Pilates and Skiing

Posted by: Naomi Bourne on 29.03.16 in Hobbies

Pilates is a great work out for skiers as its focus is on core strength, balance & flexibility. Hopefully you have done a little bit of prep if you are hitting the slopes over the Easter break as it makes great demands on your body but even a little bit of stretching at the end of your day of skiing will be beneficial. Here are four exercises that I have selected to lengthen out hamstrings, open the hips & release the lower back.

1) Bend and stretch
Place the right ball of the foot in a theraband so you can just see your toes. The other leg is bent. Have your elbows on the mat by your side & adjust your hand position to increase or decrease the tension on the band. Now bend at the knee & extend up towards the ceiling. Have a neutral, stable pelvis & move slowly to maintain it. Do this 4x and then gently pull ( not yank) the leg closer to the chest whilst retaining tension in the band with a slightly bent ( but press the heel towards the ceiling to keep the stretch active) or straight leg.
2) Spine Curl
Start in relaxation position with bent knees, legs in parallel & a neutral pelvis. Inhale & begin to roll the pelvis back so it’s imprinted to the mat. Now exhale & continue to peel the spine up to base of the shoulder blades whilst gently drawing the abdominals in & up. Inhale & then roll back down centrally through every vertebrate of your spine to neutral keeping legs parallel.

3) The Cat/Cow

Start in a 4 point kneeling position, wrists under shoulders and knees under hips with a neutral pelvis. Breathe into prepare and gently engage your abdominals as you exhale & start to arch your back from the base of your spine and lastly gently dropping your head so you are creating an even c curve with your spine as you take an inhale. To go into the Cow extension start to breathe out and unfurl the spine sending the head away from the tailbone and lifting the sternum to the ceiling whilst you stick your bottom up so you feel like you are curving up.
4) Hip Roll
Start in relaxation position with your knees bent & feet together on the floor and your arms are out to the side just below the shoulders, palms facing up. Breathe in to prepare and as you exhale gently connect into your centre and roll the pelvis to the right as your head gently rolls to the left. Make sure the right foot stays connected to the floor and you keep the weight of the shoulder blades evenly distributed on the floor. Repeat 6-10 times on each side keeping the waist long and ensure the ribs don’t flare.