The ski season is in full blow and for those of you who may have slightly over indulged during the festive break, getting back to regular exercise can seem a daunting and even scary prospect. However if you are lucky enough to have a ski holiday planned, getting physically in shape for all the demands the slopes will make on you is paramount to an enjoyable and injury-free holiday. Whenever advising clients about specific exercises in order to optimise their performance within their chosen sport I try to break down the requirements of the particular activity, so in relation to skiing and snowboarding here are 4 Great Exercises to Get You Skiing Fit!
Revered by all who want to achieve a toned and pert derriere; during skiing or snowboarding you will spend a long time in the semi squat position, which can make your thighs feel like they’re on fire and subsequently feel like jelly. To avoid this feeling try and incorporate squats with and without a hold to emulate the position that you will become extremely familiar with! Remember to push your bottom backwards and ensure that your knees don’t move over your toes to avoid excessive load through the anterior (front) part of your knee.
2. Wide stance wall squat with heel raises
Building on the above exercise, this is great for targeting the quads as well as the deep calf muscle; soleus. The soleus muscle is predominantly a postural muscle which stabilises the ankle and prevents you falling forwards when standing. This muscle has to work extremely hard during both skiing and snowboarding when you are locked into your skis or are snowboarding facing down the mountain.
3. Squat thrust
More important for the snowboarders among you but equally important for skiers as it’s a great cardio exercise as well as targeting your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles and your core. Aim to bring both knees to the level of your elbows and ensure that your back stays in a neutral position, avoiding any excessive hollowing or dropping of your hips towards the floor.
This is great for targeting the core muscles; pelvic floor, trans abs and paraspinal muscles, all of which are extremely important during skiing or snowboarding so that you don’t put unnecessary stress through your lower (lumbar) back region. Ensure that your elbows are underneath your shoulders and that you don’t allow your hips to drop or hollow. Gradually increase the time you spend in this position but remember to drop your knees to the ground if you feel undue stress through your lower back.
By incorporating these exercises into a normal fitness routine you will give your body a fighting chance to not only survive but enjoy your skiing or snowboard holiday- injury free!