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To make the most of your ski holiday you’ll want to make sure you’re in the best shape possible.  Seeing as we’re just coming through the holiday period, we’re going to go out on a limb and assume that you aren’t currently the best you that you can be.

If you’re reading this you may well be feeling the ‘New Year, new me’ pressure, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  You don’t need to sign your soul away to a gym on the 1st of January, just follow this at-home workout routine prepared by Val d’Isere-based elite ski and snowboard physiotherapist Jo Pollard who has worked with multiple national and Olympic ski and snowboard teams.

 

At-home ski and snowboard workout routine.

To ski at your best you’ll want to begin preparing at least 8 weeks before your holiday.  If you don’t have eight weeks, don’t worry, a little bit of preparation is better than none at all.  You’ll want to target three different areas: cardiovascular fitness, core strength and balance/proprioception.

 

Cardiovascular fitness for skiing

Cardio preparation is key to being able to push your limits a bit in the mountains; at higher altitudes the air is thinner and you’ll be getting less oxygen than you’re used to with each breath.

This part of the ski-fit routine is a four minute circuit: 8 exercises, 30 seconds each, alternating between high and low intensity.  This circuit is designed to replicate the intensity of an average ski run.  Repeat the whole circuit two to three times before moving on the core section.

  • Skaters
  • Side step and holds
  • Back lunge and hop
  • Forward lunge
  • Burpee volcanos
  • Mountain climbers
  • Bouncing tuck jumps
  • Uppercuts

 

Core exercises for skiing

A strong core is the foundation of a ski-ready body.  Yes, leg strength is important, but you use the core muscles like your lower back and abs more than you might imagine, especially when you’re really pushing your turns, or going in to more technical terrain.

This ski-ready core workout is comprised of five main exercises plus a recovery movement to perform between each exercise.  Do each exercise for 30 seconds each without resting between exercises.

  • Deadbug
  • Recovery: Prone arch
  • Step to, step through
  • Recovery: Prone arch
  • Plank superman’s
  • Recovery: Prone arch
  • Downward dog shin touches
  • Recovery: Prone arch
  • V-sits
  • Recovery: Prone arch

 

Balance and Proprioception

Proprioception training is a major part of the preparation world-class skiers undertake but you don’t need to be an Olympian to reap the rewards.

Proprioceptors are the sensory nerve endings found throughout your body that transmit information about where each part of your body is located in space.  Numerous scientific studies have proven that proprioception training has a significant positive impact on skiing performance.

Best done when already fatigued, this routine will help develop your neuromuscular system improving your stability and reaction times, and may help to prevent injury.  Some say it’s like awakening a ‘sixth sense’.

  • Single leg balance
  • Compass points
  • Hop and stick
  • Hip dissociation

 

Your base level of fitness could be what’s holding you back and arriving in resort ski-fit could really unlock your inner potential.  Follow this routine and you’ll be one step closer to skiing and snowboarding like you’ve always wished you could.

Oh, by the way, our lawyers are making us tell you to warm up before and cool down after exercising and consult with your GP before beginning any exercise program.

Kene E.

Written by

Kene E.

Originally from Canada, Kene had never been snowboarding before a holiday to Val d'Isere 12 years ago. He's literally lived there ever since.