How Pilates will have you carving up the slopes longer and stronger
The Australian high country is in high gear. If you are a snow goer, chances are your trip is booked, or you’ve already had a go and are looking to head back.
The down side (or dare we say, the down slope) to skiing in Australia is that for most of us, we only make one or two trips in a whole year. We go out on Day One with a wealth of enthusiasm and stay on the snow all day, only to be crippled, cramped and downright uncomfortable for the rest of the trip. Not so fun after all right?
Did you know that the physical demands of snow sports can be easily managed through Pilates?
With a few extra classes before your trip, you’ll find you have the ability to stay on the snow all day every day; and be better at your sport while you’re out there! Here’s how:
Core strength is key
Core strength provides balance and stability – crucial for snow sports. For snow beginners, you’re out there with large objects strapped to your feet, and they don’t always go in the direction you want them to. A strong core helps to counteract the twists and turns of the slopes and improves your ability to spring back from a tumble. Advanced skiers and snowboarders also need good stability and balance on the fast slopes and off-piste areas to help avoid injury.
A strong core helps to maintain the dynamic, balanced posture that is essential for snow sports. If you don’t engage your core properly, you will overwork the big muscles, such as glutes and quads, meaning the next few days on the snow will just be painful.
A strong, stable core will also reduce pressure on the lower back as you twist, turn and manoeuvre your lower body.
Flexibility and agility
Flexible hips are essential. Skiers rely on the side-to-side hip movement to find the outside edge of the ski, while boarders tilt their hips forwards and backwards to use the edge of the board, as well as a rotational motion to change directions. Hip flexibility, combined with the strong core, gives you better edge control as you navigate the changing terrain and unpredictable snow conditions.
Should you happen to catch a bad edge (and let’s face it, it’s going to happen), a high level of agility will help you roll out of a tumble unscathed.
Strength & Balance Counts
Skiers are highly susceptible to knee injuries. Pilates will help to focus on your strength throughout the full range of your movements. The exercises also focus on balance and control at your knee, hip and foot, which will have you sticking the landing of those 360s every time.
You’ll also find yourself adapting better to changing snow conditions, challenging terrain and falling less.
So if you’re headed to the snow and want to boost your slope style, book a couple of extra classes and prepare your body for the trip.