With Australia’a ski season set to open early June, we thought it would be a great idea to remind all our clients on how the foundations of Pilates can help you with your skiing this Winter! If you are planning a trip this year, let your instructor know and they can assist you with some preparation exercises!
In 2015, Jo spent a week on the ski’s in New Zealand’s Coronet Peak… It had been a fair while since Jo had strapped on her ski’s and during her week she found herself applying the basic foundations of Pilate more than she thought…. Read about Jo’s experience here!
It’s ski season and we’re all flocking to the mountains to shred up the slopes, slide through fresh powder and maybe even make snow angels! However, amongst all the chaos and excitement of getting to the snow, the last thing we’ll be thinking about is stacking hard and injuring ourselves until we’re out of action for weeks after we return. So if you’re like me and you need a bit of help in the skiing department, try applying Pilates methodology to your skiing. It will not only improve your ability, but help prevent unnecessary injury and make sure you have a brilliant time out there.
1. Neutral spine
Keeping neutral spine whilst skiing forces you to maintain better posture and reminds you to keep your eyes on what’s in front of you, rather than hunching over and looking down at your skis . Chest up. Soft bend in your knees. Hips back. Neutral Spine. Now you’re looking like a pro.
Its important to maintain neutral spine when carrying your ski’s too! they can be quite heavy and awkward to carry! Especially in those awful ski boots! Stand tall and straight!
2. Activate your glutes!
I can’t emphasise enough how much this helped me parallel turn. My knees are a little out of whack and naturally prefer to turn inwards rather than tracking over my skis. Snow ploughing, or pizza-ing, was inevitable had I not focused on activating my glutes. Switching them on was of the utmost importance to my up-and-coming professional skiing skills! Once activated, my hamstrings followed suit, wrapping around the outside of my thighs and bringing my knees back into alignment. Trust me, it’s much harder to get your skis tangled from this position.
Lauren loves feeling the burn as she speeds down the hill!
3. Core balance
Ok, so you’ve remembered to maintain neutral spine and your glutes are now activated; all that’s left to do is switch on your core. Holding your core will greatly improve your balance and focus. It’s such a simple change and you’ll feel silly you weren’t doing it before. Remember how to switch on your core? Click here for a reminder.
Showing off her core strength during a lunch break. Those ski boots are heavy and add load so don’t try this at home folks!
Yes, breathing is just as important – if not more so – than everything else. Once you’ve gotten the hang of coordinating skiing with basic Pilates methodology, add breathing into the equation and you’ll be flying! Here’s how:
…You’re at the top of the mountain (slightly daunted by the prospect of making it down in one run without falling over but nevertheless there’s only one way down). You take off on an angle, preparing to ‘S’ your way down the slope. Inhale into Neutral Spine. Knees bent softly. Glutes activated. Now exhale into the turn. Straighten up to transfer your weight. Switch on your core and push into the turn with your weight shifting to the outside leg. Keep going, from side to side. Inhale. Exhale. Switching. Shifting… Skiing! You’re doing it! Just don’t forget to keep your chest up and eyes down the mountain no matter how impressed you are with your newfound ability otherwise you’ll be eating snow very quickly!
Breathing in that fresh mountain air and loving it!
5. Relax and do it again!
By the end of the trip you’ll be fitter, stronger and more importantly; looking and feeling much more confident on the slopes. You’ll definitely have a few bruises and a lot more sore muscles than anticipated but you’ve most likely avoided some more serious knee injuries. That said, ski safe and have fun! You have probably earned yourself a nice crisp Corona or a mug of mulled cider!
after a hard day of skiing this crew are relaxing over one of many of the mountains “schnappy hours!”
By Jo Clarke