In order to make the most of your next skiing or snowboarding trip it is important to get in shape in the weeks and months leading up to the vacation. Although it might be hard to find a place to recreate the motions of downhill skiing it is still possible to strengthen the key muscles for hitting the slopes. Here are some great exercise tips that will help strengthen areas like your arms, back and core before you hit the slopes.
Incorporate Regular Cardio
Skiing and snowboarding are both sports that rely significantly on the cardiovascular system. Without a solid base of cardiovascular exercise a skier might find that they need to take frequent breaks on the slopes. In order to get a full day of skiing in and not have to rely on breaks and rests make sure to include cardiovascular exercise in the weeks before your snow break. Try jogging outside, spinning at a low resistance or even hopping on the elliptical machine at your local fitness facility.
It is important to have balance when you are skiing or snowboarding. Without enough balance even the strongest skiers will find themselves falling over frequently. There are several great exercises you can incorporate that will improve your balance. Start by standing on one leg for a minute without wobbling. Then progress to single leg squats. If you have a rope in your home or gym lay it on the floor and try to walk along the length of it without falling over. You might have a friend move the rope slightly as you walk to increase the challenge and test your balance further.
Strengthen the Legs
It should come as no surprise that the legs require strength to power you through a day of skiing or snowboarding. If you have access to a gym you can use the resistance machines that will specifically target certain areas of the body like the hamstrings and quadriceps. There are also several exercises you can attempt from home without equipment. Start with lunges and squats and progress to ski jumps from side to side. Simply keep your feet together and knees slightly bent and jump to the left and right for one minute or until you need to take a break.
Target the Core
The core of the body is made up of the back, obliques and abdominal muscles. Having a stronger core on the slopes will allow you to take on quicker twists and turns without sacrificing form or risking a fall. Traditional crunches and sit-ups can be effective in strengthening the abdominal muscles but it is important to work the entire core as well. Try plank poses, which will quickly and effectively target all the muscles of the core and the back and require no additional equipment to complete.
At least one month before your skiing or snowboarding trip set aside some time a few days each week to focus on these key aspects of fitness. With a strong core, legs and cardiovascular system along with great balance skiing will be a breeze.
Isaac writes on for St Martins Chalets a business based in the St Martins, Austria specializing in Holidays to Austria, St Martins are a great choice for a ski holiday in Austria at a beautiful eco lodge in the heart of the Austrian Alpes.