The Simple Plan: Part Three

Core

A ski rack basks in the sun     Photo: Digital Vision/Getty

AVOID THE KNIFE

Here's how to prevent the most common ski and snowboard injuries, according to Laura Keller, director of rehabilitation at San Francisco's Stone Clinic. INJURY: Torn anterior cruciate ligament from backward falls. BEAT IT: Do squats and lunges to strengthen the muscles around your knee. And stay forward: Skiing from the backseat can stress your knee ligaments. INJURY: Fractured tibial plateau from increased mechanical forces generated by quicker-turning deep-sidecut skis. BEAT IT: When using new skis, start slowly: If you attempt to jam deep-sidecut skis into turns like you would straighter skis, you'll lock them into an arc your body can't follow. INJURY: Fractured wrist from falling onto an outstretched arm when your snowboard's edge catches. BEAT IT: Get your board tuned with a one-to-two-degree base bevel, which will make your edges less grabby.
—S.M.

Part Three: Core
Start with three workouts per week, at five to ten minutes each (save time by doing them before or after strength sessions). For each workout, do two to three sets of the exercises below at six to eight reps each. After a month, you'll be strong enough toincrease the reps to the 10–12 range. Add more sets as you become stronger. By the end of month three, you should be doing three sets of 10–12 reps five times per week. Each session should take 10–20 minutes.

BALL CRUNCH (UPPER ABS): Performing crunches on an exercise ball requires balance, so it's a great workout for skiers. Lie on your back over the ball, with your spine following the ball's curve. Slowly sit up and don't allow the ball to roll under your hips.

CAPTAIN'S CHAIR (LOWER ABS): Grip the handholds on the captain's chair at your gym and stabilize your back against the chair back, legs hanging down. Lift your knees in toward your chest, then return to the starting position. Don't want to go to the gym? Do bicycles. Lie on your back, knees bent, hands clasped behind your neck. Alternately touch each elbow to your opposite knee as you bring the knee in.

CABLE WOODCHOP (OBLIQUES): At the gym, do this key core-building exercise with the cable machine. At home, use a dumbbell or elastic exercise tubing. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees bent. Your right shoulder should be next to the pulley on the cable machine, or the tree or wall where you've attached the tubing. Grab the handle with both hands and rotate to the left and down. When your hands reach your left thigh, reverse the motion. Do all reps on one side, then switch sides.

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