Waiting for your next ski trip this coming winter? Keep fit while you’re at it. The biggest perk of working out off-season (as opposed to waiting until autumn) is that it allows you to endure the physical demands of the sport much longer. In addition, working out your core, gluts, back and legs early on helps you avoid more serious ski-related injuries.
You don’t exactly have to take extreme measures to be in tip-top shape for your next ski vacation (READ: CrossFit is optional). There are a lot of activities you can do this summer that can still pack the same punch as the routines practiced by the US Ski Team, but not as hardcore and rigid.
Target: Legs, Abdomen, stamina
Frequency: 5 days a week for endurance training, twice a week for strength training
The key to staying on the slopes all day and still having enough energy to spare for the après ski activities that will follow is having strong legs and abdomen. Keeping them toned allows you to maintain your balance on your skis and help you avoid fatigue midway down the slope or along moguls. Otherwise, you’ll be off to a rocky start.
Riding a bike during off-season is a fun and excellent way to keep those muscles toned and limber (and give you your daily dose of adrenaline rush, if you’re contemplating on downhill mountain biking).
Start with an easy and casual pace on a longer distance to help you build up stamina, while at the same time, keep your muscles constantly moving and your heart beating. If you’re ready to take it up a notch for strength training, crank up the gears (or the resistance on a stationary bike) to strengthen leg muscles. Choose routes that include plenty of uphill climbs.
Target: All muscle groups and endurance
Frequency: once a week, in addition to your regular workout routine
It’s not just a great way to beat the summer heat. Swimming works out all muscle groups and helps you build stamina for a day on the mountain. Plus, it helps you combat altitude sickness by improving your breathing.
Start slow by doing at most 10 laps, then gradually increase the number of laps up to 50 (or more).
Target: Leg muscle and balance
It’s running, with a twist (and a few turns and hills). Compared to running on hard and flat pavement, trail running not only strengthens your leg muscles, but also helps you focus more on maintaining your balance using different muscle groups as you make your way through more difficult terrain. Plus, the soft dirt is a little easier on the joints. The great view and the fresh air is another added bonus.
Start with easier and longer trails before going for routes that require uphill climbs and jumps.
Keeping fit doesn’t always have to mean sticking to your regular ho-hum drills. Mix it up a bit, or consider one of these activities as an alternative to your existing routine, and you’ll be geared up for your next ski trip in no time.