Arm Exercises For Skiing
At first you may think why on earth do I need strong arms for skiing, apart from carrying my skis? But think about the overall effect of stronger arms (and shoulders) as part of a toned and stronger body and you'll see why it can help your skiing too. Also, what about cross country skiing?
Strong arms not only look good, they are functional after all. So bicep and tricep exercises are a muscle group not to forget for your training program.
For skiers in particular, strong triceps will help with poling, and if you are tempted to try cross-country skiing, they are essential as they will help you use your poles to ascend those hills.
As part of your fitness workout, the exercises you will use to strengthen your arms will also help to engage the surrounding muscles like the shoulders and of course the core - all of which will make you stronger and fitter for your time on the slopes.
As with any muscle group, you have to be sure you work both parts of a muscle group equally to avoid imbalance - this means working both the biceps and the triceps.
The biceps and triceps perform pretty basic movements - the biceps are responsible for curling the lower arm in towards the upper arm, while the triceps are responsible for straightening the arm back out.
Exercises for Biceps
All bicep exercises involve some type of curling motion. There are several varieties of curls, depending on the equipment you have available.
The most effective are those that use free weights, either bar bells or dumbbells - these allow the arm to move through a more natural range of motion, and also involve a variety of peripheral muscles.
Sit at the end of a bench with legs apart and your elbow resting against your inner thigh. Lean forward slightly and hold the dumbbell with your palm facing outwards.
Begin to slowly curl your bicep to bring the weight towards you, squeezing your bicep at the top of the motion. As you come towards the top of the motion try to rotate your hand slightly outwards, this causes more stress at the head of the bicep.
Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
For two hand cable curl, set up a lower pulley cable bar. Stand up almost straight with legs very slightly bent. Face the weights square on and make sure you are fairly close to the pulley machine.
With your elbows at your side, slowly curl the bar up using both arms, until your forearms are vertical, then tightten the muscles and curl a short distance close to your body. Then lower until the arms are fully extended. Repeat.
3 sets of 8-10 reps.
There is a great variety of exercise for the triceps, all involving some form of pushing, or straightening of the arm.
You can either achieve this using a machine, or with free weights you can lie on a bench and allow gravity to help work the triceps.
Among the most popular of triceps exercises, they are performed using the upper attachment on a cable machine, and involve pressing downwards to straighten the arm.
Stand tall square on to the pulley machine. Keep your elbows tucked in tight to the body and then slowly push the bar down to fully extend your arms. Don't push too big a weight and you'll get excellent results from this exercise.
3 sets of 10 reps.
These are a great alternative to the machine tricep pushdowns. Put two benches about a metre apart, then sit on one bench and put your feet on the other.
Then, on the bench you are sitting on, place the heels of your hands right on the edge of the bench by your bottom and slowly lower your body into the gap between the benches until your arms form an angle of 90 degrees. Then slowly push back upwards to the start position.
Performing three sets of 10-12 reps of these biceps and triceps exercises will increase your strength and help get you ready for the slopes.
Now you know what's good for working those arms, check out our other exercises as well as our fitness programs to help you to stay top of your game.