It’s that time of year – dark when you leave the house, dark when you come home. Perhaps you are dreaming up Christmas party / family / work avoidance techniques.
But never fear – that most middle class of winter pursuits is round the corner: the ski holiday.
With that comes the price tag – costing anything up to an eye-watering £9,500 for a family of four for a week in the Swiss Alps.
What you really DON’T want to do is spend the week in a plaster cast after your delicate legs buckle at the first mogul. So why risk hitting the slopes without a bit a preparation? This article could literally save you thousands in opportunity cost. First up, there are a few simple exercises you should consider doing in the run up to the holiday to help you get the best out of the slopes:
- Side jumps
- Wall sit
The latter is possibly the most evil of exercises ever invented, but nevertheless crucial for you endurance. Sit with your legs at 90 degrees with your back to the wall, wait 30 seconds (or more), and pray.
If a list of exercises sounds a little uninspiring, here are 5 of the best free workout videos to give you a little push. Some of these are specifically tailored to ski and snowboarding, others are general purpose lower body focused workouts, all of them are worth your time:
1. Fitness Blender’s 30 Minute Ski Conditioning Workout
The king and queen of YouTube fitness videos Daniel and Kelli are back with a half hour workout video specifically designed for ski and snowboard readiness. It probably goes without saying that your quads will be toast by the end, but there is also some core work, and oft neglected triceps exercises to get you ready for the all important pole plant. Mind your knees on the side-to-side one-legged hop.
2. Ski Strength Conditioning & Injury Prevention – Week 1 (19 mins, Andrew Drummond)
A short, beginner’s guided workout consisting of 5 bodyweight, no-equipment moves: squat, lunge, lateral jumps for the legs, and plank and Russian twist for the core. Starts with a 3 minute demo of the moves followed by the workout. The main exercises are done alongside Go Pro video clips of skiing to get you in the mood.
3. Pre Ski Workout | 7 Exercises To Get You Ski Ready | Slopercise By Crystal Ski Holidays (20 mins)
There’s no pre-amble at the start of this video so make sure you are ready to get straight into the warm up. You will need some weights such as dumbbell or kettlebell for some of the moves. Hilariously this includes a “sledge pull” move to simulate pulling kids in the snow using a resistance band. If you don’t have one a light dumbbell or can of beans is the suggested modification. The plank-dumbbell-row to simulate pulling a lost ski pole out of the snow is a bit of a stretch, but it’s all good exercise. In total there is 5 mins of warmups, 10 mins exercise and 5 min cool down.
4. Ski Fitness Exercises and Workout Training – Prepare for the Slopes Now!! (RichWellness, 16 min)
You may spend the first half of the video trying to work out exactly what trainer Rich is wearing on his feet (clue – not socks). The video starts with 4 minutes of joint mobility exercises with plenty of focus on the feet as well as the legs, moving into the main workout where you will need a medium weight dumbbell. There’s a lot of twisting in different planes of motion to get your body ready for the unexpected challenges that hurtling down a mountain brings. There’s no cool-down included so you will need to do this separately.
5. Kat Musni 30 Minute Lower Body Strength + CRAZY Cardio Workout
This is not specifically branded as a ski / snowboarding workout, but many of the moves are perfect for your preparation, including bunny hops, squat jacks, lunge chops and narrow bounding ski jumps. Like some of the previous videos, you will need a pair of dumbbells for this one, but it is worth investing. If you have ever gone down a steep slope straight onto a flat you will appreciate the g-forces exerted – a bit of extra oomph in your preparation will help avoid coming a cropper.