The leaves are turning and the days are getting shorter. That means just one thing: the first ski trip is just a wax job and a blizzard away. Whether you're a gear junkie, gym rat or powder hound, it's time to warm up to the idea of winter before the snow really starts to fall. But if you aren't quite ready for winter, here are a few preseason tips and preparatory ideas to get ready for skiing and snowboarding in Chamonix or Megève ski resorts.
What makes skiing so fun is the fact that you can only do it at certain times of the year. That's also what makes it dangerous. Because you can't practice skiing before the snow flies, your body is left to fend for itself.
On top of that, many of us ski only a few times a year, so we don't have enough consistency to keep our bodies conditioned for it.
To avoid injury and misery, take some time to prepare your body before your trip. If you don't already have a regular exercise routine, it's not too late to start one. Plus, knowing you're doing it in order to enjoy your ski holiday will help keep you motivated.
If you already exercise, you may need to tweak your workouts to make them more effective.
Build Your Endurance
If you want to get your money's worth out of that expensive lift ticket, you'll need plenty of cardio endurance. Most of the people hit the slopes and plan on skiing all day, even if it's been months or years since they last skied. By afternoon, you're so tired that your legs feel like jello, a prime time for injuries and accidents happen.
Ski & Hike tips
To prepare your heart and body for long-term skiing, your cardio program should include:
- 3 to 5 days each week of your favorite activity. The best for skiing include running, the stairmaster, step aerobics, elliptical trainer and rollerblading.
- A variety of workouts at varying intensities lasting from 20 to 45 minutes.
- One long, slow workout each week for 60 or more minutes to condition your legs.
Build Your Strength
What makes skiing such a great exercise is that is uses all of your muscle groups. However, some muscles are used more than others. Those are the ones you want to concentrate on when it comes to your strength workouts. Skiing involves:
Quadriceps. Probably the most used muscle in skiing are the muscles of the quads. These muscles hold you in position as you ski and they also provide protection for your knees. Great exercises for the quads include squats and lunges.
Hamstrings and Glutes. When skiing downhill, you typically hold your body in a flexed position -- meaning you're leaning forward from the hips. This requires great strength from your hamstrings and glutes as they help stabilize your body. Work your hams and glutes with deadlifts, one legged deadlifts, pull throughts, step ups and hamstring rolls. More hamstring and glute exercises.
Inner and Outer Thighs. Your inner thighs work like crazy to keep your skis together. Your outer thighs keep your body stable and help you steer. Work these muscles with sidelunges, sliding side lunges, inner thigh leg lifts, inner thigh squeezes, side step squats and leg lifts.
Calves. Because your knees are bent as you ski, your calves (specifically the soleus) help you stay upright so you don't fall over (your ski boots help too). You can work this muscle by doing standing calf raises or machine calf raises.
Abs and Back. Because you're in a flexed position, bent over, your back has to work like a maniac to hold your body in that position. Your abs help in that endeavor while also protecting your spine. Your lats get involved as you ski on a flat surface or uphill, using your poles for leverage. Work these muscles with exercises likebicycles, woodchops, back extensions and dumbbell rows.
Arms. Along with your back, arms help push off with your poles while stabilizing your shoulder joints. Be sure to work your biceps and triceps along with the rest of your body.
Start off the Season with a Refresher Private Ski Lesson
No matter how long one has been on skis or a snowboard, there are plenty of reasons for a refresher lesson. Besides catching bad habits at their most malleable and giving thinking points for the season ahead, and whether the goal is to shake the rust off or polish an already advanced product, there are a wide range of general lessons as well as clinics that target a specific skill, such as mogul skiing or backcountry preparedness.
See u soon in Chamonix valley or Megeve ski area with Ski & Hike !