A little bit of preparation goes a long way in the build-up to your skiing holiday. Realistically, we aren’t expecting you to juggle several hours in the gym mixed with the school-run, domestic tasks, and all of the daily chores we have to squeeze in as parents! If you’re the types who give up on your New Year’s resolutions in the first week or sigh when you hear the dreaded word “exercise”, then how about getting your children involved to make your preparations a fun family activity.
We recommend setting aside just 30 minutes (3-5 times a week) to do some skiing-specific stretches and conditioning exercises. Yoga is a great place to start due to its ability to strengthen your core and improve your flexibility. We’ve written a guide on adult and child-friendly yoga poses to prepare you for your holiday. Pilates can easily be substituted for yoga if you’d prefer.
If yoga nor pilates quite do it for you (yes, we understand you’re seeking an adrenaline-filled skiing holiday), then traditional exercises such as running, swimming or cycling certainly wouldn’t go amiss!
2. Skiing lessons
A few lessons at the beginning of your skiing week can do wonders for improving not just your technique, but also your confidence. A good skiing instructor will pick up on even the smallest of details concerning your technique; critiquing things you didn’t even realise you were doing yourself!
The ski schools we work with have been chosen for their professionalism and ability to teach in a fun and encouraging environment, as well as the continued good feedback we receive. We have chosen to use 360 International in Les Gets, and Ecole du Ski Francais (ESF) in La Plagne, Les Bruyeres and Reberty 2000.
Ski Famille’s Marketing Executive from the UK office recently went to Les Gets and had a lesson with 360 International. Read his review for more on Les Gets’ ski school.
3. Mastering your parallel turns
The key difference between a novice and a veteran of the mountains is the way they slalom down the slopes. As a beginner, you may be guilty of nervously snow ploughing down the slopes at a very gentle pace. You’ll see and feel a swift improvement in your skiing as soon as you’ve transitioned across to parallel turning. Mastering these turns comes down to three vital steps:
Make friends with fear… just don’t mistake confidence for complacency! If you do lack confidence when you ski, our tips for nervous skiers blog could be just what you need.
Shifting your body weight
The secret to parallel turning is shifting your body weight onto your opposite leg. Once you’ve learnt this, your skiing will become a lot more rhythmic and enjoyable. This may sound very hard to believe as a beginner, but once you’ve mastered this movement, skiing actually becomes very relaxing! You’ll also feel a sense of achievement as you move from ‘that nervous rookie’ to ‘the pro skier’.
Controlling your speed
This is such an important point that it deserves its own individual section below!
4. Controlling your speed
You’ll see some skiers ‘straight-line’ skiing down the mountain often at high speeds. Don’t try it!
We can’t stress enough how important confidence is to skiing. Being in control of your speed will give you all of the confidence you need. Learning how to slow down (as well as speed up) will give you a greater sense of control, reduce fear and install confidence.
Controlling your speed doesn’t just mean slowing down to prevent a collision! It can also mean knowing how to build up your speed. Going fast while still remaining in control is a lot more fun! We recommend the online guide as a starting point on how to control your speed, ‘How To Control Your Speed On The Slopes‘.
5. Bring your family skiing with us
Sounds obvious but the quickest way to improve your skiing is to actually ski! Getting on the slopes this Winter is the best way to move from being an amateur to an advanced skier (with a few lessons along the way). All four of our resorts have seen incredible levels of snowfall this season, meaning we have the ideal skiing conditions for all. We are now onto our last remaining offers too!
Call our friendly team for more on 01252 365 495.