Fitness for the slopes
We all know – or have been! – that person who rocks up to a ski resort and injures themselves in the first couple of days.
It’s crazy how so many people attempt to put their body through a week of extreme sport without any preparation.
A little goes a long way when it comes to getting ready for the slopes, and with a small amount of strength training to bullet-proof your body (your legs in particular) you’ll have a much more enjoyable trip.
Our MATRIX sessions in Blackfriars and Oxford incorporate running, conditioning and movement – a killer combo for getting in shape. Do a couple a week – ideally combined with a RIDE session or two – and burning thighs on the pistes will be a distance memory.
If you’re struggling to fit in a class, focus on these key moves at home. Trust me, a little effort makes a big difference.
This movement works the adductors (your inner thigh muscles), which have to work hard to keep your skis close together. Keep both feet facing forward and focus on pushing your bum back and hinging at the hip. Hold a weight to make it harder. Do 10 each side, three times over.
Grab a couple of dumbbells (if you haven’t got any, use tins of beans) and start with your feet just wider than shoulder width apart, holding the weights in each hand next to your ears. Push your bum back and lower yourself into a squat position, ideally to a comfortable depth, ensuring to keep your chest up. Squeeze your glutes and return to the start, then raise both weights above your head. Lower and repeat the whole move 15 times, three times over.
These help with explosive power, cardio fitness and overall strength in your glutes, quads and calves. Lunge with your right leg in front and then jump up and switch legs in one explosive movement. Repeat. Do 20 (10 each leg), three times over.
Find a stable chair or bench if you’re outside. Step up onto it with your right leg, bring your left leg up, then lead with your right leg back down. Repeat with your left leg leading. Do one minute, alternating legs, and make it harder if you need to by adding weight.
These burn but are so effective at improving lower body strength and hip and lower back mobilty. Get into a squat with your feet a bit wider than hip distance apart. Bring your hands together and place your elbows onto the insides of your knees. Engage your core and push your hips towards the ceiling and chest down, keeping your elbows in contact with your legs. Come back to a deep squat then repeat. It's amazing for opening up tight hips and improving lower limb range of movement.
This one works the core, stabilises the shoulders and opens up the hips, giving you some extra mobility which will be a major gain for when you’re dodging moguls and parallel turning down the piste. Get into a press up position, keeping your hands in contact with the floor, lower one of your hips to the floor (effectively twisting your body), slide your leg underneath and away from you (allowing your hip to little connect with the floor) then come back to the first position and repeat on the other side. Not only is this one great for full body strength and coordination but also a great low impact cardio movement. The twisting action prepares your body for the 360 degree of movement on the slopes.