How to Get Fit for Skiing. 5 Must-Do Exercises Before You Hit the Slopes
Posted on Thursday, 4th of June 2015
You’ve booked your trip to the snow, pulled snow gear out of cupboards and you’re all over resort apps, snow cameras and new season equipment. Now all you need to do is get fit, right?
Not sure whether swimming laps, touch footy, netball training or tennis should do the trick? Emma and Tom Warren from Circuitry Training direct you to the best fitness preparation to get the most out of your days on the slopes.
“You want your legs ‘leg-tastic’”, Emma instructs us. “You want training and exercise that put pressure on legs and knees and increases core strength”. Below are five exercises that are do-able from your own home or local park, and complemented by some stair running and hill running, you will be well on your way to pushing the boundaries down ski runs all day.
Whether you are 3 months or 3 weeks away from your booked snow holiday Emma assures us we can gain good strength and fitness if we make it our goal and put the time in to achieve it. “It’s better to start straight away and aim to train three times a week”.
If you are not a member of a gym and prefer using the great outdoors as the basis for our ski fitness training you can still achieve really good success. A little motivation goes a long way.
How to Get Fit for Skiing
“Running up stairs builds up leg muscles and supports the knees for snow sports”, Emma says. Find stairs all around your local area, in parks, public spaces like library stairs, beach access stairs or use the stairs in your home. Backwards running on the beach is great for building up leg muscles, and if you’re not near a beach use a sports oval.
Hill running also ticks the leg muscle, knee support box, aim for 3 sets of running between any point A and point B and give yourself a 1 minute rest in between sets. This is Interval training and it is excellent for cardiovascular fitness.
In layman’s words, if you’ve put some time into these informal fitness sessions, you’re not as likely to be lying on the snow in a sweat by morning tea unable to ski or board for the rest of the day. You’ll get the most value out of your lift ticket and the most out of your body. Your knees will feel strong, your thighs won’t be burning, you’ll feel pretty amazing and glad you put the work in.
Here are five more recommended skiing preparation exercises to get your body in tip-top condition for the slopes:
1. 180 degree Turn Jump Squats
Great for your glutes and quads and increased power for slope strength. Start with legs wide and knees bent, bottom low. Jump in the air turning 180 degrees and land in the squat position, keeping back straight. Start with sets of 12 squats, particularly if you’re reasonably unfit, then aim to increase sets to 16 then eventually sets of 20 as you near your holiday.
2. Twisting Stationary Lunges
Great for getting those legs burning in the glutes, quads as well as building core strength. Stand with hands together, arms outstretched horizontal from the body. Take a step forward, bend knees into a lunge and turn outstretched arms sideways to the body. Stand up, and repeat on the other side. Like wise start with 12 repetitions, building to 16 and then 20.
3. Russian Twists
Sit on a towel or mat or carpet with knees bent slightly. Raise ankles off the ground, grip hands together and place hands alternatively on each side of the body, ensuring hands touch the ground to get an appropriate body twist. Do 20 twists, aiming to build to 30.
4. Pistol Squats
With a chair or bench behind you stand straight and raise one leg horizontally. With raised leg, lower yourself to a seated position. Aim for 10 repetitions per leg (start with less if you can’t make 10). This will burn your leg muscles but it’s good for knee stability.
5. Mountain Climber
Crouch down on your haunches with arms and hands spread wide on the ground for stability. Jump your feet up under each hand, like jumping up a mountain. Aim for 30 jump legs. If you’re a snowboarder use wider legs and bring them up to your hands but outside of them ( for width). Imagine you’ve got a snowboard strapped to your feet. You should feel it in your upper body and abdominal muscles of your belly.
If you’re not a self-motivated exerciser consider joining group training sessions that focus on strength, cardiovascular exercise and core. Emma Warren runs twice weekly outdoor training sessions on Sydney’s Northern Beaches for women for this purpose. No two sessions are the same and participants can motivate each other by exercising side by side.
Don’t forget to get your aches and pains in your back or neck ironed out before you ski or board or start a fitness regime and see your doctor if you’re heavily overweight or have any outstanding health issues.
Book Your Ski Holiday at Thredbo
We hope these exercises give you a heads up on getting fit, so you can head straight to the slopes once you arrive. If you still need to book your Thredbo accommodation, then make Lantern Thredbo Apartments your go-to destination for your ski holiday. They have an extensive range of self-contained one to four star apartments situated all around the village. Book an apartment online or call staff to discuss your needs, as to whether you’d like to get on the free shuttle bus back to accommodation, you prefer central location to restaurants and shops or if you’d like to be closer to Friday Flat.
First time skiing at Thredbo? Check out our recent article for Everything You Need to Know for Skiing at Thredbo for more tips on how to prepare for a ski holiday such as what to pack, what to wear, where to buy ski gear, good meal choices and energy laden snacks. Keep your body healthy this winter season and you’ll keep coming back for more!
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