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
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 tyre 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.
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.
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!
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.