If you are like myself and hitting the ski slopes this winter season then making sure you are ready for it is a priority. Do you often find yourself after a few runs that your legs are burning? Do you feel exhausted and that your legs could give way on you half way through your run? Do you only give yourself a week or two before you go away to prepare yourself? If you are skiing or snowboarding in the next couple of months here is a guide for you on what you can do to prepare yourself properly :)
Whether you ski regularly or are bracing the slopes for the first time, it is important to make sure you are well prepared. Skiing places a big emphasis on your leg, bum, core and lower back muscles making it a very demanding activity for your body. The skiing position is a repetitive motion of a half squat which puts great emphasis on your thigh muscles which need to stay strong to support you. Making sure you are strong in the skiing posture will help you last longer on the slopes and gives you more time to enjoy the luscious scenery. So what can you do to ensure this?
In The Gym
Preparation is everything and if you aren't prepared then you will only suffer when you get on the slopes. So put in the hard work now and reap the rewards when you put your ski gear on. This time of year the best place to build a stronger physique is in the gym where you can use some weights that will help your muscles grow stronger. Skiing is similar to interval training as you aren't skiing constantly for hours on end and you sometimes need to alter your speeds. So interval work on the treadmill, bike or rower will also help condition your body for the slopes. Check out these exercises which are specifically designed for you skiers :)
The best exercise you can perform to get your lower body, core and general fitness ready for skiing is squatting. Body weight squats, wide squats or weighted squats will help increase muscle strength and boost energy levels which is required. Try and perform this compound exercise first and really push yourself with it.
Timed Wall Sit -
Adopt a seated squat position against a wall and hold this for as long as you can. To make this exercise harder you can add a weighted plate on put this on your thighs which will work you further. This exercise again focuses on the lower body and your core muscles surrounding your mid section. Try and hold this for at least 30 seconds each time you do it.
Low Lunge -
Instead of performing the traditional lunge that you maybe used to performing, I want you to perform a low lunge which is going to increase the load placed on your leg muscles. So for this exercise make sure when you lunge forward you are keeping your rear leg slightly bent so you stay low. Imagine the ceiling has fallen and is on top of your head, you literally cannot stand up straight because it is there. So stay low, it will burn more than usual but this is all part of the process in getting you ready for those slopes.
Cable Ab Twist -
Finish with a cable ab twist on the cable machine which will work the core muscles and in particular your external and internal obliques. This exercise is great because when you ski your mid section twists frequently so replicating this exercise in the gym will help with this.
These four exercises can be performed on their own or you can mix them up into your other routines that you perform. However you choose to slot them in make sure you do them as they really well help. Skiing is no easy sport and you should make sure if you are spending a good few hours up on the hills that you ensure you are well supplemented. Protein, energy gels and plenty of water to keep you hydrated will help keep your performance levels high. Stay safe on those slopes :)