Getting Fit for Ski Season

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I know it’s not necessarily like this in many parts of the country, but here in Colorado when fall begins peeking around the corner it means ski season is nearly here.

Skiing can be deceptively tough sport, physically, so it’s important to be in good shape when you hit the slopes.  If you don’t already have a good workout routine, now is the ideal time to start one so you can be ready to make the most of your visits to the mountains.

So where to start?  As with pretty much any sport my basic recommendation is to have a well rounded plan together that uses weight lifting, aerobic exercise, and stretching.  For skiing specifically I recommend giving an above average emphasis to your legs and aerobic training.

In your weight lifting routine, be sure to include leg specific exercises such as squats, lunges, leg press, leg extensions, and leg curls.  These will strengthen your leg muscles so they can better handle the beating they take.  Better yet, if you have a BOSU or some other balance training equipment, incorporate those exercises as well to get all your stabilizer muscles trained.

Your aerobic training is critical.  Skiing is primarily a cardiovascular sport, so the better trained you are to handle this type of exercise, the better.  If you can run, you should be doing that at least 2-3 times per week, 30-60 minutes per run.  If you can’t run, then skiing may be out for you as well.  Start easy and work your way up to longer and faster runs by adding 5 minutes and/or a quarter mile to your run each time you go out.

Stretching is far too often overlooked in many routines, but may be one of your best ways of avoiding injury.  If you fall while skiing, the more limber your tendons, ligaments, and muscles are, the more likely they will be able to avoid getting torn.  Stretching before and after skiing will also help reduce the amount of time it takes your body to heal and be ready for the next day on the slopes.

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