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Preparing for the slopes this winter



Many of you may well be heading off to the Alps, America or even the powder fields of Japan for some festive fun in the snow this winter.

Our coaches at PerformancePro are here to help you prepare for Ski season.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that Skiing/ boarding isn’t just a holiday. Our bodies must adapt to sub zero temperatures, altitude and movements we haven’t practised whilst sitting at a desk all year. For some it can be a real test of endurance.  All of a sudden it’s upon us and the Apres Ski feels more appealing than the skiing or snowboarding itself.

The likes of Chloe Kim and Scotty James, at the 2019 Halfpipe World Champions, make it look so effortless, being super fit, flexible and strong, but we aren’t all professionals. When we ski or snowboard, we want to make the most of each day and the snow, but you could be skiing or snowboarding for up to 7 hours for 10-12 days in a row. Exhausting for a body that is underprepared.

There are a few things you can do to get your body ready for the slopes and our coaches offer their recommended exercises below so you can really enjoy your holiday.

Given most of us are time poor, we’ve developed short 45 minute sessions to do prior to your trip. Within this time we want to improve your strength endurance and anaerobic endurance. Skiing and boarding can be highly anaerobic with high forces exerted when turning.

Session 1

A1 – Goblet squat 3 x 8-10

A2 – Paloff press 3 x 20 second hold each side

B2 – RDL 3 x 8-10

B2 – Ring row 3 x 8-10

C2 – 5 x 30 second up hill rides on the WattBike /spin bike with a 120 second rest.

This workout sees you working bilaterally with a big lower limb movement plus a carry over drill which challenges your trunk sagittally and in rotation. It’s simple and week to week you just add c5% to your loads. If the ring row gets too easy, elevate your feet or wear a weighted vest. The hill cycles give a work to rest ratio of 1:4. Once you can complete the cycles on a 1:2 work/rest ration without throwing up add 10 seconds to the reps.

Session 2

A1 – Weighted lunges 3 x 16 reps

A2 – KB suitcase walk 3 x 40 metres each side

B1 – Thrusters 3 x 8-10 with either a barbell or dumbbells

B2 – Hollow holds 3 x 3×15 second hold

C1 – Assault bike 5 x 12 second max effort with 48 second rest

Session 2 incorporates some unilateral work for lower limb. The thruster gives us a big heart rate spike whilst challenging trunk, lower limb and some pushing. Don’t underestimate how much pushing you may end up doing. If you get caught in deep snow or just fall over a lot, your upper body and trunk gets a real work out. The suitcase walks and the hollow holds hit the trunk hard again helping build a solid foundation for the rest of your body.

Ski Fitness – 5 tops tips to prepare for the Ski season

1. Start training now – waiting until one week before you head for the slopes isn’t going to make up for one year of over-indulgence and lack of activity.

2. Make time – 2 x 45 minute training sessions per week will really help.

3. Get some help – understanding how to make the most of your time in the gym is key, so a well-qualified coach is going to cover not just technique but physiology and biomechanics and give you  the professional preparation you need.

4. Tidy up your diet – some small changes will optimise your efforts on the exercise front.

5. Sleep and Stretch – for your body to be active on the slopes day after day, recovery is key. Prepare in advance by stretching daily.  

For more information on how the PerformancePro team can help you click here

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