6 Yoga Exercises Every Skier Needs to Know

Skiers are some of the strongest ath­letes in sport. And it’s not sur­pris­ing why: ski­ing com­bines near every ele­ment of fit­ness train­ing such as agili­ty, speed, strength, pow­er, endurance and flex­i­bil­i­ty. Which is why this high-ener­gy sport ben­e­fits from the slow and thought­ful prac­tice of yoga. Whether they’re head­ed down­hill or cross-coun­try, skiers need ade­quate upper and low­er body strength, flex­i­bil­i­ty and sta­mi­na. Below are some of the best strength­en­ing exer­cis­es for skiers.    


chair

Chair
Chair pose is a deep strength­en­er for the arms and legs while focus­ing on the pow­er­ful breath. This posi­tion is almost sim­i­lar to a down­hill ski­ing posi­tion, with the excep­tion of hav­ing arms over­head.

How to Per­form: Stand tall with feet togeth­er. Inhale, raise arms over­head and exhale the hips back, sim­i­lar to a squat posi­tion. Engage the core and hold for 30 to 60 sec­onds.


crescent lunge

Cres­cent Lunge
This posi­tion strength­ens the upper and low­er body, while chal­leng­ing the bal­ance since the back heel is lift­ed from the floor. It allows the core to remain engaged while inte­grat­ing mobil­i­ty of the hip.

How to per­form: Stand tall and step your right foot behind into a lunge posi­tion. Rotate your chest and hip to face for­ward and inhale, raise arms over­head. Relax shoul­ders away from the ears. Hold for 30 to 60 sec­onds before switch­ing sides.


warrior 3

War­rior 3
This posi­tion focus­es on pow­er­ful bal­anc­ing skills while strength­en­ing the core, gluteal and leg mus­cles. The inner and out­er thighs on the stance leg are required to acti­vate to keep the pelvis sta­ble and neu­tral.

How to Per­form: Stand tall and place your right toes on the floor behind the body. Raise arms to shoul­der height. Start to hinge for­ward from the hip, keep­ing the head and foot as a coun­ter­bal­ance. Once your body is near par­al­lel to the floor, extend arms over­head. Hold for 30 to 60 sec­onds before switch­ing sides.


triangle

Tri­an­gle
Tri­an­gle increas­es strength in the legs and mobil­i­ty in the hip, inner thighs and chest region. It over­all enhances flex­i­bil­i­ty and strength, which is ben­e­fi­cial for var­i­ous planes of move­ment, espe­cial­ly is skate ski­ing.

How to Per­form: Stand with feet three to four feet apart. Turn your right toes for­ward and keep the left par­al­lel or with the heel slight­ly kick­ing out. Inhale arms to shoul­der height and exhale arms to reach toward your right shin or the floor. Hold for 30 to 60 sec­onds before switch­ing sides. 


side angle

Side Angle
This pose deeply strength­ens the legs and core while inte­grat­ing mobil­i­ty between the hip and tho­racic spine.

How to Per­form: Stand with feet three to four feet apart. Turn your right toes for­ward and keep the left par­al­lel or with the heel slight­ly kick­ing out. Inhale arms to shoul­der height and bend your right knee to 90 degrees. Slow­ly, reach the right arm and chest for­ward to place the hand on the ground. The arm will be in front of the leg and next to the shin.


dolphin

Dol­phin
This posi­tion sta­bi­lizes and strength­ens the shoul­der-blade and arm region while length­en­ing the back­side of the body. This is ben­e­fi­cial for when the ski­er places poles into the ground and incor­po­rates move­ment pat­terns or sta­bil­i­ty when  

 How to Per­form: Start on all fours and place fore­arms on the ground. Inter­lock your fin­gers and curl your toes onto the mat. Slow­ly lift the hips and relax the heels toward the ground. Hold for 30 to 60 sec­onds.