How To Get Ski Fit
Today were going to look at how to get ski fit if you’re going to be hitting the slopes this winter. We are going to talk about what you can do to prepare yourself and your body. For some skiing is not there thing but one thing I can tell you is for me and the other ski/snowboard lovers out there, there is no better feeling than the breeze on your face as you zip down that mountain (along with the amazing view too). As someone that has skied since the age of 7 my love for sport has grown year on year, I know that there is always ways to improve your skiing ability. Having travelled to a lot of resorts around Europe and skied in some amazing places. I’ve even skied a winter Olympic downhill and the famous Kitzbühel downhill. I have been lucky enough to have talked to lots of guides and instructors along the way one thing that every one of them has repeated is that physical fitness, power, strength and cardiovascular fitness is vitally important. Without a certain amount of fitness you will seriously struggle as skiing is demanding at the best of times. As a beginner you will probably find yourself picking yourself up off the floor a lot and trust me it’s exhausting. But as you advance and you begin to challenge yourself on those bigger slopes it is still as physically demanding but it’s worth it.
“Did you know that Skiing or boarding for 6 hours can burn a whopping 2000 – 3000 calories, depending on your age, weight and height.”
Firstly let’s identify what muscles you are going to use when skiing.
- Abs & Back- To stabilize your body and hold a position.
- Hamstrings & Gluteus- Requires great strength from your hamstrings and gluteus as they help stabilize your body.
- Calves- Because your knees are bent as you ski, your calves (specifically the soleus) help you stay upright so you don’t fall over (your boots help too)
- Arms- Used when you push off using your poles.
- Quadriceps- Probably the most used muscle when you are skiing. Help to maintain your position.
- Inner and Outer thigh- Your inner thighs work like crazy to keep your skis together. Your outer thighs keep your body stable and help you steer
So let’s look at what we can do to prepare ourselves for the slopes this winter. Improving your cardiovascular fitness, endurance, strength and power along with your flexibility will be vital to be ski fit.
Improving your cardiovascular fitness. A full days skiing is tough physically on the muscles but you also need to be fit to keep going throughout the day. Skiing can be very stop start as you have to travel up to come down and repeat so when you’re skiing down it may not be for very long but it is intense. Your recovery time is on the ski lift back up (make the most of it).
Above are some of my recording from my trip the previous year, the show how far in KM I have skied and also altitude, gradient and speed. I also wear my Polar M400 with Heart rate monitor to see calories burned, heart rate, and distance covered.
Skiing will burn plenty of calories so making sure you fuel your body with correct nutrients is vital. So what types of cardio training can you to help prepare? Well interval training is great way to improve your fitness along with semi replicating what happens when you ski, other great ways are cycling and a step machine these will work on the muscle that you will use when skiing. Many World cup Skiers cycling during the off season will either on the road or during the season will be found on the bikes in the gym. Here are some examples of an interval workout you can do to get you ready.
40 second steady pace 20 second sprint x 10 = 10 minutes Level 4
Note: Great for improving leg strength
30 seconds steady pace 30 seconds sprint x 10 = 10 minutes Level 5
Note: This will work your entire body so great piece of kit to be using.
1 minute fast 1 minute slow
30 seconds on 30 seconds feet to the sides
Needs to be a sprint so find a level that is what you can sprint at.
Classes you could attend to help with this could be INSANITY, circuits and Spinning is great class that you could attend to help improve that cardio and build up that lower body strength. You can find the timetable online or ask at reception for times of the classes.
Improving strength and power, with your muscles been worked extremely hard when skiing you need to start to increase strength in the area’s mentioned above. Depending on how many times a week you can get to the gym, I would advise whole body workouts. Your main focus should be around building up strength in your legs, back and core. Get used to feeling of your leg burning as there is going to be plenty of that when you’re skiing down those mountains. Below is an example you can try out.
Warm up – Rower Level 6 5 minutes
Giant Sets – 4 exercise back to back
Weighted Calf Raises
Superset – 2 exercises back to back
Bent over Row
Lat Pull Down
V Up’s 3 Sets 15 Reps
Oblique twists 3 Sets 12 Reps (6 each side per set)
Leg Raises 3 Sets 12 Reps
Plank 4 Sets 30 Seconds
Weighted Sit Up’s 3 Sets 15 Reps
Other great leg exercise you can mix up in there are…
Spilt Leg Squat
Step Down’s (from a step)
Steps Up Knee Drive
Full body stretch to finish.
World Cup Professional skiers are some of the fittest athletes around and some of them regally document there training regime. Lindsey Vonn one of America most successful women’s skiers is one for regularly updating her fans with the workouts she does to stay ski fit.
For more workout ideas follow her on Instagram or Twitter
Instagram @lindseyvonn Twitter @lindseyvonn
I will be out on the mountains myself this season so if you have any question or are thinking of having a go don’t be afraid to come and ask any questions. If you would like a ski specific program please ask at reception and book yourself in. Lastly if you are skiing out there this winter season be safe and enjoy your break away.