The ski season is underway and many have already started hitting the slopes. With the limited number of activities available to us this winter, downhill skiing is a perfect way to get some fresh air, enjoy the snow, and get moving.
Although downhill skiing may seem simple at first glance, it is a physically demanding sport and a great way to exercise your lower body. There are significant demands on the abdominals, glutes, and thigh muscles, as well as those of the ankle. Skiing also puts a lot of stress on the knees, although it is not bad for this joint.
Due to the physical demands of the sport, poor physical preparation can lead to sore muscles or irritate your knees during or after skiing. Strengthening exercises and a good warm-up are important in order to better prepare your body and avoid pain.
A great exercise to include in your strengthening routine and warm up is the squat. This exercise is very similar to the positions you find yourself in when downhill skiing. The squat provides an overall strengthening of the lower body and recruits muscles that are important when skiing. You can perform a few repetitions of this exercise while waiting for your first ride. Also, during your first descent, exaggerate the movement and turn it into a squat in order to move in a greater amplitude and better prepare your muscles.
If you are not sure how to perform this movement well or want to learn more about the squat, we invite you to read our column on this exercise.