5 ways to get fit for skiing & snowboarding
Skiing and snowboarding are very physically demanding sports but because they don’t always leave us gasping for air we often don’t consider how fit and strong we need to be to do them. So, if you want to stay injury-free this winter, progress your skiing/boarding, and get the most out of your holiday we suggest you follow our 5 quick tips to getting ski/snowboard fit:
Increase your core strength and improve your balance
Skiing and snowboarding rely heavily upon good balance, posture and core strength (abdominals, obliques, lower back and hips). You can increase your core strength, posture and balance significantly by exercising your abdominals, obliques, lower back and hips with a stability ball, BOSU ball or balance board three times a week.
Increase your strength to weight ratio
Increasing your strength and power while keeping your weight relatively low is essential for skiers and snowboards. If your strength increases but you ‘bulk-up’ with muscle or fat then you are only adding to the stress that you cause to your muscles, bones and ligaments when skiing or boarding. Similarly to gymnasts, snowboarders and skiers normally have a very high strength to weight ratio. As well as reducing the likelihood of injury this gives them more explosive power, more speed and more endurance.
So how can you improve your strength to weight ratio? Firstly, it’s really important that you eat a balanced diet of healthy nutritional food and that you try not to snack on sweets and carbonated drinks………and try not to drink too much wine and beer. Secondly, when you exercise you should focus on running or cycling longer distances, and when in the gym lifting lighter weights but with more repetitions. Exercises where you use your own bodyweight, like pull-ups and sit-ups , are perfect for improving your strength to weight ratio.
Surf, Wakeboard, Skateboard, Mountain Board, Rollerblade or Waterski
If you ski or snowboard the likelihood is that you have definitely tried at least one of the sports listed above. As these sports use many similar movements to skiing or snowboarding, and will keep you active, it makes sense to do them as often as possible. It’s a fact that if exercise is enjoyable it is far easier to motivate yourself to do it. Many professional snowboarders are keen surfers and skateboarders,
Increase your leg strength
Unsurprisingly it’s important to have strong legs for skiing and snowboarding. Our legs act as our shock absorbers, our steering and our main point of balance while we ski or snowboard so it is important that we exercise them regularly during the summer months. In the first few days of your holiday we guarantee it will always your legs and feet that are the most tired.
Although cycling can be a good form of exercise; squats, lunges, stretches and jumps are more effective and there are literally hundreds of videos on the Internet that will talk you through a good workout. Many of these videos combine all of the aforementioned exercises but tailor them specifically for skiers and snowboarders.
Increase your flexibility
Activities like Yoga and Pilates are very beneficial for skiers and snowboarders. They not only keep us strong, supple and flexible but they are also a good form of cardio-vascular exercise. Many people believe the biggest benefit to skiers and snowboarders from Yoga and Pilates is injury prevention, especially for the more mature skiers and snowboarders out there.
There are thousands of Yoga and Pilates instructors out there and classes are relatively cheap. So get on the Internet: find an instructor local to you and book yourself on to some classes before the start of the winter season!
If you live in London then Tammy Jones is an experienced snowboarder and high-level Yoga instructor that runs regular classes all over the city.