• Victoria Kain

Are You Ski Fit!?

Updated: Oct 20, 2019



YES!!!! Ski season is coming but are you ready to take to the slopes!?


Below you will find my top tips on how you can prepare yourself for a fun active winters holiday on the mountain.

So what type of fitness will you need you ask? Well if you want to make the most of your days on the slopes and more importantly après ski, you will need stability, stamina and strength to survive!


Skiing requires the use of key muscle groups in order to keep you upright and stable. I would first and foremost recommend strengthening your legs with compound exercises to alleviate the potential symptoms of achy thighs. Alongside this I would ensure your core is strong to assist in stability and of course maintain a level of cardiovascular fitness.


Here are some suggestions for some simple bodyweight exercises you can do at home in order to prepare:-


BEGINNER: 8-12 Reps - 1-2 Sets - 90 Seconds Rest

INTERMEDIATE: 12-15 Reps - 2-3 Sets - 60 Seconds Rest

ADVANCED: 15-20 Reps - 3-4 Sets - 30 Seconds Rest


1. SQUAT

One of the most effective ways to building strength in the legs is to squat regularly.


- Feet hip width apart, abdominals braced and neutral spine.

- Initiate squat by bending from hips and knees.

- Lower under control to a comfortable range of motion.

- Knees in line with toes and heel to floor throughout.

- Drive through thighs to lift upwards and breathe out through the sticking point.

- Repeat for desired repetitions.


Once you can do this comfortably you can adapt the exercise and intensity and even include resistance.


By including squat jumps (plyo) this will also develop your strength and explosiveness on the slopes!


Furthermore, wall squats can assist in building endurance which will help for those long days on the mountains!


2. FORWARD LUNGE

Again, another super effective way to strengthen your legs.


- Feet hip width apart, abdominals braced and neutral spine.

- Stride one leg forward and lower body down under control into lunge position with knee roughly at right angle.

- Heel of back leg lifts to allow the lunge action.

- Knees in line with toes and heel to floor throughout.

- Push through thighs and drive away from the floor to lift upwards and return to start position.

- Repeat for desired repetitions.


If you feel comfortable with the forward lunge, then you may wish to incorporate a backwards and side lunge into your routine. This all helps stabilise and strengthen muscles within your legs which you will use every day on the slopes.


3. ABDOMINAL CRUNCH

Your core is what stabilises your arms and legs. If you have a strong core, your halfway there to having a good sense of balance, stability and strength...and in turn you will be set for taking on those turns on technical terrain.


- Supine lying (face up) on the floor, knees bent, fingers at side of ears, low back lightly connected with floor.

- Engage abdominals and lift shoulders off the floor, bending the trunk, keeping head neutral.

- Lower under control.

- Repeat for desired repetitions.


The world of crunches need not be boring, there are multiple variations you can use. For example, hands on thighs to knees, hands across chest, hands to side of ears, rotation left and right - whatever feels comfortable and works best for you.


4. BACK EXTENSIONS

Again, to build a strong core and strengthen the spine, this is a great exercise to do at home.


- Prone lying (face down), feet on the floor and hands at the side of ears.

- Raise the shoulders and chest under control, keeping feet on floor and head in neutral alignment.

- Lower to start position.

- Repeat for desired repetitions.


5. SUPERMAN

Yes this exercise exercise engages the core and strengthens the back perfectly!


- Start on your hands and knees with your hands directly under the shoulders and knees directly under the hips.

- Extend one arm in line with the body so that it is outstretched above the head.

- Resist the pull of gravity on the side with the extended arm and maintain a neutral alignment of the spine.

- Extend the opposite hip to the extended arm, bringing the leg directly behind and in line with the body.

- Once again, resist the pull of gravity and maintain a steady alignment.

- Hold this position for 10 seconds to challenge stability and balance and then return to the start position.

- Repeat on the opposite side.


If you struggle to maintain neutral alignment, ensure you only lift the leg or arm if alignment can be maintained. Alternatively, if you want to progress place a stability disc under one supporting hand or knee to increase the demands on balance and stability.


And last but not least...


6. CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH

If you want to make the most of the mountains then you will want to ensure your endurance levels are high. I would therefore recommend incorporating interval training into your weekly routine. I would aim for 3-4 20 or 30 minute sessions per week if possible.


So there you have my top tips! Good luck on the slope everyone, ski carefully but most importantly...have fun!!!!





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