Ski fitness tips with Chill Factore
- Practice squats and lunges at home to improve muscle strength
- Work on ankle pumps to increase flexibility & stability around the ankle
- Incorporate twists and core stretches to improve core strength
Chill Factore has put together a guide for the best ski fitness tips to help you get your body ski-fit! By the end of the article, you’ll know how best to train and condition yourself for the high altitudes and intense conditions of the slopes. And remember, don’t ski to get fit, get fit to ski! Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, fitness plays a big part in how well you ski.
Winter sports use different muscles to more traditional sports, so it’s important to know which exercises you need to factor into your daily workouts. If you’re looking to take your technique to the next level or preparing for your next big skiing holiday, performing ski-specific exercises and regular pre-ski workouts will help boost your fitness immensely.
Best exercises for skiing
Let’s start by covering the best exercises for skiing. While this ski fitness guide will cover plenty of different ways to keep your body in slope-ready shape ultimately, all forms of ski-specific exercise will look to improve your endurance, strength and flexibility, as these are the key qualities of any great skier. With this in mind, the best way to achieve this is to train your muscles and prepare for the slopes with core ski-specific exercises. As ski fitness often focuses on your legs, the three core ski exercises that Chill Factore always recommends for novices and pros alike are squats, lunges and ankle pumps. Whether you decide to work these three exercises into your pre-ski workout or even if you do them at home, they will ultimately contribute towards improving your fitness while skiing.
Exercises to do at home for improving ski fitness
Squats work a variety of muscle groups in a single exercise. By incorporating squats into your exercise routines, you can prepare your muscles for the types of motions encountered out on the ski slopes. As with squats, lunges also help work numerous core muscles at once. During any home-based workout, consider including side-lunges to better strengthen your lower-body. Side-lunges are a great way to help strengthen your lower core and are the best form of lunge-based exercise for skiing. One of the biggest muscle strains encountered during skiing is on your ankles. With this in mind, a great exercise to do whilst at home for improving ski fitness is ankle pumps. Ankle pumps build up both your ankles and your calves, so including them in your exercises can reduce the risk of muscle strains whilst out on the slopes.
Now we’ve given you a better understanding of the best exercises for improving ski fitness, let’s talk about your pre-ski workout. The aim of all skiing-related exercise is to maximise your time out on the slopes, so think of a pre-ski workout as maximising your time spent exercising. Pre-ski workouts are ideal for those looking to stay in great shape for a long skiing holiday by maintaining consistent levels of ski fitness. By having a routine-based, pre-ski workout, you can better your chances of achieving peak performance.
Additionally, if you can’t find the time to commit to a regular ski fitness program, then combining pre-ski workouts with ski-centric exercises is definitely a huge advantage if you’re keeping fit at home. In preparation for any ski holiday, we would advise pre-ski workouts should be carried out at least 8-12 weeks before you leave. This should give you enough time to perfect these exercises and strengthen the core muscles you’ll be using out on the slopes. The best way to begin any pre-ski workout is with a warm-up.
Preparing your pre-ski workout
For beginners, we would advise a simple warm-up of 20 seconds of squats, 20 seconds of lunges and then 20 seconds of ankle pumps. Or, if you’re a more experienced skier, we would advise a pre-ski workout that’s a little more intense. To begin with, we would advise 20 seconds of scissor kicks into a squat, be sure to start off slow and build up speed as you progress. Next, do 20 seconds of in and outs, again, build up the speed of your movement as you progress. Finish your pre-ski warm up with 20 seconds of hip rotations into squats, with quick and light ground contact. This will get your heartbeat racing and muscles limbered up for your big pre-ski workout.
Our top pre-ski workout
For your main pre-ski workout, you’re looking at around 20 minutes of vigorous exercise. This is to be repeated twice with a 2-3 minute break. If you’re doing your pre-ski workout at home, you’ll only need either a chair or a wall and a mat or a carpet. Begin with 60-seconds of ballet bar leg raises and squats. Using the chair for balance, perform a set of three leg raises and then transfer to three squats. Repeat for 30 seconds and then swap over to the other side, all the while keeping your core engaged. Follow this with 30-second push-up planks. Alternate between which elbow bends down to the mat and try to keep your hips as level as possible during the exercise.
For advanced skiers, challenge yourself by bringing your legs to your knees off the floor. The added movement will help raise your gains and better improve your ski-fitness. Next up in this pre-ski workout is 60-second glute bridges. Start by pulling your belly button to the ground to straighten your spine and engage your transverse abs. Once done, fire your glutes to lift a straight knee to a shoulder alignment. Progression during this ski-exercise set is to raise one leg and then dip towards the ground, whilst your body is aligned.
Finish this set off by performing 40 seconds of alternate crab touches. The most challenging exercise of the set, this will involve balancing on your feet and hands while your hips are off the ground. Once you feel a good degree of separation, rotate your core to touch your hand to your opposite toe. After you’ve completed this set, make sure you rest for 2-3 minutes and hydrate yourself before performing this set once again to finish your pre-ski workout.
Improve your fitness with skiing lessons at Chill Factore
Working on your fitness levels at home with exercise or pre-ski workouts may keep you active, but nothing prepares you for a ski holiday quite like a day spent at Chill Factore. Book a Lift Pass or take a ski lesson out on the UK’s largest real snow slope for the closest thing you’ll get to the real thing. Whether you’re an experienced skier looking to improve your technique, an intermediate skier who’s looking for a refresher, or even if you’re just looking for a fun new activity and a way to keep fit, Chill Factore has something to suit everyone.