Get your Legs Powder Ready!
Strong legs are essential for winter sports, with huge numbers of skiers and snowboarders suffering knee and lower limb injuries each season….and most of these injuries are due to muscle weakness and fatigue.
There are two main areas you need to address when performing leg exercises that aim to prevent the risk of you injuring them, these being muscle strength and endurance. Improving the strength and endurance of your primary leg muscles (hamstrings, quadriceps and calves) will help ensure the integrity of your joints, such as your knee and ankle joints, is maintained when large external forces are applied. It will also mean that you will excel in deep powder days when the leg muscles can fatigue and loss power quickly.
This exercise can be performed simply against your own body weight (beginner) or with dumbbells providing added resistance (intermediate to advanced). Complete the exercise a total of three times, performing it 12 to 15 times each time (3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions). Perform the exercise a minimum of three days per week.
1) Start by standing straight and with your feet shoulder width apart and shoulders set back (dumbbells held in hands by side of the body if using them)
2) Slowly bend an equal amount at your hips and knees and ensure that you maintain a nice flat and straight back during the entire range of the exercise….do not just bend at the knees, bend at the hips too and stick your buttocks out so that you keep your knees behind the tips of your toes and the natural curves of your spine.
3) Slowly continue to bend at the hips and knees and lower yourself towards the ground, performing the exercise to a depth that you are comfortable and confident that you can return to the starting position from without losing your technique.
4) Never perform the exercise to a depth that means that your hips and buttocks are below being parallel with your knees.
5) Slowly push back up to the starting position using your leg muscles only….if your are performing with body weight only do not rest your hands on your thighs and push up using your arms also.
Recommended breathing pattern as you perform the exercise is inhale on relaxation (as you squat down) and exhale on exertion (as you push back up and return to the starting position
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