Starting an exercise regime to become ski-fit means you’ll not only enjoy more time on the slopes and less time recovering from aching muscles, but you’ll also reduce your chance of picking up an injury.
So, here are some ski specific exercises that you can do – without having to take up a gym membership or using expensive equipment – to build up your strength and stamina in the weeks before your trip.
As a part of your body that is worked hard when you ski, it is important you build up your thigh muscles (quads).
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands by your sides. Push your hips back and bend your knees until your thighs are approximately parallel to the ground. Holding weights while you perform the squats can increase the difficulty.
Perform two to four sets, of 12 to 20 repetitions
This is a great exercise to improve your leg endurance and can be performed wherever there is a wall.
Stand with your back against a wall and your feet just in front of you. Slowly slide down the wall until your knees are bent 90 degrees. Push your back and bottom against the wall as hard as you can. Hold the position, but not your breath, for as long as you can. Relax and repeat for two to four sets.
Planks and side planks
A strong core (your abdominals, waist and lower back muscles) is very important for skiing and it will be put to the test when you want to change direction. If you fail to strengthen your core muscles, you’ll really regret it after a few runs.
Balancing on your forearms in a push-up position, use the strength of your abdominals and glutes to keep your hips raised to shoulder height, taking care to keep your midsection from dropping.
For a side plank, balance on one forearm, holding your body in a straight line from head to feet with your elbow directly beneath your shoulders.
Maintain each plank for 30 to 60 seconds without your hips dropping and rest. Repeat for two to four sets.
This exercise is a great way to strengthen our lower back muscles and tone your glutes, reducing your chances of developing lower back pain on your ski trip.
Lie face down on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Keeping your arms and legs straight, but not locked, simultaneously lift them towards the ceiling and hold them several inches off the floor.
Maintain each Superman for 30 to 60 seconds and rest. Repeat for two to four sets.
Photo source: commons.wikimedia.org