Monday, 19 November 2012

Some great ways to get ready for the x-country ski season

    by Keith and Heather Nicol

Try a rocker board to improve balance

     An important skill to develop in all types of cross country skiing is balance. And the more you practice balancing exercises before you ski the easier it will be to find your balance on snow. Most of our summer activities like sea kayaking, hiking, or cycling may involve general components of balance but unfortunately this doesn’t transfer to x-country skiing. Therefore through the fall, we will practice on “balance boards” that are specifically designed to improve balance. This is an ideal exercise to do while watching T.V. and a favourite one is a rocker board (basically a square board that has a round piece of wood on the base). We will use one foot and try to balance on it for as long as possible until one edge of the board touches the ground. Be sure to alternate which foot you balance on. Another good balance board for x-c country skiers is the wobble board. It is well named and is a step above the rocker board in terms of difficulty. Again it is good for 1 footed balance exercises. Another board for practicing 2 footed balance is the Extreme Balance Board. As the name suggests this one is quite challenging. Check out Fitterfirst ( for more information for various balance boards. We have posted a video of various balance board exercises on You Tube at:
The Extreme Balance Board is good for developing 2 footed balance

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