5 Core-Sculpting Moves for Ski Season

5 Core-Sculpting Moves for Ski Season

Posted by WinterWomen on Tuesday, August 19, 2014

girl_posseLadies (and gentlemen)...It's time to get in shape for winter.

That's right--it may still technically be summer, but we're already prepping for ski and snowboard season. With most resorts opening up in a few short months, it's time to focus on building all-over strength and stamina, so that the first run down the mountain doesn't feel like it's just had an eight-month break.

In the next few months we will be focusing on exercises that strengthen your core and your legs, and building overall strength through cardio and plyometrics. Most of these exercises can be done at home (WinterWomen blogger Lora has some excellent ideas for setting yourself up for success with at-home workouts), and require little or no equipment.  If you've got a great spot to workout outdoors (my favorite early-morning spot is Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado), then you're even luckier--you can get a fab workout in and get some Vitamin D!

These exercises should be added on to your regular workout routine, and ideally done 2-3x per week. It doesn't matter which days you do these exercises, but I do prefer to give myself one day off in between to let my muscles rebuild and repair.

Don't have a set workout routine yet? No problem! These exercises are a great starting point to getting fit. Once you begin to do these moves on a regular basis, you'll already have your own routine going for a super workout.

Ready to get fit for ski season? Grab a yoga mat, stopwatch, and let's get started.

High Plank: 1 minute hold

High Plank Ski Season copy

Yes...just high plank. A high plank might sound easy to you, but we're not going for an easy workout here. Set your stopwatch (if you don't own one, use your iPhone's stopwatch capabilities) and gear up in high plank.

To avoid injury in high plank, you want your shoulders in line with your wrists--and your back should not be caved in, nor arched up (this is not a down dog!). You will want to keep your spine in a neutral position, which is achieved when you are facing down, but looking a little bit forward (think to look to the top of your yoga mat). To take out pressure from your back and shoulders, you should be keeping your core and glutes as tight as can be.

You want your feet separated around the distance of two fists next to one another. Make sure you are squeezing your quads, glutes, and holding your core tight--it will help fire up those core muscle groups!

Hold high plank in complete stillness for one minute. If you need to rest before the next move, drop down to your knees and take a breather. If you can push yourself through (and I know all of you can!), hold high plank through to the next move.

Knee to Opposite Elbow: 30 seconds

Elbow to Knee Ski Season copy

This super move will sculpt your way to a strong and toned core. From high plank position, bring your right knee to your left elbow. You want to keep your shoulders, neck, and core in line, so that the only part of your body moving is either your left or right leg.

Alternate legs for 30 seconds without stopping.

You can choose to move slower or faster in this position, depending on whether you would prefer more attention to your core (slower speed), or more attention to cardio (faster speed). I prefer to do this move slowly--about 2 seconds on each side.

Stay in high plank position for the next move--You will hate me now, but thank me later!

Forearm Plank: 1 minute hold

Low Plank Ski Season  copy

Move from high plank down to forearm plank (one arm at a time), which is a low-version of high plank. Your elbows should be by your side and your forearms facing forward.

Your shoulders need to be lined directly above your elbows, and you want to push your heels back to engage your core. Try to keep your forearms as parallel as you can, while keeping your neck relaxed and in line with your spine.

Keep your core engaged and hold this move for one minute without dropping to your knees. You can do it!

Army Crawls: 30 seconds each side

ARmy Crawls3

This is one of my favorite core moves--it's difficult to do, and you will quickly feel it!

Start in high plank position. Lead with your right arm down to forearm plank and then your left arm down to forearm plank. Leading with your right arm again, move back up to high plank (moving left arm next), and continue back down to forearm plank with right hand leading. Switch sides after 30 seconds, and lead with your left arm for the next set of crawls.

Ski Plank Jumps: 30 seconds

Ski Plank Jumps

If this move doesn't get you in the mood to strap on some skis, I don't know what else will! This sculpting move incorporates some cardio into your core routine, elevating your heart rate and building stamina for those long days you'll spend on the mountain this winter.

From high plank position, jump both feet over to the right side with feet together. Jump back to high plank position and jump feet over to the left side. Keep alternating sides for 30 seconds. This move can be done at a slower speed at first, and then increase to a higher speed for the last 10 seconds. Whew!

Repeat All Moves: 2-3 times

All together, this routine can be done once in roughly less than 5 minutes. However, I recommend repeating this workout 2-3 times in a row to get the maximum benefits. And if you only have 5 minutes that day? Well heck--you just had a great workout in a short amount of time!

Stay tuned throughout the next month for cardio and leg moves to continue helping you prepare for ski or snowboard season. What's your favorite core move to strengthen your mid-section for winter? Let us know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: These moves are my personal opinion and personal choice of workout. Please do not continue with a move that causes pain or discomfort. I urge you to listen to your body and ultimately do what feels right for you!

Categories: Health & Fitness

Tagged: health, ski season, fitness, getting in shape, womens health, ski moves, ski season fitness

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