Whether a seasoned skier or a complete beginner, a base level of fitness is essential for anyone heading to the slopes. We called upon Personal Trainer and England Rugby Player Fiona Pocock for her top training exercises to get fit for skiing.
We’ve all been there – we arrive at the resort all eager and head to the slopes as fast as the cheese fondue hits your hips. You go for it on Day 1 because it’s exciting and you probably haven’t been skiing for ages and just can’t help yourself. Day 2 arrives and things are a little sore all over but what the hell, you go out for another day of thrashing yourself care free. But uh oh – Day 3 comes and you can’t move. Was it the late night après-ski shenanigans? Possibly. More likely it’s because you haven’t prepared your body for the physical onslaught that is throwing your body down a mountain on sticks (skiing).
What are the muscle groups we need to strengthen for skiing?
Quads - I’m sure you’re familiar with that burning sensation in your thighs as you approach the last leg of the run. Quads are the most used muscle in skiing and are responsible for keeping your knees stable over bumps and for keeping you in a squat position for an extended period of time. Chronic snowplougher? – get your quads strong or die.
Hamstrings – Because you spend a lot of your time in a flexed position (leaning over your hips), you rely on your hamstrings to keep your stable and primed for cushioning on bumps.
Adductors – Have you ever done the splits on skiis? No? Good – that would be hideous. Your adductors (or inner thighs) keep your skiis together and allow you to perform those silky turns you wish were being filmed so you could show your mum.
Glutes – Your butt is your helper-outer for your quads and hamstrings. The more you can use you glutes in the bent over position the less your quads will scream mercy. Your glutes also help your turn off your outside leg.
Arms/back – You find yourself a good 50m away from the chalet and you haven’t yet mastered that cool speed skate style manoeuvre we all think we can do but can’t. Pulling yourself along with your polls is hard going, so you need to get your arms strong too.
Abs – Strong abs keep your back stable and flexed for long periods of time. Do you get back ache when you ski? If so, it’s probably because you have weak abs.
6 exercises that will prime your body for skiing:
Squats – Goblet or Front Squat
Perform 4 sets of 8 reps as shown
Walking Lunges – Body weight or with dumbbells
Perform 3 sets of 12 reps on each side
Side Lunges to Box – Body weight or with weight in goblet position
Perform 3 sets 12 reps on each side
Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls + Bridge
Perform 3 sets of 15 reps
Perform 3 sets of 15
Plank – plus variations if advanced
Perform 3 sets of 60-90s