Get slope-fit for your future luxury ski holidays with these exercises that can be done at home or at the gym
Lower your seat so that your feet are in the middle of the press and your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Start by pushing back with both legs until they are fully extended without locking your knees. Using one leg, slowly lower yourself back down the machine. Once your knee is back to a 90-degree angle, repeat by pushing yourself back up with both legs and lowering yourself again with the opposite leg. The use of downward pressure will help to mimic when you’re going into a turn on the slopes.
With the quads and glutes being the main power muscles used during skiing, squat jumps are the perfect way to develop fast reactions in these muscles areas. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and squat low enough for your thighs to become parallel to the ground. Remember to keep your back straight and your chest up. Once you are parallel, jump up high with your feet lifting off the ground and land softly on the balls of your feet.
Building up your cardiovascular fitness is very important for skiing as it is such a physical activity. The most efficient form of exercise for this is interval training, where you have intervals of intense and slower workouts. The best machine for this is either the step machine or exercise bike as these work most of the muscles needed for skiing. Try 30 seconds intense and 30 seconds rest.
Another great exercise to do at home or the gym that focuses on the leg muscles and glutes are lunges with dumbbells or kettlebells. Doing front, side and back lunges ensures you are using all the correct leg muscles and by adding weights into the mix means you are getting used to using your arms and legs at the same time, similar to that of skiing poles. When lunging, ensure you are only bending the knee of your outstretched leg. For instance, when lunging forward on your right, only bend the knee on your right leg and your left leg will follow naturally. Incorporate the weights by raising both arms above your head when you are stepping back up to a natural stance.
Your muscles always need to be stretched and cooled down after a workout so this is a good routine to learn for when you are skiing and it will make you less stiff the following day. For a spinal twist, lie face up on the floor and bring your left knee up to your chest and push it over to your right side. At the same time, extend your left arm out to the side and turn to face it. Hold this for 15 – 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.