Are you going skiing this Christmas or New Year? Whether you are just learning to ski, a regular or perhaps are returning to ski after an injury, the basic elements of an off-piste pre-season ski fitness programme are the same. You will want to develop general cardiovascular fitness and endurance training, plus core work and improvement of balance.
At Muddy Plimsolls, we also like to include overall strength training and technique training for specific actions such as walking through deep snow (with or without skis). Let’s not forget reactive training to improve the client’s speed in responding to objects that may suddenly appear in their path (like trees and other skiers).
Whether your aims are for the purely carved turn, or simply staying on your feet, much can be done to prepare your body for ski season.So here’s three exercises below to get you started.
A side hop from one foot to the other, landing with one raised knee. Builds explosive power, upper leg strength and balance. The exercise is progressed by either jumping higher or further (or both). As is the case with all plyometric exercises, this is also a challenging cardiovascular exercise. To throw in some reactive training, your trainer can lightly toss a tennis ball your way: the ice skater exercise can be your attempt to get out of the way!
A classic exercise found in ski training, we add-in standing knee raises as one steps through the lunge. We find this aids balance and strength, plus the knee raise also promotes the use of hip flexors to pull the knee forward (ideal stepping through and over deep snow).
By adding a triceps push up, once in a while during the plank, we develop strength to the triceps, essential for pushing way with poles. We also will encourage our client to ‘wiggle’ the hips to test their ability to maintain control over the core whilst in motion. Remember that during skiing the body is combatting two forces: gravity and centrifugal force. Gravity remains a constant but it’s centrifugal force that varies and is more likely to pull you out of a turn. So we feel that ‘moving core’ exercises should be a priority.