Whether it’s cold weather or some other reason (eg. being stuck inside due to a pandemic) finishing the waterski season always seems to come too soon. When you can’t get on the water there are plenty of waterski fitness exercises to do at home during the off season. Our favourite waterski training exercises can be done at home without expensive gym equipment and will keep you fit and ready to ski while the boat is stuck in the shed.
Solid core strength is one of the most important aspects of waterski and wakeboard fitness. From getting out of the water to stacking your body through the wakes, having a strong core is crucial. Planks are an easy way to increase your core strength for waterskiing and wakeboarding. Make sure to engage your legs and keep your back straight. Try side planks and single leg planks as well to really get your core working.
Ring rows are perfect for waterski core strength and will work your grip strength at the same time. You don’t need any equipment, just wrap your ski handle around a tree and start lifting yourself. The further back you lean, the better the workout!
Having a good yoga routine is another easy way to increase core strength for waterskiing. Downward dog, boat pose, cat pose, hand/knee pose and high lunge pose are all great core enhancing moves. Yoga increases your flexibility as well so you’re way less likely to get injuries.
For wakeboarders and trick skiers, trampoline training is the best way to gain confidence in the air. Pro wakeboarders spend a lot of time trampoline training to practice and learn new tricks. Your old backyard tramp is fine to use for off season training and all you need is a nearby anchor (such as a tree) for your wakeboard handle. With a good wakeboard trampoline setup you can practise anything from handle passes to inverted tricks. Be safe and stay within your ability. Learning some basic gymnastic moves first will give you better body control and greatly reduce your risk of injury. If you don’t have a trampoline you can still practice handle-passing by tying a weight to the end of your wakeboard handle and spinning it around your body.
Any cardiovascular training is good for waterski and wakeboard fitness. Just going for a run or a cycle will prevent fatigue so you can waterski longer. Waterskiing and wakeboarding are an intense, sprint-like activitie so try to emulate this with your cardio. Interval training, where you work at maximum output for short periods, is the best way to mimic riding behind a boat. Try sprinting for 30 seconds to a minute, then jogging for a minute before sprinting again, repeating as many times as you can. Do this a couple of times a week and you’ll never be puffed out behind the boat again!
Training your hands to be strong on the handle makes waterskiing and wakeboarding so much easier. Try doing pull-ups with a towel wrapped around the bar so your hands have to work harder. Farmer walks are another great way to increase grip strength for waterskiing. To do them, just walk in a straight line for as long as you can holding weights in each hand. Dumbbells or any heavy objects with handles will work for this exercise. The heavier they are, the more effective the grip training!
Finding time to do these simple exercises on land will pay off big time on the water. You'll be stronger in the water and way less likely to get injured. If you can’t get on the water right now you might as well get prepared for the next time.
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