The snow is falling, and it’s time to get ready for ski and snowboard season! Whether you’re just getting back into action after a leisurely summer or you’re recovering from an injury, rehabilitation Pilates is the right approach to gearing up for winter.
As with anything physical, it’s essential to prepare and build your body for new levels of exertion or strain. Skiing and snowboarding, and even other winter or ice sports, require such a diverse range of movement that it’s key to prepare to ensure performance – and safety – out there on the powder!
Using a rehab Pilates approach, plan on focusing on exercise that targets the major muscle groups you’ll need out on the slopes: Abs, quads, and glutes.
All About the Abs
Central to all Pilates exercise, you can expect to engage, build, and strengthen your core muscles with targeted workouts. Strong abdominal muscles help stabilize you and improve your balance as you pivot, turn, and twist down the mountain. Pilates is a great form of exercise to strengthen your core muscles that will, in turn, support your skiing and stabilize you on each run.
All Pilates exercise offers a focus on the abs and will increase your awareness of this part of your body. Core stability comes from Pilates that addresses the different layers of ab muscles, including the transverse abdominal (TVA), which compresses the abdomen and steadies the lower spine. Activation of this muscle is key to helping improve your balance.
If you’re not sure what your quadriceps are before skiing or snowboarding, you’ll be aware of them afterward! The quads are the large muscles on the front of the thighs that connect the hips to the knees. For skiing and snowboarding, it’s important to build these muscles as they are so highly used during snow sports.
Pilates rehab exercises can be developed to help you strengthen the quad muscles, which will help to avoid injury and enable you to be on the snow longer. Using the mat or Pilates Reformer, exercises target the quadriceps muscles to stabilize the knee as it undertakes turning and twisting motion. Stronger quads allow greater speed and control of ski or snowboard while minimizing discomfort and strain.
Tone the Glutes
The gluteal muscles are made up of three muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. All three muscles form the buttocks, and the combined, make up one of the largest muscle groups in the body, and you use them all day, every day. However, as glutes help you rotate, move, lift, and thrust your legs and hips, if they are weak, they can cause an increased risk of injury.
Rehab Pilates offers a range of exercise options to help target these large, glute muscles to build strength and take the load off the thighs and calves. Abduction, extension, and flexion Pilates exercises using the Reformer and mat work target just the right areas and can also help improve the flexibility of the hamstrings. Rebuilding and strengthening these muscles is key to getting you strong and ready for the coming ski and snowboard season!
Anxious to get ready for fresh Colorado powder? Contact us! We can develop targeted Pilates exercise programs that address any past or current injuries you may be experiencing and make you feel more confident to hit the slopes!