I’m always amazed by the number of people (mostly men, admittedly) who seem to think that the perfect preparation for a week’s skiing is 51 weeks’ couch surfing.
Skiing is a demanding sport, and with any sport, our performance and ability to avoid injury is dependent on how well – or not – we’ve prepared for it.
For anyone who’s too busy (OK, lazy) to spare an hour or two a week to get ready for the slopes, here are some exercises that even the most dedicated gym-dodgers can fit into their TV-watching schedule and that will at least start to get them prepared.
– Static squats (With ski pole, or broomstick)
Hold the pole/broomstick at arms length in front of you. Squat down, lowering the pole down to hip-level, and then raise it up back up to eye level as you stand tall. Breathe in as you squat, and out as you come up. Keep your shoulders back and down, core engaged and chin up throughout the exercise.
– Step ups
Find a step and starting with your right foot, step up and down imitating a walking motion. Swap the leading leg after every minute. Always keep your core engaged and shoulders back. Alternatively find a flight of stairs and climb up and down repeatedly. Either way, do it for 4 minutes in total.
– Mountain Climbers
Take a good plank position, pelvis neutral, core engaged and arms straight.
Keeping your back straight and without allowing your hips to rotate, bend one knee and bring it straight up beneath your body, then return.
Change legs and repeat.
Once you’re comfortable with this exercise, progress by:
1. Opening your hips and bringing your knee up to meet the elbow on the same side
2. Bringing the knee up to meet the inside of the opposite elbow
But in each case you’ll have to work harder to keep the back aligned, spine straight and hips level.