7 Exercises to Help Define Your Core for Ski Season

Your core muscles serve a variety of purposes from posture to improving athletic performance. Contrary to popular belief, defining your core does not have to be a daunting challenge and can be marginally improved by introducing a few movements into your fitness routine. As we enter ski season, core-work is coming back into focus, and we want to make sure that you are in your best shape with the ski lifts start turning in Beaver Creek on November 22, 2017. With the help of our trainer Kara Wickman, we have selected a few exercises from each plane of movement to help you start defining and developing your core today.

The bridge is a great exercise that will help you start activating the core muscle group. This exercise engages your abs, hips and lower back offering a boost in flexibility and muscle development.

How To: Start the exercise with your back flat on the ground and then engage your core to lift your lower back off the ground.

Bird Dog
Another great way to introduce yourself to core-defining exercises is with the Bird Dog. As you complete this movement, it is important to keep your torso engaged and not let it hang down. Maintain a neutral position in your spine so not to sway from side to side.

How To: Starting on your hands and knees, extend one leg and the opposite arm outwards at the same time. After pausing for a moment, return to your hands and knees and extend the other arm and leg.

Your core is not just in front, but also extends to your back; the swimmer exercise is a great one to engage the posterior muscles in your core. Throughout the motions, try to keep your arms and legs fully extended, and your core engaged.

How To: Start by laying on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you, off the ground and your legs hovering off the ground, bring your arms down to your side then back up above your head.

Dead Bugs
This particular exercise will help with the stabilizing of the spine as well as stimulate proper breathing with contralateral core movement. The dead bug is a great core exercise and transfers into day to day movements helping to prevent back strains from activities such as lifting.

How To: Laying on your back with your arms and legs lifted, extend opposite leg and arm at the same time, briefly hold, return to starting position then repeat with the other arm and leg.

Stability ball roll-outs
Upping the difficulty, another way to improve your core is by introducing a great prop. Stability ball roll-outs require you to hold your core throughout a range of movement. As you get more comfortable and your core gets stronger, you can widen the range of motion of this exercise. Pro Tip: Coordinate the move with your breathing – exhale as you extend, inhale as you bring the ball back to the starting position.

How To: Starting with the ball in front of you sitting on your knees, roll the ball forward extending your torso into a line.

Stationary Lunge with Woodchop
This variation on lunges adds in a medicine ball as an added element to activate the core. Through this one simple movement you are not only engaging your core but your legs as well.

How To: Start in a forward lunge, raise the medicine ball over your head to one side and bring the ball down across your body.

Side Plank with Leg Kick
The side plank with the leg kick is not a basic exercise, but worth the effort. The side plank is a full-body pose strengthening the core, arms, legs and improving balance at the same time. As you extend your leg, remember to maintain the space in between your side plank and the floor!

How To: Starting in side plank, slightly raise your top leg and extend it forward bringing your free arm down to meet your leg.

To schedule a training session with Kara, call the Club at Allegria Spa at 970-827-6660.