Skiing is an activity that one can do only during certain time of a year; a sport that many look forward to quite eagerly all year long till it is time. And this makes it all the more exciting. This also means your exposure to the sport of skiing is limited and inconsistent. You can’t practice skiing till it is snow time.
Taking some time to prepare your body before the trip is of paramount importance to avoid injury. Look ahead, think of enjoying your ski holiday, stay motivated and get started with the exercises today. To make the most of your time and energy, we need to plan an effective fitness routine.
This article will provide you the list of exercises and key points that will most certainly help you attain the required fitness in the days leading to your ski holiday in the mountain. This is a suggestive activity. You may want to consult your physician and a professional trainer before beginning the fitness program. Your training program should be with respect to the terrain, condition, altitude and your own comfort level.
People who have not been training and who hit the slopes hoping to ski all day get tired in no time; unfortunately may also be prone to injury at the same time.
Any adventure sport holiday in the Himalayas calls for some amount of physical fitness to actually enjoy your trip. Likewise, for skiing too you will most definitely have to work on building your endurance, strength and flexibility. But because skiing involves some specific muscles, we need to concentrate on those areas particularly.
» The cardiovascular/ aerobic exercises can comprise of running, swimming, step aerobics, elliptical/cross trainer and rollerblading. Choose what is
accessible and best suits your convenience.
» You will have to do the cardiovascular training 4 – 5 days a week at varying intensity and time frame, lasting from 20 – 45 minutes.
» Be sure to start out slow and steady and increase the intensity over a period of time.
» Remember to stretch for 5-10 minutes before and after your aerobic exercise.
» Incorporate one long, slow workout each week for about an hour or more to condition your legs and lungs for long days of,skiing.
As mentioned earlier, Skiing involves some specific muscle group. Hence conditioning them to the rigours of the activity is of utmost importance. As they say, little things make a big difference, why not use the stairs instead of elevators on a daily basis and also make use of every opportunity for short walks etc. This does not suffice for a ski adventure in the high altitude mountains, at least for a person, who at the moment is, following minimal exercise routine this can help in a positive direction.
» Muscles most used while skiing are the quad muscles/quadriceps. These muscles help you hold your position and protect the knees. You could
strengthen them with squats and lunges.
» As you ski downhill, the body is in a flexed position- leaning forward from the hips. The hamstrings and glutes help stabilise your body and requires
great strength. You could work out with deadlifts, one legged deadlifts, pull throughs, step ups and hamstring rolls.
» Your inner thighs helps in keeping the skies together while the outer thighs keeps the body stable and helps you steer. You need to work
these muscles with side lunges, sliding side lunges, inner thigh leg lifts, inner thigh squeezes, side step squats and leg lifts.
» Your calf muscles help you stay upright as your knees are bent. You can work these muscles by doing exercises such as standing calf raises or
» Your back muscles also holds your body upright as you are in a flexed position. It is then the abs work together to support the spine and
protects it at the same time. Work these muscles with exercises such as bicycles, back extensions and dumbbell rows.
» Finally, your arms help push your body with the poles while stabilising the shoulder joints. You may strengthen them by working on the biceps
Even if you follow some of these exercises diligently, you are going to achieve the fitness level required to ski in the Himalayas.
Lastly, invest some good time on stretching the muscles before and after your workout routine. This will help avoid cramps and muscle injury and at the same time will soothe the muscles sore from training hard. Some of the most effective stretching exercises are
» Arm-up rotator stretch
» Reaching-up shoulder stretch
» Standing high-leg bent knee hamstring stretch
Flexibility is the ability to stretch your muscles and ligaments without having to put too much pressure on the joints. This is an important factor in avoiding injuries.
Take some time off your busy schedule, start preparing your body at least 2 – 3 months prior to your planned ski holiday. Keep your motivation high and reach the desired fitness level to make the most of your adventure.