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Get Ready for the Slopes: Personal Trainer Brandi Bissonnette Gives us the 411

Sep 20, 2017 04:08PM ● By Linda Ditch
Ski season is fast approaching. Along with getting your skis and snowboard ready for the mountains, now’s the time to get your body ready. Otherwise, your first trip to the slopes may be your last, thanks to a torn muscle or tendon.

Personal trainer Brandi Bissonnette, owner of Bizzy Bodies Fitness in Piermont, New Hampshire, says in an email, “Skiing generally involves the whole body. However, the muscles in the lower body are the most engaged. . . . Skiing involves constantly shifting the body’s weight from leg to leg. Therefore, a skier must be able to hold full body weight on a single leg, stabilize the body when doing so, and have the full range of motion, especially in the feet and ankles, to be able to maintain the skier stance.”

Brandi advises that your preseason workout should include exercises focused on leg strength training, core stability, and lower-body stretching (including the feet) to avoid injury.  She adds, “During skiing, most of the muscles used contract eccentrically, meaning the muscle lengthens as it contracts. Additionally, the speed of the contraction is relatively slow. Given these two factors, training your body for ski season should focus on lower-body muscle groups and performing exercises slowly and controlled in eccentric movements, thus simulating the action of skiing.”

She recommends the following exercises for your ski prep:

  • Single leg stand – This will help with balance and practices holding the body’s weight on one leg.
  • Elbow plank – Great exercise for overall body strength. However, holding the plank on the elbows focuses more on the core than the upper body.
  • V-sit hold – This will help mainly with core strengthening, both abdominal and lower back.
  • Wall sit – This exercise is all about legs! It mimics sitting in a chair minus the chair. The legs will burn, but it helps strengthen quadriceps effectively.
  • Standing side leg raise or hip abduction – These can be done with a resistance band around the ankles to add a greater challenge.
  • Bridge – This exercise may seem easy at first, but the hamstrings will let you know they are working after a few repetitions. An added benefit to this move is that you can really engage the core and glutes when lifting into the top position.
  • Standing adductor sweep – The inner thighs can be tough to fatigue/strengthen in comparison to the hips. By angling the toes out and moving the leg across the body, not only are you working the leg adductors— there is also a core/balance component here too.
  • Stretching – Overall body stretching is ideal. With limited time, focus on legs and feet.

To learn more about Brandi Bissonnette and Bizzy Bodies Fitness, go to her website,

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