HOW TO SHAPE UP FOR SKIING
Shaping up to hit the slopes
For those learning to ski, the challenge and reward, comes from mastering an activity, writes DAVID ROBSON, that requires coordination and patience to
The popular winter pastime of skiing is, for those with a passion for the outdoors and an addiction to adrenaline, both fun and physically challenging.
Once the delicate balancing act of learning the skiing fundamentals has been accomplished, however, many quickly become devoted to hitting the slopes. To truly maximise your snow skiing adventures you must be physically fit, strong and well coordinated. Without enough stamina you may quickly find yourself trailing your friends and tiring before you can really enjoy yourself; without sufficient strength you may become injured; with a lack of coordination you may find yourself spending more time in the snow than on it.
While becoming a good skier requires skill, which can only be gained through extensive practice, a successful skier will have the physicality needed to navigate tricky terrain, while further improving his or her skill level. To be sensational on the snow, a skier’s physique will be strong in all areas (including the core) and aerobically fit. I will now explain how to build a body worthy of one of the world’s toughest and most rewarding, sporting pursuits.
BUILDING THE CORE
As they rely heavily on muscular balance and core strength, the accomplished skier must be strong through the abdominals, lower back, hips and obliques. Indeed, a strong core will decrease the risk of falls, improve performance and enhance posture; all of which enables us to better control our
BUILD TOTAL BODY STRENGTH
Aside from direct core work, preparing physically for skiing excellence will involve developing all over muscle strength. While
targeting the core is of fundamental importance, without strength across all muscle groups, various imbalances may occur, which may lead to skiing-related injuries. To build total body strength, do the following: Train each major muscle group once per week, with one day of rest between workouts (during which the core may be trained). Targeting any grouping will stimulate the core so to avoid overworking this area, considering the specific training we will be doing for it, other areas must be hit weekly. Complete the following movements for three sets of 8 to 12 each: Workout one: Dumbbell shoulder press; incline dumbbell press; front dumbbell raises; side laterals and triceps kickbacks.
THE POWER TO ENDURE
Since skiers are at certain times required to apply maximal aerobic effort (such as when traversing hills and gaining speed) their aerobic fitness must be sufficiently high.
The best way for skiers to build the endurance needed to last the distance and maximise their time on the snow is to incorporate high intensity interval training (HIIT) into their routines. This type of training will push you to just below the anaerobic threshold to develop a greater tolerance for the lower oxygen levels one may experience performing at higher altitudes. To train HIIT style, do the following: Cycle or run for one minute a at moderate aerobic intensity level (around 75 per cent of maximal heart rate) before switching to 95 per cent of heart rate max for a further 20 to 30 seconds. Continue in this fashion for 25 to 30 minutes. Complete four HIIT sessions per week, preferably first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach), as training aerobically at this time has been shown to lower body fat levels faster (excessive adipose may also prevent the active skier from enhancing their duration of performance and coordination on the skis).
To be sensational on the snow, a skier’s physique will be aerobically fit and strong in all areas (including the core).