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Skiing Exercises At Home For Core Strength

Abe Maynard on June 10th, 2022

The swiss ball is my go-to piece of equipment when it comes to skiing exercises at home.  Aside from its versatility, the swiss ball provides an unstable surface primed for stimulating core muscles. Check out these three must-do ski exercises followed by their recommended sets/reps.

 

DEAD BUG EXCHANGE:

 

When we ski, one hip is always slightly more flexed than the other. At the same time that our legs move up and down through the turn, our core muscles must stabilize our mid section. This stability allows our legs to move freely over the snow. The Dead Bug Exchange trains our body and brain to do exactly this. 

 

Apply slight pressure to the ball and make sure it doesn’t move. This will cause your stomach muscles to engage as you extend your limbs in opposite directions. Make sure your low back stays firmly pressed against the floor during the entire movement.

 

This body position, although lying down, resembles the forward hand drive, hip flexion, and core engagement present in every ski turn.

 

Recommended Sets and Reps:

  • Movement Proficiency: 1-2 sets of 4-6 slow, controlled reps per side
  • Strength Development: 2-3 sets of 6-8 reps per side with *max effort* pressure into the ball
  • Muscular Endurance: 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps per side


 


 

PLANK PRESS UP:

 

Like a plank, except way more useful for skiers!  Assume a downed pushup position on the ball with your legs extended behind you about hip width apart. Press the forearms into the ball to stabilize. Then, very slowly extend your hands forward, maybe only an inch or so.

 

The further your hands move from your body, the further your center of gravity shifts, and the more stress placed on your core muscles. This version beats out traditional planks due to the instability caused by the ball. That’s not to say normal planks are bad, they have their selected place in training, but these planks are a more optimal ski exercise because of the unstable nature of the ball.

 

Recommended Sets and Reps:

  • Movement Proficiency: 1-3 sets of 2 second holds in the position followed by rest
  • Strength Development: 1-3 sets of 6 reps to maximum distance away from the start position
  • Muscular Endurance: 2-4 sets of 60 second holds on the ball


 


 

INVERTED PLANK:

 

It’s easy to forget about how important the muscles on the back of the body are. Each ski turn requires a significant amount of stability and strength from out glutes, hamstrings, and back muscles. This becomes more important as terrain becomes more challenging.

 

Think of this as a plank flipped upside down. Instead of feeling the pressure in your abdomen, you should feel all the pressure and tightness along the backside of your body from heel to shoulder.

 

Recommended Sets and Reps:

  • Movement Proficiency: 5-10 sets of extending up, pausing 3 seconds, and coming down
  • Strength Development: 2-4 sets of 25 second holds, actively digging the heels in for duration
  • Muscular Endurance: 2-4 sets of 60 second holds with hips and arms off the ground

As always, if you value the content here, please share this post with other ski friends who might benefit from reading it. 

 

Thank you and have an amazing off-season! 

- Abe (Founder)