Outdoors Magazine

Get Fit for the Ski Season

By Simplypiste @simplypiste

Get fit for the ski season

Whoop! Whoop! The snow is already on the mountains across Europe – and more is forecast. Which means it’s time to brush the dust form your skis and boots, book a holiday (if you haven’t already) and get honing those ski muscles. Of course, you could do what you did last year: Arrive at the slopes unfit for skiing. Day One: You feel OK. Day Two: You awake with very sore skiing muscles. Day Three: You can hardly move, let alone ski.

This year, make a difference to your fitness for skiing before you set off for your holiday. If your body is prepared for the on-piste action, you’ll enjoy longer, pain-free days of skiing and/or snowboarding.

Guide to pre-ski fitness

Lower legs: Shins and calves

Squats, while on your toes and flat footed, are great for strengthening lower legs. You could also try the military fitness technique of pushing a tire forward and then pulling it backwards to activate the shin muscles. Another great exercise is jumping or skipping on your toes, as well as running.

Upper legs: Quads, glutes and hamstrings

Lunges are great for activating these muscles. Make sure you do the dynamic exercises with a straight back, pulled in core muscles and slowly and precisely. Add in weights as you become stronger to make the exercise a bit tougher. An alternative exercise is bench step-ups.

Centre: Core and lower back

Yoga makes a lot of sense for strengthening these areas. So include a few sun salutations into your daily workouts. Another cert for sorting your core muscles is the plank. It hurts but it works!

Top body: Shoulders

You will be a better skier if you have more flexible shoulder muscles. Rowing on a machine or using dumbbells loosens up the all-important rotator cuffs. Press-ups and pull-ups increase shoulder strength, too.

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