The shorter days and autumn leaves can only mean one thing … winter is almost here. And while some of us pine for the warmer weather, for many the cooler months signal a watchful eye on the snow cam and a promise of perfect ski conditions.
Whether you’re a seasoned ski bunny, or planning to hit the slopes for the first time, preparing your body can make the world of difference to your time at the snow.
Here are four ways we suggest you build your fitness in the lead up to the 2017 ski season.
Your legs will be doing majority of the work when you hit the slopes. And with knee injuries the most common each ski season; your preparation should involve a variety of leg exercises. Training that strengthens your quads will help protect your knees while building muscle in your hamstrings and glutes will help support your lower back and hips.
It’s important you balance out all that strengthening with targeted stretches to keep your legs, hips and lower back flexible. Stretching is also vital when you’re at the snow. Cold muscles are more prone to injury so be sure to warm up your body with dynamic stretches for at least 15 minutes before hitting the slopes.
- lower body stretches
- dynamic stretching
3. Core fitness
Strong abdominal muscles are integral to every aspect of fitness. They protect your back, help your balance and improve your posture. On the slopes, having a strong core will give you a better chance of staying upright and will provide essential support to your back, while you spend most of your day bent over.
- dynamic core work
Improving your cardio fitness will help ensure you get the most out of your day – and your lift pass! Importantly, the fitter you are the more likely you are to maintain correct technique, which is another key to avoiding injury. As a general rule, try to fit in at least three cardio sessions each week and be sure to include a mix of interval based cardio and endurance cardio.
- brisk walk or jog (for longer than 40 minutes)
- interval training
If you do plan on having a ski holiday this year we hope you enjoy an injury-free trip – full of fresh powder, short ski-lift lines and lots of fun.
If you would like some additional help preparing for the ski season, or have a particular muscle or joint that you want to protect by seeking sports injury treatment, contact Fairfield Physiotherapy & Sports Injuries Centre on 03 9489 7744 for a consultation.