Sarah's Series #3 - BASI exercises

5 exercises to master before you start you BASI training.

Before I start please let me take a moment to apologise for some of the pictures. I am not a high level athlete, nor am I able to perform some of the exercises correctly. BUT in each case I’ll point out what I’m doing wrong so you don’t, but at least the pictures give you a good idea!

This blog is definitely a “do as I say, not as I do”!!

And, If you feel you could be better but, even after doing lots of exercises, coaching and practice you don’t seem to be getting anywhere, it might be worth considering having a biomechanical assessment session with us.

Like me, you may have an area of weakness somewhere in your body, but you are not sure.

During a biomechanical assessment our physiotherapist will take a detailed history of your past and present sporting activities, level of skiing/boarding whether it be on or off piste, past injuries, general health and exercise regime. He or she will then carry out a detailed assessment looking at your posture, flexibility and strength throughout different muscle groups.

If any areas of weakness or restrictions are identified, addressing these can have a great effect on your skiing/boarding performance. All levels of skiers/boarders can benefit from this detailed analysis. Once the problem areas have been identified, goals can be set with you to develop a suitable exercise programme.

Watch out for our Blog on this subject in a few weeks time.

But, on to the exercises ………

1. Single leg squat

The single leg squat is good for, well, single leg strength! It often very quickly highlights any strength deficits that you might have as it works the complex muscles in the thighs and hip particularly hard.

Start standing on one leg.

Squat down keeping your opposite leg out to the front (called a pistol squat).

Try and complete a slow and controlled movement, keeping your knee in the same plane as your toes.

Try not the let your knee fall in or your hip fall out (what is happening in the picture).

If you find this exercise easy, try attempting on a bosu board (a video below shows fairly good form from when I was stronger and generally a better gym goer!).

BASI Single leg squat 1 and 2.jpg

2. Bar lowers

Start sat with legs either bent or straight out in front of you.

Bar held in both hands above the head, with your shoulder blades squeezed behind you and your chest “proud”.

Start to lower your torso backwards by curling down to the floor one vertebrae at a time, and whilst lowering the bar in front of you.

When the bar becomes level with your face, lift both feet off the floor and continue to lower your trunk to the floor.

Once the trunk has hit the floor, and with legs still elevated, perform a sit up to come back into your starting position.

On your sit up at the end of the movement, try not to thrust the bar forward to use momentum to come into sitting. Utilise your string abdominals to lift your torso back up.

Basi Bar raise 1, 2 and 3.jpg

3. Skater jump

Start on your right leg in a half single leg squat position with the trunk flexed forward.

Jump to the left onto the left leg and drop down into a single leg squat on the left leg.

Try to keep your knee over your toes and don’t allow it to fall in or your hip to fall out.

(Historically I am very weak around my hips so notice in the photo (more prominent when stood on my left leg) that my standing leg hip sways out to the side. The knee alignment here remains fairly good in this photo but notice in the video below that this is not maintained throughout the movement)

Basi Skater jump 1 and 2.jpg

4. Side plank twists

A good core strength is essential to all parts of skiing. However, good core and trunk stability must also be maintained during movements on unstable ground and where the legs are moving in a different direction in relation to the pelvis. This means that core strength must also be maintained through a dynamic movement.

Start in your side plank position on a fully extended arm.

Twist your torso so that the upper arm tucks under the supporting arm and points behind you.

The photo demonstrates well, but I am only able to complete ¾ of the movement. A full rotation would go further.

Basi side plank twist 1 and 2.jpg

Be careful not to lift your hips during the movement as is demonstrated in this picture.

Basi side plank twist 3.jpg

5. Single leg star squats

Start in the middle of an imaginary 8 pointed cross on the floor, stood on one leg.

Using a slow and controlled movement, reach one leg as far along each imaginary line as you can.

Pictured is forward and to each side but you can also do diagonally forward/backward and directly behind you.

(You can see I really struggle with the lateral ones – the concentrating face gives it away. Also both hip and knees on both sides fall out, there’s a poor foot position and the fist clenching is an associated reaction) DEFINITELY do as a say NOT as I do!!

Basi single leg star squat 1 and 2.jpg
Basi single leg star squat 3 and 4.jpg

Follow these five exercises above and you will go a long way in preparing yourself to successfully follow your BASI course.

Good Luck!

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