© OT Chamonix / Monica Dalmasso
January is the month when everyone decides it’s time to get fit and shed a few pounds after the excesses of the festive period. However, getting in shape because you’re going on a skiing holiday and want to make the most of it, is much more gratifying and easier to sustain than slogging away in the gym because you’ve eaten too many mince pies over Christmas.
If the most exercise you usually do is walking to Greggs on your lunch break, spending a week lugging ski gear around, and sliding downhill in a squat position for prolonged periods of time, is probably going to be a bit of a shock to the system for your poor body. And, even if you’re generally very active, the chances of you working the same group of muscles that you use for skiing are fairly slim, so everyone will benefit from doing a few ski-specific exercises before hitting the slopes.
© OT Val Thorens / C Cattin
You don’t have to embark on an intensive training regime, although it certainly wouldn’t do any harm, but improving your general fitness and incorporating a few ski-related exercises into your daily routine will allow you to get much more out of your skiing holiday. The longer before you go away you can start, the better, but even if you’ve left it a bit late, anything you can do is better than nothing.
There are countless benefits of getting fit for your ski holiday, but one of the biggest is to help improve your technique. When fatigued, you stop focusing on your technique, which will not only hinder your progress, but can also lead to injury. Not only is having supple and conditioned muscles less likely to result in injury, but it’ll also help to prevent stiffness. Improved strength and stamina will also allow you to ski for longer, so you can really get your money’s worth out of your lift pass, and save a fortune on hot chocolate!
© OT Chamonix / Monica Dalmasso
The main muscle groups used when skiing are the quadriceps (front of thigh) and gluteals (back of thigh), but you’ll also benefit from having a strong core, calves, ankles and feet. When it comes to your joints, it’s your knees that take the biggest beating, but by strengthening the surrounding muscle, hamstrings in particular, you’ll reduce the impact considerably.
The best pre ski holiday training programme should include a combination of exercises that focus on stretching, strength and stamina. Cardiovascular activities, such as cycling (which uses similar muscles to skiing), running, or even brisk walking, will improve your stamina, while the best strengthening exercises include squats and lunges. Stretching is also an important part of any exercise regime and is key to keeping muscles supple, improving flexibility, and preventing muscle soreness.
The best strengthening exercises to prepare you for a ski holiday include squats and lunges.
Get started now, and by the time your ski holiday comes around, you’ll be raring to go. Not only will you enjoy your time on the slopes more, but you’ll also be able to indulge in all that delicious, alpine cuisine, guilt free!
Getting fit for your ski holiday, will make you feel less guilty about indulging in delicious Alpine cuisine, such as fondue! © OT Val Thorens / C Cattin
What are your favourite ways to get fit for a ski holiday? Share them in the comments section below!
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Posted on Monday 16 Jan 2017