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Pilates for Skiers

Pilates for Skiers

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Published by Caroline Sandry
Caroline Sandry takes you through a step by step Pilates workout to get you ready for the slopes...
Caroline Sandry takes you through a step by step Pilates workout to get you ready for the slopes...

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Published by: Caroline Sandry on Apr 11, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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pil at eS f o r Spo r t

By Caroline Sandry
92 ultra-f it FEB/MAR 2011


This issue we take a look at Pilates for winter sports. Whether you prefer hurtling down the mountain on one or two sticks – we have great exercises to keep you strong, balanced and injury free!
now boarding and skiing require strong quads, flexible calf muscles, good kinaesthetic awareness and balance and a strong core. Kinaesthetic awareness refers to ‘knowing where your body is in space’ and as a skier or boarder this is crucial. Training on an unstable surface, such as a BOSU or wobble board/cushion will improve your stability, balance, agility and kinaesthetic awareness and proprioception, making it perfect for winter sports conditioning. Proprioception refers to the various control mechanisms that adjust your body automatically to

pil at eS f o r Spo r t


movement and load. Place a weight in the hand of an outstretched arm, then your body will automatically adjust to maintain the loaded limb in its position (unless of course the weight is too heavy). Proprioceptors and muscles spindles interact with the nervous system and a ‘control mechanism’ located in the lower spine to control proprioception – balancing exercises are great for improving proprioception. The following Pilates exercises use wobble cushions (but you can use a BOSU or single cushion if necessary) and will challenge your core, pelvic stability and lower body strength. If

possible try to work out near a mirror and ensure that your knees are tracking correctly – neither rolling in nor out as you bend them (particularly in the lunge). I have included the single leg bridge for your glutes, as weakness here can cause poor knee alignment, which in turn can cause injury.

additional exercises
Additional exercises to do to get fit for the slopes should include resisted squats, leg presses, step up and jump downs, calf raises and plenty of stretching, focusing on the calf muscles, hip flexors and back.

The Exercises
Balance squat
, Stand with one foot in the centre of each cushion and ensure inner thighs are engaged to prevent rolling outwards , Bend knees to right angle and bring arms forward for balance , Return to standing , Repeat x 15 , t o progress – rotate torso from side to side as you squat

t raining on an unstable surface, such as a Bo SU or wobble board/cushion will improve your stability, balance, agility and kinaesthetic awareness
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pil at eS f o r Spo r t

Single leg balance lunge
, Place one foot on the centre of the wobble cushion and find your balance , Step back into a reverse lunge , Touch your foot back in the centre and find balance , Step forward into a forward lunge , Repeat 8 sets on each leg


New to balance training? practice this in kneeling first (one knee in the centre of each cushion. t oes up is more challenging than toes on the floor).

Balance roll down to plank/press up

, Stand on two cushions and find your balance , Bend your knees to a shallow squat , Draw your abs in and roll down one vertebra at a time until your hands are on the floor , Walk your hands out in front of you with control (try to take only 3 hand ‘steps’) to a hand plank position , Keep your abs tight and then lower onto one elbow and then the other – into an elbow plank , Reverse each step (hand plank, hands step back, roll up and balance). , Repeat this process x 5 , For an additional challenge, add another set and from the hand plank, perform 15 press ups









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FEB/MAR 2011

Swimming balance

, Kneel on all fours, with right knee on the centre of your cushion , Ensure your hands are under your shoulders and your shoulders are away from your ears , Keeping your abs tight, exhale and extend your left leg and right arm away from your body, keeping neutral spine , Inhale back to centre and repeat x 12 on each side Note: keeping your stationery toe in the air will increase instability and intensity

pil at eS f o r Spo r t

Bridge + Single leg bridge

Step 1 , Lie on your back with feet and knees hip-width apart , Engage your abs and use your glutes to lift your hips into the air , Keep neutral spine and your pelvis level, then take one foot off the floor for a couple of seconds , Change legs and repeat 5 x on each side.

Step 2 , As step 1, lift both hips , Lift one foot off the floor , Lower and lift your hips up and down 5 - 8 times , Change legs and repeat


Side leg balance lift

, Lie on your side with pelvis on one cushion, ribs on the other (if on a BOSU, rest pelvis on dome and support upper body on elbow) , Exhale and squeeze abs as you lengthen and lift both legs in the air , Inhale and lower back towards the floor , Repeat 10 on each side (This is a little easier if you rest your top hand on the floor)


Caroline Sandry is a qualified PT and Pilates teacher. She has written two books and has 10 DVDs to her name. www.carolinesandry.com

FEB/MAR 2011 ultra-f it


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