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Get Fit For Ski Season: Core

Posted On: November 24, 2016 |
Work those abs! Your guide to pre-season fitness by certified personal trainer and Ski School instructor Paula Buchanan.


Core strength is paramount to an injury-free and successful season on snow. Many tend to overlook the core and focus primarily on legs. Skiing and snowboarding requires a great sense of balance and stability, which you can generate through your core.

Deadbug Exercise

Beginners can start on the floor. This will support your back as you alternate extending opposite legs and arms, hovering above the floor. To increase the challenge of this core exercise, practice balancing on the bosu in the starting position of dead bug (arms straight in the air above chest, knees bent at 90 degrees).

Take it to the next level:
Once you can balance successfully in this position on the bosu for 30-45 seconds, practice extending your opposite leg and arm at the same time. Hold for 1-2 seconds on each side while breathing normally. Perform 7-10 repetitions per side.

Deadbug 1          Deadbug 2


Planks are amazing exercises for developing core strength. Not only do they work the abdominals and obliques, but they also strengthen all of the musculature surrounding your spine. There are many plank variations that you can use to keep your core workout interesting. Here, I demonstrate the hip drop plank.

While performing a plank it is important to keep all of your muscles engaged and tightened. Imagine that you are extending your head forward, and shooting your heels backward. Watch that your low back does not dip, this will put a dangerous load on your spinal column. Build up your planking time gradually. Plank until failure, which means until you break form.

Plank 1           Plank 2

Spin & Barre

Get a great cardio workout, improve flexibility and strengthen muscles by taking Spin or Barre classes. This season, Big White is offering season passholders two-for-one Spin/Barre classes in conjuction with RYDERS Spin-Barre. Click here to get the deal.


Regular flexibility training has been proven to reduce injury. By stretching regularly, you can increase your mobility, enhance athletic performance and experience pain free movement. Be sure to hold stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds and breathe deeply for the most benefit. You can repeat stretches everyday. Here are some of my favorite stretches for ski season...

Thread The Needle Stretch

L- Stretches the muscles surrounding your hip joint (Glute Minimus and Medius, Piriformis)ie on your back. Place one ankle over your opposite knee. Reach through the hole created and pull your thigh towards you. You can also use your elbow to place outward pressure on your knee to deepen the stretch.

Thread the needle stretch

Supine Hamstring Stretch

Lie flat on your back. Use a towel, belt or any other band to wrap around the bottom of your foot. While laying down, pull your leg straight into the air and breathe deeply. You will feel a stretch down the back of your leg. If you place the band on the ball of your foot and use it to pull your toes down, you will get an increased stretch through your calves. Many people’s hamstrings can be very tight, and in some people can contribute to back pain. This is a wonderful, passive stretch that you can hold for quite some time while watching TV or relaxing at home.

Suspine stretch

Quad/Hip Flexor Stretch

Kneel on one knee (you can place a folded towel or small pillow under your knee for comfort), while placing the opposite leg out front, knee bent at 90 degrees. Lean into the stretch, and lift the arm on the same side of the kneeling leg to increase the stretch. Protect your lower back by engaging your core and tucking your tailbone under. This will prevent you from overextending your spine and will increase the stretch.

Hamstring stretch

Foam Rolling

I always recommend a good foam rolling session at the end of the day. You can also roll your muscles with a Lacrosse ball to get more pressure deeper into the tissues. Foam rolling will help increase your mobility, and heal painful and tight spots in your body.


You can book ski lessons with Paula this season by contacting the Ski School:

Direct: (250) 491-6101    Toll Free: 1-866-491-9040    Email:



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