The top winter sport, skiing is a favourite cold weather activity for many during the holidays. It can be freeing, a graceful floating down the ski slopes with the sun shining. But, as many a budding skier will know, it is really not that simple (it’s just sliding standing up, right?). First time skiers know all too well the muscle aches that come with not being fit enough. This year we are going to turn that around with a few helpful tips on getting that body ski-ready.
Skiing is really a perpetual squat, which in itself is a bit of a workout. This puts a lot of strain on the knees and also the thigh muscles. These areas in particular, need to be strong enough to hold your body in the same position for lengthy time periods. It is therefore important to start by getting the correct posture. To do this, stand in front of a mirror with your feet parallel to each other. Make sure that your knees do not stick out further than your toes. Once you are in the correct position, repeat this position every day to build muscle memory.
Next up is the pelvis. The pelvis needs to be in a neutral position whilst keeping the top part of the body relaxed. Your weight should be over the centre of the skis, so rather than squatting down too much (a rookie mistake, as it causes unnecessary strain in the thighs), you should practice finding the balanced position and using your core to shift weight rather than your knees.
Your quads and glutes will need a lot of strengthening too. Step-ups are a great method for the former while making sure to maintain the correct ski body posture. For the glutes, lying on one side with the knees bent in the ski position and opening and closing the top leg like a clam will strengthen your derriere muscles.
With some work, flexibility and balance you’ll soon get the correct ski body, with which to hit the slopes, and don’t forget, this works for snowboarding training, too.