Once you hit the slopes and experience the thrill of snowboarding or skiing down a snow-covered mountain at a high speed, you know why it’s such an attraction. An active sport like skiing gets your adrenaline pumping and is also physically demanding. It requires some level of fitness and physical training to stand up to the rigorous course. That’s why it’s not surprising that skiing injuries are common. Getting your body ready for the slopes can help you prevent injuries and falls, but it can also help improve your performance. It turns out that Pilates can be of great benefit to skiers. Pilates help to strengthen and mobilise the body, which is exactly what you need for the engaging sport of skiing. Pilates may be just what you need to excel at the sport you love and enjoy. Here are four great ways Pilates can benefit you as a skier or snowboarder.
1. Improve Flexibility and Mobility
Among the top benefits of Pilates are flexibility and mobility. This matters for skiers since a good range of motion in the hips, ankles, and spine is essential. Pilates focuses on the lower body’s flexibility and mobility. Equipment exercises such as feet in straps and footwork on the reformer are great examples. Mat exercises also help improve mobility and flexibility. Becoming familiar with these exercises is also helpful for skiers as they can use them to stretch out after spending the day on the slopes.
Whether you are skiing or snowboarding, you’ll do a lot of bending at the knees, hips, and ankles. But that doesn’t mean the upper body and spine are not equally important. A mobile and stable spine can handle the stress and fatigue that can come from hours of skiing. And if you do fall, having a flexible, mobile body can help protect you from injury.
2. Proper Alignment
Pilates focuses on maintaining a neutral spine and a stable pelvis during dynamic exercises. Maintaining a neutral spine during the motion of skiing is essential. Misalignment of the spine can keep the hips and pelvis from activating properly. At a Reformer Pilates class, you’ll experience side—lying leg exercises and standing reformer exercises that help work and strengthen these muscles. A skier must keep the lower of body aligned properly. The knees must be centrally positioned above the feet, or you will be unstable. All Pilates exercises help improve alignment and focus specifically on the relationship between the hips, ankles, and feet.
3. Strength Training
When it comes to building muscle, Pilates are excellent. For skiers, Pilates is a perfect fit for strengthening the abdominals, obliques, and those super important deep stabilising muscles. Skiers need a strong, stable trunk. While your lower limbs are navigating the slopes, your trunk needs to remain mostly still. If the trunk has unnecessary movement, it can use up more energy, and you can become fatigued before you enjoy your whole holiday. Pilates exercises help strengthen adductors which are helpful for keeping the skis directly under your body. This helps reduce stress on your knees. Since a large part of this sport involves a squat-stance, it puts a demand on the quads. Pilate exercises help strengthen the hamstrings while rebalancing the body.
4. Injury Prevention
Strengthening, stabilising, and mobilising your joints can help prevent injuries. Many joints must twist and turn while skiing, particularly the knees, shoulders, ankles, wrists, and neck are susceptible to injury. Muscle fatigue can often result in head, neck, or shoulder injuries. Many times, injuries occur after the muscles are too fatigued to work properly. A Reformer Pilates class helps strengthen key muscle groups so your body is as prepared to hit the slopes as your mind is. When your muscles are prepared, they are not as likely to pull or tear while you are skiing.
Plan Your Pilates Retreat at The Residence @ The Pilates Reform!
Are you ready to reap the benefits of Pilates on the ski slope? Why not give your body a great pre or post ski retreat to improve body awareness, alignment, mobilising joints, improving overall fitness, and strengthening muscles. Schedule your Pilates retreat today!