Posted on 30 November 2016
As I am heading off to the Alps skiing in January, I thought I would share my top tips to get fit for skiing! Skiing can really take its toll on your body so here are some suggestions to prepare your body for the challenge.
At the foundation of a Ski-Fit body is your core (abs and lower back muscles) and should be included into your workouts. There are lots of effective core exercises, including the plank, crunches, leg raises and back extensions that can be included into your workouts.
If you are anything like me and you've paid all that money, you want to spend as long on the slopes as possible! I personally am up at 8am; I’ll then get some breakfast down me and aim to hit slopes for 9am! The trouble is, if you haven't worked on your stamina, the chances are it will be game over by lunchtime.
I am sure you have heard a lot about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – short bursts of activity followed by a brief recovery period in relation to fat burning and weight loss, but it's also highly appropriate for skiing. Try incorporating some into your training programme!
- Sport Specific
Most sports are pretty specific in terms of the muscles they use. So for skiing the muscles you need to work on in the gym and weights room are:
- The quadriceps - the real powerhouse of the lower body! Leg press, squats and lunges are all effective exercises to build strong quads. If you want to feel that extra burn, try a wall sit as this mimics the skiing stance.
- If you're going to work the quads you must work the hamstrings and glutes, which play an important role in maintaining correct posture and stabilizing your body when going downhill. I would recommend deadlifts, step-ups and hamstring curls as great exercises to incorporate into your routine.
- The abductors (inner thigh) and abductors (outer thigh) are often ignored in the gym (particularly by men) and are therefore prone to letting you down. Most gyms have machines that target these muscle groups and there are also a number of cable and bodyweight exercises (like side lunges) you can do to mix it up a little!
- When your knees are bent, your calves are working overtime to help you stay upright, which puts them under stress that they aren’t used to. If you don't strengthen your calves before your trip, don't be surprised if they start to ache! Calf raises are a good option that you can even do from the comfort of your own home.
- Of course the upper body is still active in skiing – particularly the arms – so some bicep and tricep work is important. Try adding some upper body compound exercises like push-ups and pull ups which are super effective!
And finally, the one that always gets forgotten is stretching. You should be stretching at the end of your regular exercise programme, so we cannot forget its importance when we get off the slopes too!
I hope you find these useful, but most of all have fun!