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Are you finding that you’re tired halfway through your ski holiday? The slopes of resorts like Val Thorens, Tignes and Avoriaz aren’t forgiving on the unfit. The answer is simple, prepare your body during the weeks that lead up to your trip – this will improve your overall ski performance and will reduce the chances of injuries and falls.

Specific training is very important for skiing, as winter sports/pursuits use different muscles to exercise than you do at home cycling. Training is also important due to the altitude, it’s intense being on the slopes all day every day, you want to spend your holiday having fun, not developing strains or aching joints.

It’s incredibly beneficial to do at least some light exercise before you head off, the odd run or walk, here and there will go some way to making a difference to your stamina once you arrive at the resort. Strengthening exercises are the way to get the most out of your ski experience, just doing a few super easy exercises to strengthen your body can make all the difference. Focusing on your quads, glutes, calves and core will have your legs raring to go whilst everyone else’s will be screaming to stop.

Squats

Your quads (thighs) are quite possibly the hardest working muscles when you’re skiing. Squatting is one of the best and easiest ways of building up the strength in your legs.

How to:

  • Stand with your legs at shoulder width apart
  • Push your hips back
  • Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor (aim for 90 degrees)
  • If your knees are in front of your toes, you’re doing it wrong. Push your hips further back to remedy this
  • Stand back up and repeat
  • Try to complete three to four sets of 20 squats, give yourself between 45-seconds and 60 seconds rest between sets

Top tip: to make this exercise harder, do the same motion but with a weight in each.

 

Squat Jump

Take your squats to the next level by including a jump. Not only will this exercise continue to strengthen and condition your legs, but it will help to increase the power in your quads and glutes. This will come in very handy when you want to turn on the slopes.

How to:

  • Stand with your legs at shoulder width apart
  • Get into the squat position, then push off and jump high in the air
  • Try to do four sets of ten, including a short break in between to catch your breath

Top tip: try to land as softly as you can on your feet.

 

Wall Sits

Sticking with working out the quads and glutes – wall sits are brilliant for building endurance which will help to prevent the annoying burning feeling in your legs on those long, tough runs.

How to:

  • Find a clear wall
  • Stand with your back resting against the wall
  • Move down into the squat position
  • Hold the position for as long as possible
  • Repeat five times, with a short rest in between each attempt

Top tip: push your back and bum hard into the wall for the best results.

 

The Plank

Having a strong core is part of the building blocks of a fit, strong body. You use your core muscles around your abs and lower back more than you’d expect when skiing; this is especially true when you are turning or taking on more technical terrain.

How to:

  • Lie flat on your stomach on the floor
  • Move to rest your elbows on the floor, lift your hips up and rest your body weight on your elbows and toes (don’t let your hips dip or raise, your body should form a straight line)
  • Hold this position for 60 seconds and repeat five times

Top tip: to work your oblique muscles, repeat this exercise on either side. Lift yourself onto one elbow and the side of your foot and hold the position.

 

Lunges

Lunges are a great way to engage your core and even to improve your balance.

How to:

  • Start with standing straight with your feet together
  • Step forward with one leg and bend down so that the front leg forms a right angle. Your trail leg should be almost touching the floor
  • Try to complete 20 reps, 4 times with a short rest in between

Top tip: keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders relaxed and your chin up. Keep your core engaged and tight at all times.

You’ll be surprised at how effective these exercises are, they’ll make sure you can do a full day skiing and still have the energy for the all-important apres ski at the end of the day!

Summary
How to Get Fit for Skiing
Article Name
How to Get Fit for Skiing
Description
Are you finding that you’re tired halfway through your ski holiday? The answer is simple, prepare your body during the weeks that lead up to your trip - this will improve your overall ski performance and will reduce the chances of injuries and falls.
Author
  • ABTA
  • ATOL
  • Travel Vault

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