You’ve planned the perfect ski trip: assembled all your gear, scoped out the best runs, checked the snow conditions, found the hottest apres ski bars and are now anxious to hit the slopes. But have you neglected the most important pre- ski trip preparation? Getting ski fit.
Whether its having to call a premature end to a perfect powder day because you’re legs are burning and you’re out of breath, or waking up the next day to legs that don’t want to get out of bed, lack of conditioning resulting in fatigue, muscle soreness or even injury can put a damper on your ski vacation.
Undertaking a ski specific workout regimen a few weeks or so prior to your trip can help minimize these slope time setbacks and reduce your chance of injury, which translates to more fun on the mountain!
A well balanced ski conditioning workout should address: cardio endurance and recovery using intervals, lower body strength, core strength (abs, back and hips) as well as lateral movement and agility.
For cardio: running, elliptical, stair climbing or boot camp cardio exercises are preferred as the weight bearing nature of these modalities more closely replicates skiing than non weight bearing cardio such as biking or swimming.
Strengthening your lower body including: glutes, quads and hamstrings can help improve your ski form, endurance and help prevent injuries to knees. I really like slow 5-10 count squats and endurance squats held for 15 – 60 sec to strengthen the quads & glutes and build up endurance, especially if you’ll be skiing powder.
Lateral movement exercises (side lunges, side to side jumps, etc) strengthen the inner and outer thighs which help maintain parallel skis, aid in weight shift for turns and also help protect your knees.
Core strength is critical to just about every sport. For skiing it helps us maintain posture, balance and protect the low back while in a flexed trunk ski stance. And of course those flat abs look good at hot tub time!
While not of primary focus, be sure to work the back and arms to help in poling. That post ski pint of Fat Tire will taste all the better if you don’t wince every time you lift your glass.
And at the end of the day, remember to stretch to make sure you’re loose and ready for the first tracks the next morning!
CoreFitnessByJana.com’s New Ski Conditioning 20 minute workout combining cardio, strength, endurance and agility exercises is a great way to get your body ski ready in the gym, at home or on the road. Join now , 1st month FREE, and get the most out of your next ski trip!
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For more info on preparing your body for the rigors of skiing & snowboarding: