Get Fit For The Ski Season With This 10 Week Plan
You have planned this ski holiday. You are super excited about it. It happens for a few days once a year, maybe even less. Then you hit the slopes and after the first day you are tired and sore and wishing you had done some more fitness preparation in order to fully enjoy this amazing experience.
Do not let it happen this year…..prepare for it with this 10 week plan.
Not only will it help you make the most out of your holiday but also help prevent any aches, pains or injuries. When you fall down the black slope and end up in the splits you will have the mobility to stand back up out of it and carry on as if nothing happened.
The following drills will help improve overall fitness, posture, mobility, resilience, balance and better positioning and technique.
There are two ‘5 week’ blocks to the 10 week plan:
1st ‘5 Week’ Block: Increasing stabilisation, resilience and mobility
2nd ‘5 Week’ Block: Increasing strength endurance and ski specific drills. (To follow in a separate post.)
Skipping: This exercise gets all the muscles you use for skiing mobilised and warm.
Perform classic double leg skip for 2 mins
Perform single leg hop skip for 2 mins - do 10 hops on right followed by 10 on the left and repeat for 2 mins.
Perform side to side skip for 2 mins
Perform high knee skip for 2 mins
Exercise 1: Ankle Stretch
Time: 30 second hold each side
Focus points: Keep heel down as you try to get knee forwards over toe increasing the ankle angle. Use your body weight to press into the stretch more.
Exercise 2: Knee and ankle circles
Reps: 10 circles to the right, 10 circles to the left.
Focus points: Keep feet, ankles and knees together as you circle the knees and ankles around in a small circle.
Exercise 3: Hip flexor opener
Time: 30 second hold each side or/and 10 slow pulses each side
Focus points: Keep the gluteal (buttock) muscles engaged, the pelvis tucked under and the body tall. Breathe. To pulse, gently move hip forwards and backwards into the stretch.
Exercise 4: Low lunge with variations and rotations
Time and reps: 30 second hold each position plus 8 rotations.
Focus points: Focus on ‘flossing’ the hips in the low lunge position - do this by creating small circular and back and forth motions easing into the stretch. In the second position try to ease the knee out and away from you - create length. In the rotations focus on the movement happening in the spine.
Exercise 5: Cossacks
Reps: 10 reps each side pausing at each side.
Focus point: Sit back into your hips, keeping chest tall, abs drawn in. With feet slightly turned out, drive your knee out in line with your second and third toes.
Exercise 6: Single leg balance with toe touches
Time and reps: Hold for 30 seconds then complete 5 rounds of toe touches to the front, side and back.
Focus point: Keep a slight bend in the knee and sit back into hips. Keep standing knee as still as you can as you go through all the phases.
Exercise 7: Skier rotation squats
Reps: 10 each side
Focus point: Imagine there are two seats behind you to the left and right, keeping your feet and your knees together sit down to the right then to the left. Rotate to the opposite direction as you sit.
Exercise 8: Figure of 4 squats
Reps: 10 reps each leg
Focus point: Keeping ankle crossed over opposite thigh sit down into a one legged squat position. Aim to keep hips dead square. Sit as low as you can maintaining good form.
Exercise 9: Split squat
Reps: 10 each side
Focus point: Keep good alignment with knees and toes tracking each other. Squeeze your glutes as you lower into the split squat to open up the front of your hips too. Maintain a good back position (keeping alignment, lean slightly forwards).
Exercise 10: Skier squat - holds and pulses
Reps and Time: 20 second hold followed by 10 pulses, repeated 5 times.
Focus point: Keep feet and knees together and sit into a low skiing position. Pulse up and down as if you are turning and going over moguls whilst skiing.
Pictures 3-5 demonstrate a progression on one leg, going through a full one leg squat position.