Q: I’m interested in adding some winter sports (skiing, skating, snowboarding) to my cardio routine. What Pilates exercises would best prepare my body for these activities?
A: I am an avid skier and snowboarder myself and have been enjoying an epic season up on Mt. Hood, Oregon. Undoubtedly, all Pilates exercises are good for general conditioning and preparing you for peak performance and injury prevention. I am a strong advocate of the mat work. As one of my assistants often says, “there is fit and there is mat fit”. I agree; a good mat work session is hard to beat for developing core strength and control, both essential for winter sports.
When it comes to conditioning specifically for winter sports, the lower body needs a boost, and there is no apparatus better at providing that turbo-charged boost than the Wunda Chair. Exercises like the Forward Lunge, Backward Step-down (aka Mountain Climbing) and the foot work on the Wunda Chair are all exceptional for building up leg strength and endurance. The sensation of completing a good leg workout on the Wunda Chair is very similar to that of completing a good solid run on the slopes . . . just imagine the powder flying up all around you!