Get fit for family skiing

With less than three months to go until our first Winter 2015/16 guests hit the slopes, now is a great time to start thinking about ski fitness and getting fit for your skiing holiday. It’s generally easier to be active over the summer months with warmer and longer days, but time invested over the Autumn months will really pay off when your family skiing holiday arrives.

Stretches for skiing  

Whatever your level of fitness and expectations for time on the slopes, a simple stretching routine will help build flexibility and strength. Skiing Stretches that focus on the hamstrings, quadriceps, iliotibial band (IT band), and calves will all help enhance your stamina on the slopes and avoid injury.

3 ski stretches to include in your routine: 

1  Lying Knee Roll: Lying on your back bend your knees and let them fall to one side. Keep your arms out to the side and let your back and hips rotate with your knees.

2   Quad Stretch: Kneel on one foot and the other knee then push your hips forward. If needed, hold on to something to keep your balance.

3  Standing Achilles Stretch: Stand upright and place the ball of your foot onto a step or raised object. Bend your knee and lean forward.

Which muscles? 

We have all experienced a bit of thigh burn after a ski run and it’s your quadriceps (quads) that need attention before a skiing holiday. Strong quads will also help protect your knees from injury.

Your quads can be strengthened with exercises such as lunges, squats, step ups, and cycling. These will also help strengthen your gluteal muscles, another boost for your power and stamina when skiing.

The “clam” exercise is great way to strengthen the muscles around your hips. Lie on your side with your knees slightly bent and your ankles together. Then raise one knee with your ankles still staying together. Repeat around 20 times on each side.

Cardiovascular ski fitness exercises

Gravity is on our side in Alpine skiing but building cardiovascular fitness will definitely help your enjoyment of your family skiing holiday. You don’t need to start running marathons, brisk walking or cycling that builds a sweat and elevates the heart rate are both effective ways of increasing fitness and stamina.

Two to three sessions a week incorporating stretches, exercises and some cardio in the months running up to your holiday will pay dividends. You will increase your enjoyment of your time on the mountain, have the energy for an après ski tobogganing session with the children and feel no guilt when your chalet host presents you with yet another enticing three course meal!

Published: 22nd September 2015  

Author: Chris Thompson   

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