It’s a well-worn adage, but it holds true for skiing: be prepared! To make the most of your ski holiday it’s best to get yourself in good physical shape beforehand. Panic attempts at improving fitness 2 weeks before a trip generally tend not to work! The good news is that there’s still plenty of time to make ready and prepare for the slopes: no excuses!
It’s important to remember that whilst improved fitness levels can certainly help stave off injury, it’s often overlooked that it also contributes to an enhanced overall level of confidence that in turn aids your progression in skiing. Strength is not just physiological, but also stems from mental awareness and the faith in your own abilities: training can thus improve preparedness for new challenges on the slopes while at the same time proving a rewarding pursuit in its own right. Furthermore, as the dark nights draw in, regular exercise is a great way of countering the weariness that can often accompany the feeling that summer’s past and we’re heading into the rainy season!
For sure, when it’s cold, wet and rainy outside it can be hard to find the motivation — so it is important to find exercises that you can do indoors, whatever the weather. Your choice of exercises also needs to consider variety, so as to keep your fitness programme stimulating and interesting as you head into winter. As you start your training (which is often the hardest part!) think of the health benefits you’ll attain and the added enjoyment you’ll experience on the slopes — that week away in the mountains is really not so far off!
Downhill skiing requires a blend of strength, stamina and endurance — these are key factors to work on within your fitness training. Pre-trip preparation should aim to target the muscles that are important for skiing, as well as provide opportunities for improving cardiovascular fitness while burning calories and increasing metabolism. While skiing is highly dependent on strong leg muscles, particularly static strength, upper body strength is often overlooked — but is however a key factor for stability.
This season Mountain Tracks has partnered with BeFit Apps, based at the renowned La Clinique du Sport in Chamonix, France. Developed by physiotherapist and clinical expert Neil Maclean-Martin, SkiFit is their new video-based app and online training programme aimed at skiers and snowboarders who are serious about getting fit for the mountain. The SkiFit App is suited to all ability levels with the aim of improving strength in key muscles, as well as developing flexibility and balance. The series of exercises specific to snowsports can be performed either at home or in the gym and form an 8-week training programme.
Well, there’s no time to lose — reap the benefits when the ski season comes around: you’ll find yourself a fitter, stronger and more confident skier (and have more fun on the mountain to boot!)
IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV
The IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV symbol is the logo of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association.
Nick, Olly and Matt are all fully-qualified UIAGM Mountain Guides and members of the British Mountain Guides Association.
The International Ski Instructors Association is the world body for professional ski instructors.
The ISIA was formed in 1971 and there are currently 39 member nations representing the very best in ski instruction around the world.