Get Fit to Ski – Your 8 Week Programme!

So your skiing holiday is booked and you’re starting to look forward to it but you know there’s some work to do before you go if you are going to get the best out of your holiday. It’s not just about getting packed, sorting out skiwear, equipment and ski passes, you need to get fit!

OK, you could decide to take the easy option and pootle down the blue runs and maybe a couple of red runs with lots of stops for coffee (or something stronger!) and some long lazy lunches. No need to worry about fitness too much if that’s your plan. However if you decide to hit the slopes hard and get value for money from that lift pass you need to get in shape now! No excuses for beginners either, there’s all that falling over and getting back up again to think about, to say nothing of the leg strength required to maintain a snow plough. You also need to remember that the ski resorts are at much higher altitude than most of us are used to so, with less oxygen in the air, things seem like much harder work.

It makes sense to concentrate on improving your aerobic capacity, that means getting out of breath (puffing but not gasping for air!) a few times a week. We’ve all suffered from burning thighs on that long red run home and tired aching muscles the next day so you need to work on your legs too, specifically your quads (muscles on the front of your thigh), the gluts (buttocks!) and calves. Core muscles (stomach, lower back and sides) shouldn’t be neglected either, these muscles will help you maintain good posture and stance when skiing and they’re absolutely essential when you need to get up after a fall!

So, what should you do? Start exercising of course! Just one small proviso, although moderate physical activity is safe for most people, health experts suggest that you talk to your doctor before you start an exercise programme if any of the following apply:

You have heart disease or any symptoms of it.
You have asthma or lung disease.
You have diabetes or kidney disease.
You have arthritis.

Otherwise, no excuses, get started now! For those of you who are gym members, it’s easy. You’ve got lots of specialist equipment at hand and the advice of qualified professionals, make the most of it. Ask one of the instructors to write a special programme just for you to get you “ski fit”. You’ll need a minimum of 8 weeks to get in shape, ideally 12 weeks so don’t leave it too late!

Another option is to join some group exercise classes. Spin classes are great for improving your cardiovascular fitness and Bodypump is good for strengthening those skiing muscles.

For those of you who aren’t “gym bunnies” we’ve devised a programme to help you get fit fast at home. You’ll need to exercise for about an hour three times a week for 8 weeks before your holiday to get the most out of the programme but anything is better than nothing!

Day 1Day 2Day 3
WARM UP

March/jog on the spot for 3 minutes

CARDIOVASCULAR

20 mins brisk walking/running/
cycling (puffing but not gasping!)

FOR LEGS

3 sets of 15 Squats
3 sets of 10 Static lunges (1 set = 10 lunges on right leg followed by 10 on left leg)
3 sets of 15 calf raises

FOR CORE

3 sets of 15 Hip bridges.
3 sets of 15 sit ups
Hold plank position for as long as possible (aim for a minute), if the full plank is too difficult start on your knees
Hold side plank, 30 secs on each side, easier option is to start on your knees.

Cooldown stretches

WARM UP

March/jog on the spot for 3 minutes.

CARDIOVASCULAR

20 Burpees
20 Squat thrusts
20 Jumping jacks

5 minutes skipping or running on the spot

Repeat above exercises and finish with another 5 minutes running or skipping.

FOR LEGS

Wall Squat aim to hold for 1 min.
3 sets of 15 sumo squats
Donkey kicks - 2 sets of 15 on each leg

FOR CORE

2 sets of 30 bicycle crunches.
2 sets of 30 mountain climbers
2 sets of 15 V-sits


Cooldown stretches
WARM UP

March/jog on the spot for 3 minutes.

CARDIOVASCULAR

20 mins brisk walking/running/cycling (puffing but not gasping)

FOR LEGS

3 sets of 10 single leg squats on each leg.
Reverse lunges - 2 sets of 20
2 sets of 20 Squat jumps

FOR CORE


Leg Raises - 3 sets of 10

Twisting crunch - 10 to the right, 10 to the left and repeat.
Hold plank position for as long as possible (aim for a minute), if the full plank is too difficult start on your knees
Hold side plank, 30 secs on each side, easier option is to start on your knees.

Cooldown stretches
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