So with Christmas over and 2009 underway it's time to get serious about that fitness programme. Remember way back in 2008 we told you about the Coolboard? Well it's a great piece of kit for skiers and snowboarders, plus it's fun, it's portable and just a few minutes a day can help improve your balance skills, core strength and get those muscles fired up for the slopes. Part 1 of the Coolboard programme gave you the basic standing balance exercise and tilt squats. Part 2 shows you lunges and calf raises. Exercises have been devised by Adam Powell of Powell Fitness.
Lunges: The Lunge is a great exercise that works all of the muscles in the legs and hips and will benefit both skiers and snowboarders. Set up is the same as the Tilt Squats.
Place one foot in the middle of the Coolboard and the other behind you. Make sure that both feet are pointing forwards.
Keep your weight evenly between heel and toe, keep your shoulders level looking forward all the time. Focus on dropping your back knee straight down. Your front knee will automatically bend and check that it doesn’t track over your toe line.
Your back heel should be off the floor when doing the lunge.
Remember the lower you go the greater the effort required, keep your core muscles fired up and ensure good form for every repetition.
Aim for a maximum of 20 reps each leg and 3 sets. Progression is from 1 set of 10 reps upwards. Also look to do pulses and holds at various angles looking to increase your time each session.
Advanced option: The dynamic lunge is where you jump and switch legs before landing. This requires 100% commitment and good co-ordination. It will also get your heart racing. Aim for a period of time rather than reps eg. 30 seconds, 60 seconds, hardcore is 2 minutes plus.
Calf Raises: The calf raise helps strengthen the lower leg whilst working on the stabiliser muscles around the ankle. Even though ski and snowboard boots are very supportive it is still important to train the whole leg and not just focus on the thigh muscles. Set up is the same as the Tilt Squats.
Place both feet on the Coolboard with your heels just touching the floor. If your balance isn’t great you can do this exercise near a wall or table so you can help steady yourself.
Keeping your legs straight and keeping your knees straight lift your heels up and imagine you are trying to pull your heels towards your calf muscles.
Aim for a maximum of 20 reps and 3 sets. Progression is from 1 set of 10 reps upwards. Also look to do pulses to add variety.
Advanced option Single leg calf raise places more emphasis on one leg. Tuck your foot behind the heel of one leg and focus on raising up and down on just one leg. This really loads up the muscles of the lower leg and into the stabiliser muscles around the ankle and really taxes your balance. You should find you will tire a lot sooner.
If you would like to know more about CoolBoard, click here, http://www.coolboard.co.uk, and if you would like to arrange a training session with Adam, call 07917 765372 or visit http://www.powellfitness.co.uk . Adam can train you in person at home or at his Fitness Studio if you’re local, or arrange a long distance training program.