If you ski or ride dozens or just a few of days a year, a few simple exercises can get you going and prevent injuries - and you can do these at home.
Each year, resort employees are given many opportunities to take fitness classes to get their bodies "slope-ready." Not everyone has the access or time for hours of workouts, so here are a few basic routines that in a few minutes a day can prep you for a vacation or a season skiing or riding. I have a more rigorous routine, but doing something rather than nothing will provide tremendous benefit.
Exercise One: Band Walks
Band Walks are great for strengthening the stabilizing muscles in your hips.
Exercise Two: Heel Walks
Heel walking is a simple, but important key to increasing ankle strength. Heel Walks help with balance, maintaining strength and agility between your shin and calf. This can prevent shin splints and can improve your fine muscle movements used in angulation and rotation of your skis.
Exercise Three: alternating Step Ups
A simple, basic exercise can help in upper leg strength, while also getting knee stability working. I recommend working up to 5 minutes. If you don't have a formal "step," use a stairway, stool, or stable surface at least 12" high.
Exercise Four: Planks and Side Planks
The basic plank can do a world of wonders for your core strength. One can't underestimate the importance of core strength in skiing. You'll be happy if you do these, if only for a few minutes a day.
EXERCISE five: Toy soldiers
Having flexible hamstrings is crucial for skiing and snowboarding. Dynamic stretches like the toy soldier are effective in stretching and toning the primary ligaments used in core and leg balance. Toy Soldiers are easy to do and fun.
Try these out. There is much more you can do, but a few minutes a day even with these basic exercises will make your time on the slopes more enjoyable and hopefully injury free.