Q&A: Expert Commentary From Max Smith

question I’ve been skiing for years, but I would like to try snowboarding this year. I work out regularly in the gym, but is there any particular exercise I should be doing to prepare for snowboarding?

answerA programme preparing for such a sport as skiing or snowboarding really should contain the king of lower body exercises, the squat. No other exercise when performed correctly can offer as many benefits toward increasing strength and other aspects of skill-related fitness such as balance, agility and coordination. Try to progressively increase the depth of your squat to ensure the glutes get a workout and concentrate on lowering yourself slowly so the hamstrings running down the back of the legs get used to carrying your weight. You’ll be mimicking the position you are in when skiing and snowboarding so the practice will ensure your muscles know what to do when you’re out on the slopes. Begin standing with your feet roughly shoulder width apart, looking straight ahead bend your knees and sit back distributing your weight over your heels. If this is too tricky to begin with try holding a weight in front of you to help you balance.

Max Smith is a personal trainer at Virgin Active Kensington; www.virginactive.co.uk

Fitness Professionals