There is nothing worse than spending the rest of your glorious ski vacation in bed because your legs are too sore to do anything else. You want to keep skiing, to do a little shopping or go out dancing after a day on the slopes, but that is just not going to happen if you are out of shape. The black diamond advanced moguls, blue intermediate groomed runs or green beginner bunny slopes will get the best of you if you do not prepare ahead of time.
Whether you are a hot shot on the hill or you just want to look hot in your brand new ski outfit, the following yoga pose and its equivalent rating of intensity will help keep you on your feet.
This pose cannot be emphasized enough. It is the king of all ski-conditioning poses for obvious reasons. When you practice chair pose with your feet hip width apart, you imitate the stance of skiing, which is exactly what you need to do to prepare.
Practice chair pose for as long as you can, as often as you can. Feel your thighs burn! It is much better to do the work ahead of time than have to nurse your aching quads on the trip.
To mimic a snowplow, turn your toes in slightly and press the outer edges of your feet out to activate your outer hips. Keep your inner thighs working by drawing your knees toward one another, but not close enough to bring them together. Hold for as long as you can stand it, then just a few more seconds after that. Rest, and repeat.
Rise and sink into the pose rather than holding it stationary. Upon rising, stop just a few inches short of your legs straightening completely. This will keep your legs working hard, and will enhance your endurance for those long, groomed, cruiser runs. Practice for up to three-minute intervals before resting and repeating.
Black Diamond Skier
Lift one foot up and let it hover over the floor. Hold still or rise and sink on just one leg at a time. Switch legs after at least 30 seconds or more. To take this up a notch, as you sink your hips, twist your upper body in the direction of the supporting leg.
September 19th, 2011