Tips for Healthy Living

Tips for Healthy Living

We’ve partnered with III Pillars, a gym in Menlo Park which strives to create a one-on-one training facility. They believe that exercise, nutrition and restoration all play an equal role in achieving optimal health. I really like the energy and total commitment that both Ryan and Erik have to bring healthy living to our community. — Carmelo Sigona

Winter Sports Series: Strength & Stability

Preparing For the First Descent

By Ryan Manuel, BS, a ACSM Health Fitness Specialist, and Erik Heywood, BS, CSCS, CES, a Certified Metabolic Typing Adviser

Snow season is right around the corner.  Instead of just dreaming about the powdery days to come, start now by preparing yourself for a successful season. Just like any other sport, the training that you do prior to hitting the slopes can be the key factor between having a good day and a great day.  With the right training regimen, you will not only improve your performance on the mountain, but also decrease the likelihood of injury.

In our first Winter Sports Series, we will go over five great exercises that will challenge your strength and stability.  The following exercises target the whole body, but with special emphasis on the muscle groups used in such snow sports as skiing and snowboarding.  Balance and stability is very important since winter sports are done on the unstable surfaces of ice or snow.  You can also transform your basic exercises by challenging your balance and stability using tools like the bosu, wobble board, or even towels (refer to the Single leg step up as an example).

Start to Finish: Single Hand Narrow Stance Squat Row

Single Hand Narrow Stance Squat Row

This exercise is great for working on the stability of a narrow stance similar to the position held in skiing.  Start with feet about hips width apart or closer.  Sink down into a squat by moving your hips back and down and bending at the knees.  Make sure to keep the feet firmly planted.  As you lower down bring the weight in front of your feet with the elbow straight.  Drive with your legs to return to a standing position and at the same time row the weight to your side.

Start to Finish: Single Leg Step Up

Single Leg Step Up

Performing an exercise on one leg is a great way to really work on stability and balance.  You can also make it even more difficult by adding a towel under the balancing foot.  Start with both feet together.  Step back and lower your body by moving one leg behind you about the distance of one leg length.  Step up by driving with your front leg to stand upright and swing the back leg in front with knee level with your hips.  You can move your arms contra-laterally (if your left leg is in front, your right arm should be in front) or just place your hands on your hips.

Start to Finish: Windmill


This exercise is great for strengthening the shoulder girdle and abdomen.  Shoulder stability is important since falling in precarious positions can happen to even the best of us.  Begin by positioning yourself in a plank with your hands under the shoulders and your feet hips width apart.  Rotate your body over one arm and swing the free arm till your free hand points to the ceiling.  Slowly lower back down to the start position then repeat on the other side.  To make the exercise more difficult, add a push-up in between each windmill.

Start to Finish: Squat Pulldown

Squat Pulldown

The movement of this exercise mimics a very familiar motion in skiing.  You can use bands, pulley cables, and tubes as resistance for this exercise.  Start by standing vertically with both feet hips width apart and arms straight out in front.  Sink into a squat and swing the arms down by the hips.  Keep good posture and engage the shoulder blades together as you swing the arms down.

Start to Finish: Stationary Lunge Twist

Stationary Lunge Twist

Another great exercise to work on stability and balance but with a twist!  You can perform this exercise without any weight or with a dumbbell, medicine ball, or even holding an old milk jug container filled with water.  Stand in a lunge stance with the distance of one full leg length apart and the weight in front of your chest.  Lower your body towards to the floor and twist towards the direction of the lead leg.  Keep both knees steady and pointing forward as the twisting action may cause the knees to shift out of position.

If you’d like to see videos of the above exercises, please visit:

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