Every couple of years we head out west and hit the slopes with my dad and brother. (Both of whom ski circles around me. Literally, I think they could ski actual circles. LOL)
The first time back skiing after having my second I was really worried about how my pelvic floor would handle skiing, but it did great. Actually, better than great. Just had a little pelvic floor tightness to work though from the sudden increase in a different type of exercise, but that’s to be expected. So, if you’re worried about that ski trip you have planned, don’t worry quite so much, I think it’s one of the easier sports to get back into postpartum.
This year I’m determined to show up for skiing with the attempt to keep up with family! LOL. This means a lot more leg work added to my normal climbing heavy exercise routine. Climbing is such a great sport, but it doesn’t get you ready for skiing. I wanted to share a couple of my favorite ski ready exercises in case you have a trip planned for later this season.
- Warm-up with side to side lunges with hip rotation but no dumping. The challenge of not dumping makes this exercise harder than it seems. Check out the tutorial video to see what I mean by dumping.
- Lunges with wall press. I love lunges! If you really focus on sitting into your front glute, this exercise can be amazing for both the glutes and quads. Push away with your front foot for more quad burn or pull under with your front foot for more hamstring activation. You can change the intensity of what muscles are working by changing the force direction. It almost makes it an entirely different exercise. If your knee ever bothers you with lunges, definitely try pulling back on your front foot vs pushing, that can help!
- Assisted Single Leg squat with weight. I love this exercise for getting an amazing quad burn. (Which I know I’ll have about halfway down a double black mogul run. Must push through the pain… lol. Anyway, it’s probably the attitude that will probably take me out first.)
- Forward jumps. This exercise gets you ready for absorbing forces. Downhill skiing and quick turns require a lot of force absorption. For these, you want to make sure your knees don’t cave in at all on the landing and you land quietly like a panther. The quieter the more force absorption = the more you get out of the exercise.
- Speed Skaters. These have been a favorite since my college track days! I love sticking the landing and exploding back out. One of the unique things that I’m trying to do here is to get lots of midback rotation and a big reach. I love the added balance challenge the reaching creates.
- SL Ankle Weight Shifts while holding a Single Leg Squat. This exercise may also seem simple but is great prep work for skiing. If you’ve skied before, you know how much your lower legs can burn trying to carve those turns. For this one, think about flattening your arch and then re-engaging it. The more range of motion you go through without your pelvis moving, the better! A little quad burn is also good. 🙂 Got to get ready for those moguls, remember.
There are so many great exercises to strengthen the lower body, but these are worth a try if you’re getting ready to hit the slopes.
A few last things to keep in mind. Volume matters. So, don’t do 4 sets of 12 right out of the gait. Start with 2-3 sets of 6-8 and work up, increasing volume every few weeks. Also, try not to increase the number of reps and sets together with the amount of weight. You aren’t going to get strong with one workout and you’re more likely to improve strength faster over time if you don’t get hurt.
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