Preparation is undoubtedly the answer to a smooth-running skiing holiday. It can be easy to assume that you will step off the coach and become king of the piste but if you don’t prepare your body properly, you will suffer by day 3. So to help you get the best out of your week away, we have put together our best UniLean fitness preparation techniques to help you on your way…
Up your gym sessions
If you think that your weekly trip to the gym is good enough, then think again. Skiing well requires good muscle strength as well as a moderate level of fitness. The muscles that we work whilst skiing are not necessarily the ones that we use in everyday life, which means that a few walks around campus won’t be enough!
Since skiing is done at high altitude, cardio vascular fitness is essential to help you deal with the lower levels of oxygen. By nature, skiing is carried out in short bursts of exercise with time to recover as you sit on the chair lift, so HIIT (high intensity interval training) is what we recommend to replicate this. Short sprints on a treadmill or bike will help with cardio vascular fitness, as well as speeding up your reaction times.
The muscles that we use in skiing are balance muscles, which take a while to develop. We recommend incorporating training on balance boards, or even by partaking in other sports such as squash which will use similar muscles and demand quick movements and changes in direction.
Training using functional movements (squats) is much more effective than using isolated movements (leg curls) for developing the necessary strength for skiing. However, although skiing requires a lot of leg movement, it also requires strength across the whole body to be able to ski fluidly as a unit down the slopes.
Your core muscles are essential when it comes to skiing – especially for the more advanced mogul runs! The core stabilises the whole body and keeps your weight centred. As well as improving your ability to change direction, it can also help to manage the impact of a fall too, potentially preventing injury.
The cold weather on the slopes means that your muscles are often stiffer, and react slower with a smaller range of movement. Doing regular dynamic stretching is a safe way to improve your flexibility off the slopes. Dynamic stretches involve stretching the muscles through movement, and not holding the muscle in an end position. They are a great way to prevent injury and prepare you for skiing, as the body will become used to these movements.
We hope that these tips will help to prepare you for a fun, pain-free skiing holiday, and also to help you beat your friends down the slopes!
If you have any more questions, feel free to drop us a message on firstname.lastname@example.org.