Start Getting Ski and Board Fit Now!
It may not be time to hit the slopes just yet, but right now is the best possible time to get your body ready for your best ski trip ever! We have caught up with the team at Bonne Santé (located in Val d’Isére and Tignes) to find out how to get in the best shape ahead of the ski season. Here are their top tips.
Why start now?
Everyone has heard those stories of a knee sprain or shoulder injury on day one that means the rest of the trip is spent discovering a book rather than the slopes. Don’t underestimate how important having good physical fitness is in preventing serious injuries. By giving yourself a summer of targeted exercise you can reduce your risk of injury.
Stay on the slopes for longer
Both skiing and snowboarding are physically demanding. Not having a baseline level of physical fitness may mean you’re puffing and panting long before the day is out and are missing out on time in the snow. Building your cardiovascular endurance can allow you to last all the way until après ski!
Conquer those black runs
Well, successful completion of a black run is not necessarily guaranteed! But it stands to reason that your skill level is very likely to advance the longer you’re on the slopes and the stronger you become.
Okay, I’m ready to get fit. What do I do?
Your quad strength is particularly important to protect your knees from harm. Full body exercises with a focus on quads and your core will ensure all-around strength and stability. Core strength is also key to providing a stable base for the rest of the muscles to work off. Pilates is a great exercise to do pre-snow season and even during if possible.
Exercise 1: Step up. You can use the lower part of your staircase or a stable low chair for this one – 10 reps x 3 sets each side to begin, the ultimate goal is 15 reps x 3 sets.
Exercise 2: One-legged stand up. Try 10 reps x 3 sets on each leg! Goal = 20 reps x 3 sets.
Exercise 3: Spiderman plank. Start at 18 – 20 reps x 3 sets with a future goal of 30 reps!
Improve your balance and agility
Reduce your risk of a tumble in the snow by becoming super stable on your feet. Achieving a good level of flexibility is an important starting point. Don’t forget Yoga, it’s is a great way to achieve both flexibility and balance.
Exercise 1: The running man. Start by trying to get 10 good quality (i.e. try to look graceful and keep knees/hips in line) reps for three sets on each leg. Progress to 20 reps x 3 sets, each leg.
Exercise 2: Ski jumps. 30 seconds x 3 reps. As your agility improves try to make your jumps wider and slightly faster!
Up your endurance
Many people tend to avoid cardio, but doing any form of moderate-intensity endurance exercises will immensely benefit your ability to conquer bigger and better slopes throughout the day. Top exercises to try:
Stair climbing: Climbing stairs is a fantastic way to quickly get your heart rate up and work your quads, and you can do these exercises at home. Start with 15 minutes, 3 to 5 times per week.
Cycling: Cycling is a great way to keep fit. Start with 30 minutes, 3 to 5 times per week.
Running: A slow but longer run is the best way to improve your endurance. Try 20-30 minutes, 3 to 5 times per week.
I’ve done some training but I’m still not sure how ready I am for the slopes?
In that case, the team at Bonne Santé are on hand to help keep you fit, safe and healthy throughout your trip.
Biomechanical assessments: They carry out full body screenings to identify areas of weakness and give you the advice and treatment on how to solve any issues, help to improve your technique if you’ve hit a plateau or simply to get you through your trip safely.
Injury treatment and guidance: For those that do sustain an injury while on the slopes they will treat and advise on the safest way to make your way back to full activity.
Fit to Ski & Board sessions: In these sessions, they work on your areas of weakness to train you for the demands of your sport and keep you in shape.
Pilates and yoga classes: A strong core and flexible body is vital for injury prevention and also as a great way to stay in shape on your days off the slopes.