You’ve booked your lift pass, cleaned your boots, and checked that your salopettes still fit. But are you feeling fit enough to get the most out of your trip to the slopes – or are you worried you’ll be too exhausted to enjoy the après-ski?
With these simple skiing exercises – in strength, cardio, and mobility – you’ll quickly gain the skiing fitness to slalom with ease, reduce the risk of injury, and experience daring descents without instantly feeling out of breath.
1. The ski workout for strength
It’s easy to see that skiing and snowboarding are full-body workouts with a particular focus on lower body strength. All those trips up and down the mountain will demand a lot from your glutes, quadriceps (front thighs), hamstrings, calves, and ankles. As such, the best exercises for skiing activate all of those muscles (as well as your arms) by mimicking the actions you take when you ski or snowboard. Incorporate the following into your workouts in the weeks leading up to your trip:
- Walking lunges with weights in either hand: Lunge forward holding equal weights in each hand, ensuring the bending knee nearly touches the floor. Do this on alternate legs until you have completed 10 on each side, then repeat three times.
- Squats with forward raises: Find a circular weight, dumbbell, or kettlebell that you will be comfortable lifting. Then squat down to a 90-degree position holding the weight in both hands. As you squat, raise your arms to horizontal out in front of you. As you stand out of the squat, lower your arms back down. Repeat this 10 times for three sets.
- Single arm row: Find a flat bench and place a dumbbell either side. Place your right knee and hand onto the bench, ensuring your back is straight and parallel to the floor. Then pick up the weight with your left hand. Your starting position is when your left arm is out-stretched towards the floor. Pull up your arm to a 90-degree angle, thinking about pulling the elbow to the edge of your chest. Then release back down to your starting position. Repeat this 10-12 times on each your left side, then on your right side too; this is one complete set. Repeat each set three times.
2. Cardio for the mountain
Every ski workout should incorporate interval training, which conditions your heart rate to frequently raise and lower just like it does on the slopes. There’s plenty of gym equipment you can use for this, but Power Mill is particularly well suited. Get started at level 7-10 for one minute, then push yourself to a higher level, and therefore higher speed, for one minute. Repeat this alternating pattern five times.
Of course, there are also plenty of cardio exercises that will get your body slope-ready with minimal equipment. In the video below, blogger Em Sheldon shares a workout that activates all the muscles you’ll be using on the snow:
If you prefer to work out in a group, join a fun and challenging cardio or HIIT (high-intensity interval training) session. At David Lloyd Clubs your options include BLAZE, which combines cardio training with strength and combat skills, as well as IGN1TE, which will spark your body into life and get you in ski shape in no time.
3. Mobility for those smooth runs
Skiing and snowboarding are not only about strength and endurance. They also demand full-body coordination, fluid motions, and plenty of flexibility in the joints and muscles. That’s why mobility exercises are an important part of any ski trip preparation (not to mention one of 2022’s hottest new fitness trends).
The key to effective mobility training is to focus on quality over quantity, and this is where an expert coach can really add value. Our experienced Personal Trainers know how to create bespoke training plans that not only incorporate functional, everyday movements for mobility but can also factor in your individual fitness goals – such as that imminent trip to the top of the mountain.
If you don’t have time to sketch out and follow a personal training plan before your trip, you can always work on your mobility and flexibility on your own. The following at-home workout is the perfect place to start:
Remember that you can also use yoga and Pilates to stay nice and supple before your trip. As an added benefit, you’ll be able to use the stretches you learn at the end of each day skiing. Some gentle stretching will ease any aches you may have, leaving you ready to go the next morning.
There’s no feeling like gliding down the slope, and it’s all the more enjoyable if you have the strength, cardio, and mobility to make the most of it. So, don’t wait around – quickly reach skiing fitness at your nearest David Lloyd Club.