Ski Fitness : Ski Fitness Training | Learn how to get fit for Skiing
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Ski Fitness : Ski Fitness Training

Are you well-equipped for your next winter holiday?

Snow-sports lovers around the world are looking forward to once again hitting the slopes this winter. Whether you are a snowboard or a ski fan, this long-awaited period must have felt like an eternity. Finally, that familiar feeling of those tight ski boots, the joy of being the first one descending the slopes when no one’s around, amazing ski resort, greatly rewarding food, and après-ski…feels like being there already! To make to most of this, we need to make sure we build up our Ski Fitness!

Some things to be aware of when on your skiing-holiday

It is worth remembering that practicing snow sports comes with a certain risk of injury. Depending on the sport you enjoy, snowboard has mostly been linked with upper limb injuries such as wrist sprains and fractures, whereas ski has mostly been associated with knee injuries. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is the most frequently injured ligament, along with other structures is often involved, such as the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and the medial meniscus.

What physical preparation is required for being on the slopes safely?

Being safely on the slopes requires some basic form of preparation if you are a recreational skier. Here you can find a few suggestions. If you have any doubt or would need some guidance for a prevention program, just drop us an email.

You need to be fit!

That does not come as a surprise we bet. Alpine skiing is a high-intensity sport that tends to last for a short to a moderate period of time, usually between 1 to 2.5 minutes, before taking a break. Early-onset of fatigue may lead to poor muscular control and potentially to an injury.

Therefore, it’s important to improve your cardiovascular fitness to have the necessary level of fitness for a day on the slopes. This could be easily achieved with simple activities such as running, cycling and swimming over the three months before your holiday.

Ski Fitness: Strength training

A basic level of strength training should be implemented in the two to three months prior to the start of the season. Exercises should be carried out 3 times a week to build strength. Particularly your leg and core muscles including your quadriceps and the hamstrings muscle group are important for sustaining the demands of alpine skiing during turning, carving, and braking actions.

To train your strength you will most likely need some weights. However, bodyweight exercises are also ok if you rarely have the time to visit the gym.

Try these exercises, for increased leg strength, under careful supervision if you are a beginner:

  • Squats (with a loaded barbell or dumbbells in your hands)
  • Bridges (single-leg, double-leg, long-lever, short-lever, elevated front-foot, on a fit-ball)
  • Lunges (front-lunges, reversed lunges, side-lunges, again with weights possibly)
  • Leg-press (double-leg, single-leg)
  • Single leg squats
  • Step-ups

Ski Fitness: Training your core muscles

Alpine skiing requires a great amount of stability coming from a strong core and hip muscles, particularly during carving. So training your core with planks (>30 seconds), all sorts of crunches and side-planks may be beneficial.

Ski Fitness: Balance training

Because the snow is inherently an unstable surface, especially at the end of the day when bumps are all around you, you might want to be well-prepared with some balance and proprioceptive training. This could involve activities on a Bosu ball, on balance disks, and so on. Remember to make it sport-specific as much as possible!

Top tip: have your equipment checked by a professional!

Every pair of ski nowadays is equipped with a ski binding release, a crucial mechanism that ensures your ski is released from your boot during a fall. This becomes very important to prevent injuries to your knees. If you haven’t used your skis in a while, you might want to ensure the correct functioning of this mechanism by servicing your skis in a specialized centre.

Have you recently had an injury and are not sure whether you are ready or not for the ski season? Come and have a chat with us!

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