Skiing is invigorating; will you be on the slopes this year? While skiing is less mainstream here in the UK and requires you to hop on a plane, which might not be something you plan to do this year, it’s an exhilarating sport.
I often talk about taking a walk in Winter to feel the wind in your hair, and skiing definitely blows the cobwebs away. It can be fast and offers plenty of fun on the slopes while giving your body a complete workout from your lungs to your arms, from your thighs to your knees. It’s also fantastic for your mental health and wellbeing, not least because you are outside.
Benefits of Skiing (and snowboarding):
- Burn calories, lots of them because the cold weather means the activity needs more effort than your regular exercise.
- At Sarum, we are delighted to report that skiing improves flexibility, which, of course, requires a strong core.
- Strengthens lower body muscles because you are primarily in a squat position. Give your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes a workout like no other exercise.
- Improved balance from the squat position, strengthening your core and lower body muscles.
Heading to the slopes with no preparation can result in injury or not fully experiencing your ski holiday. The same is true of not warming up properly before hitting the slopes – so make sure you do.
With the focus on your lower half of the body, here are a few exercises you can do at home to prepare for a ski trip. Although they are not limited to skiing, you will benefit even if you’re not planning to hit the slopes this year.
Exercise One: Wall Squat
Stand up against a wall with your feet in front of you (when your thighs are parallel to the ground your knees should be at ninety degrees). Now slide up and down the wall, keeping the upper body in contact with the wall while keeping your knees in line with your feet.
Exercise Two: Walking Forward Lunges
Stand with your knee at hip-width, take a step forward bend your knee and hip to ninety degrees. Keep your torso and your hip stable and the foot aligned with the knee and hip. Bring the trailing leg in front to make another step.
Exercise Three: Alternate Forward Lunge
Stand with your knee at hip-width, take a step forward and bend your knee and hip to ninety degrees. Keep your torso and your hip stable and the foot aligned with the knee and the hip. Return in control to the starting position and repeat.
Exercise Four: Abdominal Plank
Start on all fours, then prop yourself up on your forearms and toes, with your chin tucked in. Lift up your body, creating a straight line with your body. Maintain the position without arching the lower back.
Exercise Five: Skipping
Get your rope out and start skipping, alternative the type of skip and have fun.
Exercise Six: Fast Feet (side to side)
Stand on the side of a step with one foot on the step and the other on the floor. Switch feet by bringing your foot from the floor to the step while the other comes down on the opposite side. Repeat quickly in a safe and controlled manner with proper alignment of your knee cap with your second toe.
Prepare well for your skiing holiday (to avoid injury)
Ski fit exercises FOCUS on the legs, particularly the quads, glutes and calves (exercises one, two and three below are perfect. You should also include exercise four for developing a strong core and incorporate some cardiovascular training.
Try to complete at least three sessions a week for a minimum of twenty minutes, building up to an hour. Day three of your holiday can be when the legs start hurting and fatigue easily. And when injuries can happen, so the more you prepare, the less chance of this, and you will move through day three more easily.
Cycling is good as it uses the quads/legs, and skipping is a great alternative. Add some balance and nimbleness exercises (exercise six) to get down those slopes and avoid the bumps!
A skier or not
If you’ve noticed a loss of balance recently, a new or returning knee pain or perhaps a lower back pain, make an appointment by calling 01722 415 055. Please tell us what you want to be doing more of, return to or miss doing, and the Sarum team will come up with the right treatment plan for you, which will help you meet your health and wellbeing aims.
You don’t have to be heading to the slopes or be preparing for a ski holiday to visit us. There is no requirement for you to be an elite athlete because we aim to keep you doing what you love for as long as you want. Whether that be gardening and chasing the grandchildren to sitting at your desk without pain.
We are here to help you live your very best active life, whatever that is to you.