Balancing Act

Performance on the hill depends on a lot more than just strength and stamina.

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It’s one of the most fundamental skills in skiing, yet it often goes overlooked in the gym: balance training. We take it for granted that we can stand balanced on our skis, but balance isn’t finite. It’s not only a question of if you are balanced on your skis, but how well. You may have a balanced athletic stance when you ski intermediate groomed runs, but can you remain balanced when the pitch or snow conditions suddenly change? Even professional skiers continue to work on balance and proprioception—awareness of your body within space—because the better your balance, the better your ability to react to changing conditions.

“Skiing is probably one of the best sports to see how proprioception comes into play,” says Connie Sciolino, owner and head coach of the Alpine Training Center in Boulder, Colo. “While skiing, conditions, terrain, and weather are all factors that are constantly changing and factors we must react to and adapt to on the fly.” So how can you train balance and proprioception off the hill? Get acquainted with a Bosu ball. This versatile piece of equipment can be used in many ways, but no matter how you use it, you’ll challenge stabilizer muscles big and small. Bonus: A Bosu offers a low-impact modification for plyo moves.

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Bosu Ball Movements

Squat + Squat Jump

Bosu squat
A Bosu SquatPhoto credit: Keri Bascetta
  • Starting Position: Stand on ball, feet hip-width apart. Lower to squat, keeping head and chest forward, knees over ankles.
  • Move To: From squat, push off of Bosu to explode straight into the air; land back on Bosu in squat position.

Bosu Pistol Squat

Bosu Pistol Squat
Bosu Pistol SquatPhoto credit: Keri Bascetta
  • Stand on Bosu and shift weight onto right leg, making sure right foot is centered on ball. Slowly bend right leg and push hips back to lower into pistol squat. Engage glutes, hamstring, quad, and core to return to standing.

Bosu Reverse Lunge

Bosu reverse lunge
A reverse lunge using a bosu ball.Photo credit: Keri Bascetta
  • Start Position: Stand on ball with feet centered.
  • Move To: Shift weight onto right leg and step back off the Bosu with left leg into lunge; left knee drops directly down towards floor, right quad is at 90 degrees. Hold for balance, then return to standing. Complete reps on one leg before switching sides.

Lateral Hop Across Bosu

Bosu Ball Lateral Hop
A bosu lateral hop.Photo credit: Keri Bascetta
  • Start Position: Stand next to Bosu, feet hip-width apart.
  • Move to: Soften knees and jump laterally onto Bosu and land in squat (for extra challenge, land on single leg). Hold for balance.
  • Push off of Bosu to hop and land back in squat on other side of Bosu. That’s one rep. Repeat towards other side to return to start position.

Alternating Lunge Jumps

Bosu ball lunge
Alternating lunge jump movements using a Bosu ball.Photo credit: Keri Bascetta
  • Start position: Get into lunge position, back foot on floor and forward foot centered on ball.
  • Move to: Push off both feet to explode straight into the air; switch legs midair to land back in lunge position, other foot forward. Hold for balance, then repeat.

Bosu Ball Workouts

Beginner (4 sets)

  • 10x squats
  • 20 sec. squat hold
  • 10x squat jumps
  • 20 sec. squat hold
  • 30 sec. rest

Intermediate (4 sets)

  • 10x reverse lunges (per side)
  • 10x squat jumps
  • 10x lateral hops across Bosu
  • 30 sec. rest

Advanced (4 sets)

  • 5x pistol squats (per side)
  • 10x alternating lunge jumps
  • 10x single-leg lateral hops across Bosu (per side)
  • 30 sec. rest

SKI Mag is now a part of Active Pass, where you can find even more great fitness plans, recipes, and more. Sign up today.

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