Here are some my favourite weighted / or compound exercises that I use myself and with athletes to build strength prior to snowboarding (although also good base exercises for skiing). Building strength not only helps performance or reduce that leg burn, but can also help reduce incidence of injury.
These exercises are for those people with exercise experience. Always start light (even without weight) and focus on good body form and posture. Here are just 4 exercises for skiers and snowboarders, so get training, get ready, winters on……
JEFFERSON SQUAT: If a snowboarder, use your snowboard stance. Otherwise stand with your slightly turned out, especially your front foot (find your stance that feels good on your knees). Keep your core engaged and spine neutral. Ensure weight is evenly distributed between your feet and use your glutes to return to standing. Repeat, by turning 180 degrees the other direction.
RDL: Start with feet roughly shoulder width apart. Makes sure to set a neutral spine and ‘set’ or engage your scapula. Keeping core engaged use your glutes and hamstrings to keep the bar close to your body and smoothly move into a standing position. This exercise focuses on your hamstrings and glutes…..even though we often only seem to feel the burn in the quads muscles, these muscles are extremely important in providing stability – especially to the knees while skiing.
FRONT SQUAT: Stand with feet shoulder width apart, or your snowboard stance. The bar should feel light on your hands/rested on your shoulders. I particularly like this exercise as it develops body control in keeping upright, and not being allowed to collapse forwards – important when hitting uneven or challenging terrain. Again, keep a neutral spine, core engaged and shift hips backwards to squat. Aim as far as comfortable – ideally towards 90 degrees. Engage glutes to return.
OVERHEAD SQUAT: Start with the bar above head – having the hands a little wider apart helps. Begin by setting your shoulder blades (think to slide them down your back). Keeping core engaged and head forwards, perform a squat. Watch knees don’t collapse in. Again this helps develop balance and control and the muscles that help prevent you falling forwards or collapsing.
Depending on what your aim is (more strength or strength endurance) , will determine how many sets/reps you complete. As a guide think between 4-6 reps for mid range strength and 3 -4 sets. These exercises are not prescriptive ; always seek advice of a professional, or get in touch with myself for any advice, or injury specific related concerns. Happy training 🙂