words: Leslee Bender | photos: Todd Ristorcelli
If you’re like most mid-season water skiers, you probably sound like a broken record, constantly complaining about lower-back pain or tight hips. Shortened hip flexors and calf muscles can wreak havoc on your back. It’s time to stop punishing your body! Work these four exercises into your daily routine for more agile and functional movement not only on the water, but in everyday activities.
With your right foot planted inward, step forward, with your left foot on top of the transom of the boat, and extend your arms up straight above your head. Then drive your right hip forward, sideways, and in a circular motion 10 times. To modify the exercise, try the movements with your hands on your hips. Repeat with your right leg forward.
This is a great exercise for amazing wake crossings, because it will get your hips up. Extend your right leg behind you, and place your foot and shin on the engine cover. Lift your arms straight above your head, and drive your right hip forward, side to side, and in a circular motion 10 times. To work on your balance, try doing the exercise with your hands on your hips.
Drop into your turns like never before with this hip-releasing stretch! Lean over the engine box with your right leg flexed and positioned in front of you, and drive your hips forward. Hold this position for 10 seconds. To increase your flexibility and add intensity, move your hips from side to side.
Strong, flexible hamstrings are imperative for water skiers to reach their peak performance. Extend your left leg over the engine box and reach slightly forward while maintaining a flat back. Slowly rotate the leg extended in front of you back and forth for 10 reps. For optimal hamstring lengthening, rotate your torso and reach across the extended leg.