Improve your skiing with Pilates
With ski season just around the corner, people are anticipating taking to the slopes. And that means people are starting to take their workouts up a notch in preparation for the upcoming season.
Preparing your body in the weeks before hitting the slopes is a good idea because it can help you avoid injuries and falls. But, it also has the added benefit of helping improve your performance.
Doing Pilates exercises provides many benefits if you’re trying to get your body into optimal shape before ski season. While your ability, skill, and experience all play a huge part in how well you ski as well as how many falls and injuries are actually prevented, improving your balance, strengthening your legs, and increasing your core stability with Pilates exercises can make you a safer and more efficient skier.
Injury-proofing your body
Skiers are at risk for many types of injuries, but especially in their knees and lower back. Skiing requires that you twist from your waist, but many times the rotation is transferred to your knees instead. When larger muscles, like your quadriceps get tired, the knee takes a lot more pressure. Knee injuries from skiing can result in tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and the meniscus.
Pilates exercises that help to strengthen your obliques, back extensors, and legs can prevent these types of knee injuries from occurring. But, Pilates is not just about strengthening those muscles; it’s also about improving muscle memory. Repeating patterns of movement help your muscles to “remember” how to and when to engage.
Examples of Pilates exercises that you can to strengthen these muscles and prevent knee injuries are:
- Criss cross
- Side leg pulls
- Side bend
Lunges are a great exercise to engage all of the muscles in your leg as well as good practice for tracking your knees properly over your toes.
Injuries to the lower back in skiers usually happen due to form fatigue and poor core stabilization. Because skiing requires that you lean forward against the front part of your boots, your back extensors are engaged. Problems occur if those extensor muscles haven’t been worked much. Pilates can help train your core muscles to engage whenever your extensors are being used for support and to reduce the risk of injury.
Examples of Pilates exercises to prevent lower back injuries by improving core strength and stabilization are:
- Forearm planks
- Side kicks
- Roll up
- Pilates 100’s
- Single leg circles
It’s all about preparation
Flexibility, mobility, strength, and proper alignment of the lower body are essential if you’re a skier. Whether you’re looking to improve your form, reduce your risk of injury while on the slopes, or want to feel less fatigued and sore, Pilates exercises can help you prepare for another great ski season.
Propel Pilates and Fitness, located in Rancho San Bernardo, carries a full line of Balanced Body Pilates equipment. Our trainers use specific equipment or mat exercise to strengthen your core, improve your balance, and increase flexibility, coordination, and balance.
Visit our website to sign up for a free introductory session.