If you want to get the most out of your skiing trip, it pays to turn up at the piste in good shape. Lack of general conditioning could limit how much skiing you can do in a day and could even predispose you to injury. Follow a ski exercise routine to ensure you are piste-ready.
Strength training is important for preparing your muscles for the demands of skiing. While your legs arguably house the most hard-worked muscles when you ski, your upper body and midsection also play a vital part. Because skiing is such a total-body activity, make sure that you take the time to strengthen all your major muscles and not just those in your legs.
According to onthesnow.com, the U.S ski team's five essential exercises for skiing are band walks, back extensions with dumbbell rows, weighted box squats, overhead medicine ball throws and lateral box jumps. Though unusual, these exercises are ideal for prepping your body for skiing. You can use dumbbells and barbells, perform body weight exercises or use resistance training machines to strengthen your muscles. Choose the methods that you enjoy the most.
The Heart of the Matter
If your muscles are the engine for skiing, your heart is the fuel pump that keeps them supplied with oxygenated blood. A hard bout of skiing can leave your heart pumping and make you out of breath, so developing a good level of aerobic fitness is important. Build fitness in this respect by doing 20 minutes of cardio three or more times a week at around or slightly above 60 percent of your maximum heart rate. You can jog or run, swim or cycle, use a stepper or cross-trainer; any cardio activity you enjoy will get the job done.
It's All in the Balance
Balance and coordination play an important role in skiing and your exercise routine should reflect this. The better your balance and coordination, the better skier you are likely to become and you may even suffer fewer falls too. Improve your balance by using balance-developing devices such as stability balls, balance boards and agility ladders. Simply practicing standing on one leg with your eyes closed and performing one-legged squats are also effective no-frills ways to improve your balance. Balance and coordination exercises can safely be performed every day.
Exercise, like skiing, is not without risks so make sure you always put your personal safety first. Consult your doctor before you start your skiing exercise routine, especially if you have been sedentary lately or are new to exercise. Start slowly and increase exercise intensity and duration gradually over the coming weeks. Get expert exercise advice from a personal trainer or gym instructor if you are unsure how to correctly perform any exercises.
- Photo Credit Jeremy Woodhouse/Blend Images/Getty Images
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