Love hitting the slopes, but worried about being left with sore and aching joints and muscles?
You're not alone! Skiing is a physically demanding sport that requires strength, stability, and flexibility in various muscle groups. Cross-training to improve your agility and ability on the slopes is key, and fortunately that's where Pilates comes in.
Why Pilates? It's a low-impact form of exercise that focuses on core strength, which can help improve your skiing performance by enhancing your balance, control, and endurance on the slopes.
Luckily, a few expert Pilates instructors have provided us with some key exercises for skiers and snowboarders alike.
These exercises can be done from the comfort of your own home using virtual Club Pilates mat workouts through the Xponential+ App, or at your local Club Pilates (search here for your nearest location)! Additionally, check out some of these movements in our instructor Jessica's demo video here!
Below are many different Pilates exercises that can help prepare your body for skiing, with the goal of improving: ankle dorsiflexion, lower extremity alignment, leg strength, and core strength - with a full-body focus.
You can follow along with this flow as laid out, subtracting exercises/additional variations
or options from this list to make it appropriate for your clients, layer on progressions, and
increase resistance as the client gains control and strength within each exercise.
- Single Leg Circles - Targets hip muscles, improving lateral stability & rotational movements in skiing.
- The Hundred - Targets the core muscles, improving overall stability and endurance while skiing.
- Rolling Like a Ball - Challenges the core and hip flexors, improving balance and control while skiing.
- Swan dive: A back extension exercise that strengthens the back muscles and improves spinal mobility.
- Teaser - Challenges the core, hip flexors, and leg muscles, improving overall strength and balance.
- Footwork - Targets the glutes, hamstrings, and calves; improves balance & alignment.
- Short Box Series - Series of exercises that target the core, back, and hip muscles, improving overall strength and flexibility. Example: Side Planks
- Side Lying Footwork (heavier springs as appropriate). Unilaterally challenges strength and stability
- Supine Arms - Dead Bugs - challenges stability and alignment
- Down Stretch with optional push-ups
- Bridge - Lumbopelvic Stability Focus
- Leg Press - Targets glutes, quads, and hamstrings, essential for explosive speed on the slopes.
- Long Stretch - Targets shoulders, triceps, and core, improving upper body strength and stability.
- Long Box Series: Pulling Straps - Changes the range of motion to further challenge the body with an emphasis on upper body and core
- Elephant - Challenges the core, glutes, and hamstrings, improving strength and control.
CHAIR AND SPRINGBOARD
- Springboard: Plank Series - Targets the core, shoulders, and upper back muscles, improving overall strength and stability.
- Springboard: Squat Series - Targets the glutes, quads, and hamstrings, improving overall leg strength and control.
- Exo Chair: Quadruped single arm push up
- Exo Chair: Footwork - Targets the glutes, hamstrings, and calves while improving your balance and alignment.
- Exo Chair: Step-Up - The step-up exercise challenges the glutes, quads, and calf muscles, improving overall leg strength and balance
- Exo Chair: Arm Work - This exercise targets the shoulders and upper body muscles, improving overall strength and control.
- Exo Chair: Swimming - To work posterior chain, including necessary back and hamstring muscles used during skiing
- Exo Chair: Side Bends
- Exo Chair: Mermaid - To work side body flexion and strengthen the core
Remember to always consult a professional Pilates instructor before attempting any of these exercises, especially if you are new to Pilates. With regular practice, these 15 Pilates exercises can help improve your skiing performance, making your time on the slopes more enjoyable and safe. Call one of our Club Pilates Studios to schedule your complimentary Intro today!
Moves provided by Club Pilates instructors Jessica Roberts and Sue Gann, NCPT