5 Ways to Stay Ski Fit this Summer
Improve your ski performance and help avoid injury on the slopes by staying ski fit this summer.
Having a good level of fitness when you go skiing or snowboarding is crucial. Even with a lengthy lunch break, an average day on the slopes will deliver between four and six hours of sustained physical activity, and if you spend most days sitting behind a desk this might come as something of a shock to your body. The fitter you are the more you will enjoy your skiing and reduce the risk of injury, thus it is important to be prepared. In order to help you get and stay ski fit this summer we recommend a programme which includes endurance, strength and flexibility.
Tip 1: Embrace your bike
In order to improve endurance on the slopes, cardiovascular fitness is extremely important. You should aim for 20 minutes to 1 hour of aerobic activity three times a week. Working the quads and core muscles, cycling is a favoured method of aerobic training by World Cup skiers and is a great way to replicate the fitness required for skiing or snowboarding. So instead of hopping on the bus or getting behind the wheel, make the most of the long summer days and jump on your bike instead.
Tip 2: Go hiking
Where better to build up your strength and endurance than hiking in the Alps. The mountains are beautiful in summer, covered with carpets of flowers, freshwater lakes and wildlife and there are many wonderful mountain trails to explore. You can also try climbing – a great skill that will come in handy for ski mountaineering in the winter months.
Tip 3: Hit the gym
To gain the strength needed for a full day on the slopes, it is important to target the legs in your workouts. Lunges and squats are useful for working the hamstrings and quads which are the crucial muscles needed for skiing. Try to do three sets of 20 lunges every other day. It is also important to work on your core stability using exercises such as the plank, simple crunches and even hopping can help.
Tip 4: Take up yoga
Skiing and snowboarding relies a lot on core strength, balance and flexibility. The best way to develop this is with spot of yoga or pilates. Use a stability ball or balance board three times a week to exercise your abdominals, obliques, lower back. Practising 10-15 minutes of yoga every day will mobilise all the major muscle groups and improve flexibility and balance.
Tip 5: Go summer skiing
With several glacier ski areas, you don’t actually have to stop skiing at all in the summer. A handful of resorts including Tignes and Zermatt are even open in July and August. Of course, the extent of the terrain they offer is limited in comparison to the winter months but this hardly matters, especially if you want to master a new skill or technique. Plus with all the other activities on offer such as trail-running, tennis, climbing and mountain biking, you won’t be short of ways to stay in shape.