Getting Fit for your Skiing Holiday

Skiing is a fun, but very physical activity that can easily drain you. Where’s the fun when you can hardly stay on the slopes? The key to a more enjoyable skiing holiday is to prepare for it. Starting a fitness program 8-10 weeks prior to the activity will greatly benefit you. Aside from the physical demands, you also have to deal with altitude and low temperature. Then what are the necessary things to keep in mind during your preparation? 3 areas to work on: Strength, Flexibility, and Stamina. Work on these areas and make the most of your holiday.

Strength

Skiing-specific strength training will maximize the time that you have to improve your muscle power.

  • Core. In order to continuously maintain your balance, you have to improve your core strength. The slopes and quick movement requires good control of the body. A strong core also generates a strong energy to be delivered to the limbs. You can strengthen the core muscles by doing compound exercises, hanging leg-ups is also good. You can choose from a variety of workouts which focuses on engaging the core muscles.
  • Legs. Maintaining the correct skiing position means you have to work your quadriceps hard. Leg strengthening exercises include but not limited to squats, leg presses, and deadlifts.
  • Triceps. In order to keep your balance and aid you with changing directions, you have to use a ski pole. The continuous pushing and pulling of the pole to and from the ground requires muscle strength and endurance, thus the need to train your triceps. Good triceps exercises include triceps pull-down, bench dips, and the likes.

Strength training is only half of the story. To maximize your gain, add activities that will help you improve on skiing-specific movements such as football or skating. This in turn will improve your balance and reaction time.

Flexibility

Having a good range of motion is extremely important. Improving flexibility in the muscles and tendons also helps to counteract effects of low temperature. Since the environment is really cold, you are prone to stiff muscles affecting your range of motion, and your muscles’ ability to react quickly is compromised. Regular stretching during your training period will help you perform better and avoid injuries.

Stretching techniques:

  • Warm up. It is important to warm up before stretching. Never stretch a cold muscle.
  • Stretch, don’t bounce. Never bounce while stretching; this movement can cause injury to the muscle as you are trying to stretch it beyond its limit.
  • Do not overstretch. Stretching should not cause pain; it should be relaxing.
  • Slow and Steady. Stretch slowly and release slowly. Do it gently.
  • Breathe. Don’t hold your breath when stretching. Breathe normally; it will help you get more relaxed.

Stamina

Honing skiing techniques alone will not be sufficient. Your skills will be put to waste if you cannot endure the physical demands of the activity. Skiing requires the body to keep its balance thus requiring a good deal of control which can be taxing to the cardiovascular system. Cardiovascular fitness will not only make you endure longer hours of physical activity but will also be useful when dealing with the low oxygen supply in high altitudes.

Adequate preparation means lesser chance of having an injury and better performance, and better performance means a more enjoyable skiing holiday. Have fun!