Skiing is one of our great loves – What does it take to be fit?

We love the snow and snow sports be it Downhill Skiing, Snowboarding, Cross Country Skiing or Snowshoeing. The beauty is the snow can be for all ages and all activity levels, it can draw the eye to its beauty especially here in Australia amongst the Snow Gums on a sunny day when the snow literally sparkles.

Being ready for the snow is important be it clothing, chains for your car and yes, your fitness! For the very reason that snow is slippery, well the ice underneath definitely, so whether you plan to walk around or ski then you want your body to be able to handle all that it throws at you – plus the odd snow ball! So good muscle strength, stability and mobility and depending on the activity, endurance. As I keep bragging JC was the Strength & Conditioning Coach for the AUS XC team and is helping two of our Australian Olympic Athletes preparing their run into the next Winter Olympics – so proud of him! So, let’s learn a little from JC on some really basic fitness levels to go for a visit to our snowfields this winter.

  1. Stability – Core strength? How many sit-ups can you do?  Not really, stability is your body’s ability to stabilize during movement.  In skiing when you are moving and need to avoid the bump or stop, change directions, what are your, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles doing? To achieve greater stability you need to hold a squat position whilst doing a lateral twist with a cable and / or powerband.
  2. Balance – Normally we may think standing on one foot but in skiing we need to keep the centre of gravity on the same plane while in motion. For example, like riding a bike or at our studio balance exercises would be standing on stability cushions or our wobble boards – try doing a squat whilst on them, it’s quite tricky!
  3. Strength- Strength is the ability to overcome a force.  Do you have the strength in your legs to stay in a squat position for the length of the run?  In the gym you might think of squat, lunges and wall sits.
  4. Stamina- See Strength as above. The ability to repeat an action without or little fatigue. Can you ski all day past the lunch break run after run.  Stamina is the ability to ski the last run with the same intensity as the first.  If your enthusiasm and movement quality deteriorates after 20 minutes, you may need to work on your stamina.  No need to go out for a 15k run unless that’s your thing.  There are a lot of ways to build stamina, interval training, circuit strength training, tennis just to name a few.

If you have any questions or would like help preparing your body for ski season, please contact us.