8 Moves to Get Ready for the Slopes

These low-impact and outside-the-box workouts will target muscle groups in your legs and core.

Ellie Houston | January 17, 2017

Planning to carve up some powder this season? Whether you ski or snowboard, it is important for your body to be strong and durable enough for the slopes. To help you get in downhill shape, Pilates ProWorks director of fitness Ellie Houston has developed a series of exercises for shred-ready muscles.

The below moves are inspired by Pilates ProWorks’ efficient, low-impact and outside-the-box workouts and target muscle groups in your legs and core.

  • Bridge Crunch

    Lie down on the floor on your back, with your left knee bent and your right hand planted next to your right hip. Roll up to sitting, press into your left foot and right hand to lift your butt off the floor, and connect your right fingertips to your left toes, drawing in through the abs. Roll back down to starting position.

    10 reps each side, 3 sets

    Targets: glutes, hamstrings, triceps, shoulders and abdominals

  • Hundred Variations

    Lie down on your back with your legs in a tabletop position. Extend your arms along your sides, roll your head, neck and shoulders up off the floor, and hold the deep abdominal contraction. Pump your hands up and down to challenge the stability of your crunch. Breathe in for a count of five, and breathe out for a count of five. Try various leg positions to challenge your core (scissors, V, extension).

    10 sets of 10 breaths, 3 sets 

    Targets: abdominals

  • Lateral Lunge

    Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your right leg and step out to the right, keeping your feet in lateral line with each other. Bend deeply into your right knee, keeping your weight in your heel. Lift your right leg and balance on your left leg, then extend your torso to horizontal and extend your right leg behind you so your body is shaped like a “T.”

    20 reps per side, 3 sets

    Targets: adductors, glutes, quads, back extensors and abdominals

  • Long Spine Twist

    Lie down on the floor on your back with your hands flat on the floor next to your hips. Contract your abs, lift your legs off the floor and roll up one vertebra at a time until your legs are vertical and just your midback is on the floor (Shoulderstand). Add a twist at the top, alternate sides.

    12 reps, 3 sets

    Targets: abdominals (oblique and transverse)

  • Mini Squat

    Begin in a low squat with your heels lifted and your arms extended. Lean back and slowly lower your knees to the floor until you are in a high kneeling position. Contract your abs and shift your weight back to the balls of your feet, lift your knees off the floor and return to starting position.

    15 reps, 3 sets

    Targets: glutes, quads and abdominals

  • Quad Plank

    Start in plank with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your left arm and right leg, and take a moment to find your balance. Exhale and contract your abs, bringing your left elbow and right knee together below the bellybutton. Alternate sides.

    12 reps, 3 sets

    Targets: shoulders, abdominals, quads, triceps and pecs

  • Bridge Thread the Needle

    Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and your feet planted. Lift your hips into a bridge position and extend your right leg straight out at a diagonal angle. Bend your right knee, thread your right foot underneath your left knee and extend back out at a diagonal.

    15 reps each side, 3 sets

    Targets: hamstrings and obliques  

  • Transverse Lunge

    Begin in a low runner’s lunge with your right leg forward and your left leg back. Place your fingertips on the floor, draw your navel in and lift your abdomen off your right quad so you can feel your transverse abdominals (side abs) contract. Maintain this contraction as you lightly tap the toes of your left (back) foot forward next to your right (standing) leg and back to your original stance. 

    20 reps per side, 3 sets 

    Targets: transverse abdominals, glutes, quads and hamstrings