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

James McCormack
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Are you well-equipped for your next winter holiday?

Snow sports lovers worldwide are looking forward to hitting the slopes again this winter. Whether you are a snowboarder 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, fantastic ski resort, good food, and après-ski…feels like being there already! To make the most of this, we must ensure we build up our Ski Fitness!

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

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

What physical preparation is required to be on the slopes safely?

Being safely on the slopes requires essential preparation if you are a recreational skier. Here you can find a few suggestions. If you have any doubts or need guidance for a prevention program, 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 lasts for short to a reasonable period, 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, improving your cardiovascular fitness to have the necessary fitness level for a day on the slopes is essential. 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 two to three months before 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.

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 significant stability from 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 unstable, 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, balance disks, etc. 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 unsure whether you are ready for the ski season? Come and have a chat with us!

Related Articles 

Cross-Country Skiing Following Total Hip Replacement – How Long After Total Knee Replacement before Skiing? – Knee Braces for skiing

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