With ski season finally upon us, its time to get ready to hit the slopes! Many people don’t realise how strenuous skiing and snowboarding is, until they’re dealing with aching muscles and injury a day into their trip. Getting fit for your holiday is important if you want to be able to enjoy yourself free from injury, strain or exhaustion – as well be able to keep up with everyone else.
These exercises will work to build your overall fitness, posture, balance, and strength.
The leg muscles are the most important muscle group used in skiing and snowboarding. You’ll need to focus on strengthening your quads, hamstrings, glutes and inner/outer thighs.
Strong quads will help to protect your knees as you constantly bend and straighten them. Prepare with controlled lengthening called eccentric training (e.g. split squats and step downs). Strong hamstrings and glutes will stabilize your body as you hold it in a flexed position for long periods of time as you ski downwards. They will also help to prevent ACL injuries (very common in skiers), by stabilizing the knee joint.
A strong core is vital in skiing as you’re constantly in a flexed, bent over position, your back has to work extremely hard to hold your body in that position. You need to work your core in order to protect your spine from injury, and keep you comfortable and free from pain.
Anyone who has been skiing or snowboarding knows that good balance is key. Balance requires three systems in your body to work together: your eyes (visual), ears (vestibular) and a sense of where your body is in relation to its surroundings (proprioception). Proprioception is a result of receptors firing in the muscles and tendons – the more you train these receptors, the better your balance will be (and the less you’ll fall over!) Yoga and Pilates are great at developing balance, so try a few classes, or the following poses.
Visit your local David Lloyd Club to train for your ski season.