Fitness articles

Getting Fit for Your Winter Holiday

28/01/2011by in ,

Ski & Snowboard Exercise Program

All snowboarding and skiing activities are demanding sports that require some form of pre-season preparation and training in all areas of fitness. Adequate pre-activity preparation not only enhances your enjoyment and performance but also minimizes the risk of injury.

If you are unsure it is advisable to seek doctor’s advice before embarking on any sort of new fitness program.

Warming Up

You can warm up in several ways, but most warm ups should include an aerobic activity (using large muscle groups: legs, arms or both), done at low intensity for 5-10mins. 

Heart & Lungs (Aerobic Conditioning)

Do any continuous standing aerobic activity for 30mins or more, including running, stair-climbing, elliptical trainers, cross country ski machines etc.

As snowboarding and skiing are activities with bursts of activity followed by periods of rest, add some interval training in to your workout, by adding short intervals of a higher intensity interspersed with short recovery intervals at a lower intensity. The intervals can range from 30secs to as much as 5mins.

Ski / Snowboard Specific Exercises

When performing all the exercises below, really try and keep your abdominals and lower back as strong as possible. Imagine you’re wearing a corset, thus preventing your core from collapsing.

With all the jumping exercises always be sure to practice gently first before you put too much effort in to them.

Lower Body

Vertical Jump: Feet shoulder width apart, arms in a relaxed position at your side. Wind up bending knees and hips. Simultaneously push off with both legs while swinging your arms forward. When landing, think of yourself as a shock absorber as your feet, ankles, knees and hips share the impact of contact. Aim to do 8-12-15 reps

Walking Lunges: Stand with your feet hip width apart. Step out; about 3 feet with your right foot, letting your left knee move towards the floor (make sure left does not make contact with the floor).  Drive off the right foot, bringing the left leg through past the right foot and place left foot 3 feet in front of you. Try to prevent yourself from wobbling by contracting the abdominal and lower back muscles. Make sure the knees are in line with your shoes. Perform 8-12-15 with each leg.

Rotational Jump: As the vertical jump, except this time rotate your body 90 degrees, as you jump. Perform 4 rotations in one direction then 4 in the opposite direction. As you get more competent try rotating 180 degrees.

Double Leg / Single Leg Lateral Jump: Standing with feet close together jump high and far right and recover to ski or snowboard position, then jump high and far to your left. Keep hands at sides if you were holding ski poles. Try double foot at first then progress to single leg landing on one foot only. Repeat the movement 6 times in each direction.

Telemark Jump: Adopt a lunge position, right foot a good stride out in front of you. Using your arms and legs jump vertically and bring the left leg forward and the right leg backwards. Use your feet, ankles, knees and hips share the impact of contact and then repeat. Work up to 10-15 reps.

Schuss: Feet shoulder width apart and adopt a half squat position, then slow pulse up and down; as if you were skiing downhill letting your knees absorbing the uneven contours of the slope. Perform for 30secs and build up to a minute.

Upper Body

DB / Barbell Chest Press: (Incline or Flat) Lying on your back on a bench, DB in each hand above your chest. Lower slowly down to armpits and then push back up and together. Try 8-12-15 reps

DB Row: Position yourself lengthen ways on a bench, Left hand and left knee on the bench and position your body so you have a flat back. DB in right hand, arm straight. Breathe out and lift the DB up to your side, without twisting the spine. Try 8-12-15 reps

Plyometric Push Ups: Either full or three quarter press up position. Push off the floor explosively trying to get as much air between yourself and the floor.  Try 8-12-15 reps

DB Lat (Side) Raises: Holding a DB in each hand, down by your side. Lift the DB’s out to your side until they are parallel to the floor. Pause momentarily then slowly lower them back down to the start position. Try 8-12-15 reps

Core (Abs & Lower BACK) Exercises

Lower Back Extensions: Lying face down, place your hands on your butt and lift your upper body off the floor whilst keeping your toes firmly on the floor. Perform slowly aiming to do 10-15-20reps.

Heel Lift: Lying face down, heels in the air. Push your heels towards the ceiling contracting your glutes and lower back muscles. Hold that position, and then slowly lower your knees back down to the floor. This is a small movement and your heels will only rise 2-3 inches off the floor. Aim to do 10-15-20reps

Ab Crunches: Lying on your back place heels on to the edge of a chair. Hands around your ears, then slowly lift from your chest up towards your knees. Lower slowly to the start position whilst maintaining tension in your abdominals. Aim to do 10-15-20reps

Twist Crunches: As above but as you lift up take right elbow towards your left knee, return to the floor then left elbow to right knee. Aim to do 10-15-20reps

Horizontal Side Support: Lie on your side, resting on your left arm, with your legs extended, with your right foot on top of the left. Slowly lift the pelvis off the floor whilst supporting your weight on your left forearm and feet. Hold for 10-15secs without letting your pelvis drop down. Repeat 3-5 times on each side.

Bicycle Crunch: Lying on back, pump legs as if on a bike and at the same time take opposite elbow to knee. Keep slow and controlled.