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Great Exercises for Skiing

Do you love winter?

Is it the woolly hats, chunky jumpers and cold crisp mornings?

Is there another reason?

Winter, for many, means ski season.

A week in the snow. Early mornings, late nights. Hurtling down mountains and relaxing with a cup of rich hot chocolate.

It's an amazing holiday.

But, don't get lulled into the sense that it's easy.

Skiing is hard work.

Ok, you've got gravity helping you down the mountain, but you've got to do your bit as well.

It's tough, and if you want to make the most of your time, you need to get your body prepared.

But don't worry.

We've got you covered.

Here are 6 exercises to get you started.

1. Great exercises for skiing - squats

First and foremost, you have to strengthen your legs.

You're going to need them, a lot.

Turning, stopping, controlling your speed, holding you up. Generally getting you down the mountain safely.

They all require your legs. So, make sure they are strong and able to stand the test of time.

After all, you don't want to have to end the day early because your legs are worn out.

There are lots of different exercises you can use to strengthen your legs. But my favourite is squats. Particularly squat holds. 

As the name suggests, you get into a squat position, and hold. Hold for a given amount of time.

Maybe 30 seconds, maybe 60 seconds.

the likelihood is, you won't be able to reach 60 seconds on your first go.

But work up to it.

try to ignore that burning felling you'll inevitable get and work through the pain.

I promise it will pay dividends.

2. Great exercises for skiing - carry something heavy

Are you wondering why carrying something heavy would be great for skiing?

Skis aren't that heavy. Maybe a few kilograms.

Your handbag probably weighs more.

But, remember you'll be carrying your skis for a while, trussed up in your ski gear, wearing ski boots and trudging through snow.

Believe me when I say they soon before the heaviest things you've ever had to lift.

So how do you prepare for that?

Well, carry something heavy. And, preferable, awkward.

Kettlebells, sandbags, punch bags, water balls, weight plates, kegs, tyres. Anything you can get you hands on.

Carry them how?

It doesn't really matter.

Make sure your core is embraces, your shoulders are back and down (away from your ears) and you're good to go.

Carry them by your side for a farmers walk, single hand or double.

Carry them overhead for a waiters walk, again single hand or double.

Or just hug them to your chest.

the important thing is that you activate the right muscle groups, your lats. And you do that by taking heed of the points above.

Carry them for a given distance, end of your driveway and back, or time. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat.

If you haven't got room to move that far, just hold them. Static holds can be tougher than moving, because you've got nothing else to focus on.

3. Great exercises for skiing - side lunge

When you're skiing downhill you shift your weight from side to side repeatedly.

It's this movement that helps you control your speed. And, more importantly, to stop.

The side lunge is a fantastic way of getting you used to this movement.

And they'll help you strengthen your legs at the same time.

to change emphasis, change the speed at which you do them.

Slower will strengthen. Quicker will condition.

4. Great exercises for skiing - core exercises

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about getting a six pack here.

Your core stabilises your whole body, so it's important to strengthen it no matter what you are training for.

Even if it's just weight loss.

if you're thinking you've got to do a load of crunches, think again.

There are lots of different ways to train your core. And it's really easy to at home.

Plank, side plank, leg raises, toe taps, back extensions, dead bugs, glute bridges, windshield wipers, Russian twist.

Choose a variety of these exercises to make sure you're hitting every part of you core.

But always do back extensions.

5. Great exercises for skiing - the kettlebell swing

I've sung the praises of the kettlebell many times.

And the swing is the best of all the kettlebell exercises.

It's great for getting your glutes working properly. In fact, it's good for your entire posterior chain, back, glutes, hamstrings.

Done right, they are also really good for building your cardio capacity.

High reps and minimal rest.

Mae them snappy.

If you've never used a kettlebell before, please do get some tuition. Then you'll know what you're doing them correctly.

6. Great exercises for skiing - build up your endurance

Building up your endurance is essential to make sure you can last a whole day on the slopes.

Remember, you've got to hulk your skis around. You'll be whipping down the mountain. And the air is a lot thinner up there.

High intensity training is a good way to do that. But if you're doing side lunges, loaded carries and kettlebell swings, you'll be doing enough HIIT.

So, get some long-distance cardio in.

Go for a long walk. Use your favourite bit of gym, cardio equipment, or go for a swim..

Whatever you enjoy.

Make sure your heart rate is elevated for about 30 minutes.

Great exercises for skiing - the workout

Skiing is an amazing form of exercise and an awesome holiday.

But make the most of it.

Get prepared. Not just your skis and warm clothes, your body as well.

If you're struggling to put these into an effective plan. Never fear.

We've got you covered. 

(BTW this workout isn't only for skiers. It's good for anyone :-))


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