Most of us are only able to squeeze in a handful of ski trips every year, and no one wants to have to quit early or have their adventures in the snow cut short by an injury. Making the most of those trips to the mountains requires planning ahead and getting in shape for the season with a winter sports fitness program.
Like any conditioning program, your ski fitness regime should include both aerobic and strength training. If you’re going to ski hard at elevations where the air is thin, you need to build up aerobic capacity with running, biking, or some type of cardio machine 3 to 5 days per week. Combine shorter, higher intensity exercise with longer duration sessions. Strength training should focus on the muscles that get the most work when you’re on the slopes: quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Adding in a few sets of squats and lunges to your normal strength workout will make it easier to ski all day long without slowing down. Don’t neglect your core strength, either; a strong core will give you better balance, control, and agility. Any number of websites can help to refine your workout even more to optimize conditioning of the muscles you rely on, whether it’s for carving big turns on a wide, groomed piste, or exploding hop turns down a narrow 50-degree couloir. Don’t show up for your first ski weekend dreading sore legs on Monday. Get fit and enjoy your turns to the fullest!