There are certain muscles that you’ll be putting into action more than others whilst you’re on the slopes. In particular, your calves and quadriceps will need training up. One way of working these muscles is by engaging in something that requires similar balance and coordination skills. “A really simple way to get the right muscles working ahead of a ski trip is to go ice or roller skating,” says Graham.
Skiing can be a physically challenging hobby, but that shouldn’t put you off. It’s simple to get fit for skiing in the run up to your holiday.
Who better than former British Olympic skier Graham Bell to talk to us about ski-fitness? Graham also tackled the 260 miles Arctic Circle Race so knows quite a lot about getting in shape. Here’s what he recommends you should be doing both before and during your time on the slopes.
Six Week Countdown…
Six weeks before your trip is the perfect time to start getting your body in shape.
Start with 20 minute blasts of cardio exercise where and when you can. Graham says: “This only needs to be at a low intensity, but will help increase your heart rate and improve your fitness levels on the approach to your holiday.”
Two Week Countdown…
Two weeks before your holiday is the time to limber up and get those muscles prepared for some serious exercise. Skipping this step could leave you stiff and sore when you get off the slopes, as nobody wants to ruin their après-ski experience, do they?
The key muscles you’re looking to stretch are your quads, hamstrings, lower back, calves, abductors and your IT band. Graham recommends holding a stretch “for 20-30 seconds relaxing and letting the muscles lengthen”.
Need more advice? Why not try one of the skiing fitness apps now available such as Be Fit. Technology can be a great benefit when you’re getting ready for the slopes. If you have the money then why not splash out on a ski-trainer that will exercise all the right muscles?
When you're out there...
Even when you’re on holiday, there are still a few extra things you can do to ensure you get the most from quality time on your skis.
it’s really important to warm up and down before and after skiing to avoid injury. Graham says “It’s much more painful (and dangerous) when falling over if you’re stiff and your muscles are tight than if you’re warmed up and supple”.
Following these expert tips will improve your general fitness, making your ski holiday much more effortless, enjoyable and a lot less daunting. It will also keep the risk of injury to a minimum.
So what are you waiting for? Start putting these exercises into your routine now and make sure your time on piste isn’t cut short because you aren’t up to the challenge.
Let’s get ready for some quality skiing!