glutes tight.

Beginner: Perform the exercise five to 20 times.
Advanced: Hold the squat for longer in between jumps. 

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