You need to get in shape before skiing and snow-boarding and prepare your body for the onslaught of six days consecutive exercise (ever thought when you last did six days solid exercise in a row? Probably last year!). So this preparation is crucial, helping you to feel strong, supple and balanced, allowing you recover more easily and minimising the risk of soft tissue injuries.

Although, to a degree, snow sports use your whole body, its the lower body that has dominance, so we need to focus on training the muscles that cross the hip and knee joints – these areas get the most abuse! So, essentially, the butt and legs, not forgetting the lateral glutes or external hip rotators – think of all that t turning of the legs and feet – that’s initiated from the hip. Skiing and boarding – to varying degrees rely on the body to be able to hold the body in a static squat, as well as moving in and out of a squat – so dynamic squatting – but where the lowering is as important as the rising. You also need a certain amount of power and ability to shock absorb, so you should incorporate some basic plyometrics.

So try these exercises:
1. Slow squat x 15 – lower on 2s and rise on 2s – this allows more time under tension – mimicking the static squat
2. Power squat x 20 – jump as high as you can from a squat position and lower back in one smooth movement
3. Step up/down x 10 leading with each leg – find a box a bit lower than your knee – step up onto it, turn around at the top and step back down – repeat leading with other leg
4. Dynamic split squat x 20 – from a lunge position – leap up, switching the legs in the air and landing softly with them reversed and jump straight up into the next rep
5. Walking lunges x 20-30 – with two equal weights (5-10kg, depending on your strength)
6. Clams x 10 on each side – lying on side, with bent knees, open top knee to ceiling, but without letting the pelvis drop backwards, and return to start – repeat on other side
7. Single leg hip lift x 8 on each side- lying on back, one leg straight, one bent, lift straight leg and hip off ground until in bridge position, then tip raised leg and pelvis away from you, before bringing back to level and returning hips and leg to ground – repeat on other side
8. Side step up x 10 on each side – on a decent sized step – stand side on and then step up with your nearest leg, extending the hip, then lower – repeat on other side

Remember to stretch, glutes, quads, hams and calves afterwards. Also, check out the lower body exercises in the ‘Workout of the Week’ section.

During this exercise preparation your re-awakened muscles may be crying out for a bit of TLC and Sports Massage Therapy with Fit2you wouldn’t go amiss. After any sport, overworked muscles need stretching and massaging to release knots and tension and loosen muscle fibres.

Sports massage is a widely used treatment for injury rehabilitation and prevention, as well as performance enhancement. But while historically it has been used by the professionals, only recently has sports massage become more the norm for annual skiiers as a means of preventing injuries, treating niggles and enhancing the experience on the slopes.

The benefits of Sports Massage for skiiers and snow-boarders are:
Relax and stretch out tight muscles
Ease aches from muscles
Deactivate trigger points
Improve circulation
Flush out metabolites/waste products
Restoring suppleness and increasing flexibility
Identify problem areas before they develop into injuries
Treatment of existing injuries by breaking down scar tissue/adhesions
Promote recovery
Enhance body awareness and mind-muscle connection

A pre-holiday sports massage is certainly advisable, once in resort there’ll be plenty of therapists on tap and then Fit2you will be here on your return! Skimping on massage is a false economy; all those who are familiar with the benefits of regular maintenance sports massage purport it as being as important as their training – because it is!

Written by: Jo Gaskill

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