To get fit for skiing, there is no better way to do it than to ski more. However, most skiers only manage two to three weeks on the slopes per year. Therefore, it can take a week for them to get their ski legs back, which is frustrating when you only ski for a few days each year.
Improving your fitness before a skiing trip not only makes your skiing more fun but you reduce your risk of being injured.
In the few weeks leading up to your skiing trip, try to put together a cross training workout. By doing different activities, you can prepare your body for the intensity of a week or two of carving up the slopes.
The good news about creating your own training routine, is that you can tailor your workouts to suit your circumstances. Also, you can choose exercises and sports you like to ensure you are motivated and enjoy your fitness journey.
How Much Should I Work Out?
If you can squeeze in any kind of exercise before your skiing trip, you are off to a good start. But if you can start a specific training program 8 to 10 weeks before you go, exercising 3 to 4 times per week, your fitness will be improved dramatically.
Make sure you start off gently, and don't push yourself too hard too soon. If you overwork your muscles, they will ache too much, and you won't want to exercise with a sore body. Also, make sure you warm up before each workout and cool down at the end to prevent injury.
It is also a good idea to mix up your activities. By doing different sports and exercises, your workouts will be fun and you will get the benefits of several different activities.
While you are putting together your cross training program, factor in some recovery time. Without it, you will run the risk of injury.
What Other Sports Can I Add To My Cross Training Workouts?
To keep your skiing cross training varied, there are lots of different sports you can do. The good thing about participating in sports is that your exercise is more dynamic. Also, if you can find a sport that you like to do, you don't feel like you are doing monotonous exercise. Here are a few examples of sports that will complement your routine.
Running And Hiking
Exercises like running and hiking are very effective for your skiing fitness, but they are also the most accessible. All you need to get started is a good pair of running shoes or hiking boots. Head to the trails, or simply run around your neighbourhood.
Runners and hikers experience several health benefits, including strong legs, high endurance and cardiovascular health. A benefit that you may not be aware of is that these activities work your fast-twitch muscles. By conditioning these muscles, you will have the strength and agility needed for skiing.
Running is a high impact sport, which sounds like a negative, but it has its benefits. High impact sports are great for improving bone density, which helps prevent injuries.
Runners that tackle a few hills will get the best results. Hills increases the intensity of your runs, giving you a more strenuous workout. When you start to see the benefits of your running and hiking, you may want to give trail running a try. Depending on the profile of your route, trail running can give you a great interval training workout.
Cycling gives you an intense aerobic workout that gets your legs and lungs working hard. Another benefit of cycling is that you are using your core to keep yourself upright on the bike.
Similar to trail running, cycling incorporates lots of climbs and descents, which follows an interval training pattern. If you are a cross country skier, jumping on a bike before the snow falls will definitely help your fitness levels.
Mountain biking is very beneficial for skiing. It gives you all the advantages of road cycling, but it is much better for your coordination. When you ride on rough terrain, you have to make lots of adjustments and adapt your technique, which is what you need to do while skiing.
Swimming engages your core and helps to work your upper body. Swimming is a low impact cross-training activity, so it is good for your joints and gives them a rest from running.
If you swim regularly, you will build your core stability ready for your skiing trip. A strong core allows you to stay balanced on your skis while maintaining the correct posture. Swimming is another activity that improves your endurance; therefore, you will be able to ski for longer before getting tired.
If you are lucky enough to live near the sea, you can get a full body workout with some surfing. Surfing requires you to use all of your muscle groups together.
Paddling out works your upper body, while your legs and core are used to carve through the waves. The constant moving water and the ever-changing wave will teach you to adapt your position, making you a much stronger skier.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Stand up paddleboarding is excellent for improving your balance. Your core gets a workout as you deal with the instability of your board on the water, especially if the water is choppy. When you combine this with the motion of paddling, you are exercising your whole body.
By adding paddle boarding into your cross training workout routine, you will gain strength and full body awareness. When you are more aware of your body, you will be able to move in a way that will allow you to ski much better. You will also have more strength for attacking those slopes.
Rollerblading is one of the best cross-training activities for skiing. It builds your upper leg muscles, hips and glutes. Roller balding also works your core and lower back muscles. All this translates to better balance for skiing.
Are There Any Skiing Specific Exercises?
To improve your fitness for skiing, you should incorporate strength training into your workout routine. You will be able to perform specific exercises to target specific muscle groups on different days.
For example, you can have a leg day, where you do exercises like squats, lunges and deadlifts. On other days, you can do upper body exercises, core workouts, and back exercises.
If you are new to exercising, you may want to start with bodyweight exercises. As you gain strength, you can begin to add weights to your workouts. Weights add an extra element of difficulty, but your muscles work harder and will gain more definition.
It is best to do 30 minutes of strength training 3 times per week. If you add these workouts to your cross training program, you will quickly gain muscle which will dramatically help your skiing fitness.
We mentioned before that there is no better way to get fit for skiing than to go skiing. However, one excellent way of conditioning yourself for the slopes is to use a NordicTrainer. It has been specifically designed for cross training for skiing.
By adding a Nordic Trainer to your cross training workouts, you can make positive progress towards your goal of being at your best for skiing.
In its most basic form, the Nordic Trainer simulates the movements and effort you experience during cross country skiing. Even if you are not training for cross country skiing, you are still conditioning the muscles used for alpine skiing.
Begin with 20 minutes a day and increase the intensity and length of your workouts over time. The Nordic Trainer allows you to set a resistance level to suit your fitness and how hard you want to work. Therefore, it is super easy to take it up a level each week.
As you get more advanced, you can use the Nordic Trainer to target specific muscles. You can vary it from an all-body workout or just use your arms or legs.
The Nordic Trainer is an invaluable piece of cross training equipment. The nature of the movements provides a low impact way to workout while protecting your joints from injury.
A new Nordic Trainer may be just what you are looking for for your cross training workouts.
Plyometric training consists of high intensity, explosive movements that encourage muscular growth. Some of the most common plyometric exercises include hops, jumping and bounding movements. Plyometric cross training is best when incorporated into a strength training program. These dynamic exercises may enhance your agility, speed and power, which helps for a day of skiing.
Do I Need To Work On Flexibility?
Yoga complements skiing very well. By using the proper form, yoga positions and movements could help skiers perform better. Yoga also helps to prevent injury, as it improves your flexibility and strengthens your body.
To be competent when skiing, you need concentration, balance, strength, and flexibility. Yoga, as a cross training workout, will help you develop all these qualities.
Don't Over Do It
It is very easy to get excited and to try to push yourself to reach your goal quickly. But if your cross training workout is too intense, you run the risk of getting injuries. If you are struggling, lower the intensity of your workouts and go easy on the weights. Your body needs recovery time to build muscle and to reach your goal. Make sure you have a day or two off per week; you will feel much better for it.
Developing a cross training program will help you have more fun on the mountain. You will also benefit from improved muscle definition, lower weight and a new feeling of high energy.
Working on your ski fitness will improve your overall health and reduce your likelihood of getting injuries.