Skiing Advice: How To Prepare Yourself For The Slopes
First you need keep your body up to spec; it’s not fun going out on the slopes only to find you run out of gas within a few minutes, or you pull a muscle and have to sit out the rest of the holiday.
Cardio: You need to be able to keep your muscles pumping for sustainable amounts of time. Also some slopes do not have lifts to carry you to the top of the mountain. You must also remember that with all the adrenaline its best to keep your heart healthy so it can keep up.
The best cardio workout is swimming, I like to combine it with the elliptical trainer and step trainer because these 2 machines mimic the motions your body will be making during skiing. So it’s best to rack up the hours on these because its time well spent.
Core strength: Nothing is more infuriating than skiing downhill at an easy pace and judging the turn you need to make, and then all of a sudden your core stabilizers gives out on you and you start tumbling. When I started I used to eat snow so many times due to having no core strength now I have learned my lesson.
Core Strength Exercises: Abdominals and back muscles make up your core stabilisers. Here is a list of exercises which will target and strengthen them all.
Genie Sit: What you need is a matt, lay it down on the ground, kneel on it so that your knees are slightly apart while still keeping your feet together. Cross your arms and make sure the only thing that bends is your knees, you have to keep your head chest stomach and upper leg straight. Now inhale and lean backwards as far as you can without the need to come out of your straightened position, then exhale as you bring yourself forward. This works your glutes, quads, hamstrings and outer abs.
Pendulum Ball: Lie down on a mat and put a stability ball between your shins just below the knee, keep the ball squeezed so it stays in place and extend your legs up into the air but keep the knees slightly bent. Put your arms straight out to your side with your palms touching the floor.
Then keep upper body and glutes stationary and lower your legs down to the left as far as you can go without hurting yourself then bring it back into a neutral position and do the same but lower your legs down to the right again without hurting yourself and back into neutral position. The muscles worked are obliques, hips, and abdominals.
Back Extension With Stability Ball: Place the stability ball on the ground near a wall then lie on the ball and spread your feet apart and place them against the wall but have your toes touching the ground. Make sure the ball is under your hip just below your groin area, this way your entire back will have complete mobility and won’t be restrained. This exercise works your lower back.
Now your upper body needs to be slouched forward slightly but not touching the ground. Keep your legs straight and can keep your arms stretched out in a superman position or you can put them behind your head. You need to raise your torso towards the opposite wall, try and get as high as possible, while doing this action exhale and hold for 5 seconds, then as you inhale return slowly to the neutral position.
All of the exercises above should be done for 3 sets and 16 reps, as you progress you should add in more sets.
Squat jumps: Your feet need to be shoulder width apart, start going down into a squatting position then jump up as high as you can with explosive speed. Then as soon as your feet reach the ground return into a squat position and repeat this action. Only do squat jumps 2 days a week but they are essential for giving you explosive jumps on the slopes. Do 4 sets of 16 for the first month then slowly add onto it.
James Peters is a ski instructor who also arranges ski holidays for people through Dare 2 Ski. In his spare time he likes to work out and give fitness advice to family and friends.