The snow is falling, the slopes are calling. Are you sure you’re in good skiing shape to tackle the unforgiving terrain? The answer is probably NO, which means you need to get SkiFit and SnowboardFit now! Do NOT go skiing/boarding until you have read this. How to get your body…..
In 4 WEEKS!
In order to prepare your body to hit the slopes you need to understand what muscle groups you use and how to strengthen them so you can use them efficiently.
- Quadriceps: From the moment you put your boots on in the morning your quads are immediately engaged. Any skier will tell you that this is their sorest body part after a session on the slopes! With your knees constantly bent these muscles are sure to feel burn throughout the day. Strong thighs help to minimise impact on the knee joints and aid in suspension upon landing when skiing.
- Abdominals/core: particularly the deep core muscles. A strong core is essential for stability and balance when gliding down the mountain. When you are at the level of parallel skiing it is important for protection of your lumbar spine and to aid your balance/control down the slopes.
- Hamstrings, glutes: the side-to-side action of skiing, as well as the all day crouch require good dynamic hip stability. Unlike snowboarding your lower limbs are not connected which means great glute and hamstring strength is required for single leg stability when using one leg at time.
- Abdominals/core: The frequent changing sides from heel to toe whilst turning, traversing and stop/starting and even just moving forward require strong control and balance of the core muscles.
- Quadriceps: You need strong knees and thighs! You will never see a snowboarder go down the mountain standing fully upright. A slight bend in the knees is important for balance and crucial to minimising impact on the knees and of course the rest of the body.
- Calves: Snowboarders spend the majority of their day in a partially squatted position. The angle of your bindings and boots ensure that the calf muscles are always switched on and can be susceptible to cramping! So get these guys nice and strong to prevent the painful burn.
It is important to have at least 4 weeks of strength, balance and endurance training incorporated into your training program. By targeting specific muscle groups you will be able to tolerate higher amounts of lactic acid, meaning you will not fatigue on the mountain and you will be able to enjoy longer runs. Integrating proprioception exercises like multi-directional one leg hops on a bosu into your pre-snow adventure routine may reduce the risk of injury as it prepares your body to activate stabilising muscles around the joints.