The words ski fitness always result in a collective groan among my peer group. But winter sports holidays do require a certain level of fitness.
But you don’t have to banish your family to the gym to get them ski-fit. Here are a few easy ways to get them mountain-ready. They are all family friendly. Many are completely free. And most importantly. They are fun.
A game of tag or catch in the garden is the same as doing interval training at the gym and a lot more fun. It involves short sprints and bursts of energy and its also great for working the core and preparing your body for the unexpected on the mountain, like bumps in flat light, or avoiding an out-of-control skier.
2. Got a dog?
Get a stick and throw it, or fight and wrestle with your dog to get the stick. Play tug-of-war with your dog’s favourite toy to strengthen upper arms. Playing with your dog will get your core working and get your body moving in all sorts of different directions.
Crawling about with your little ones is a brilliant ski-fit exercise because you’re working through the core and across the whole body. It teaches the muscles to work together for better efficiency. Because skiing involves the whole body – pole planting, turning, carrying your skis to and from the slopes – crawling is an ideal preparation.
1. Ice Skating
Take the family Ice Skating. It’s a really simple and fun way to engage some of the right muscles for skiing and incorporates a similar combination of balance and co-ordination. It also gets you used to sliding and will quickly banish any fears of ice which is a constant battle for many skiers. If there is not an ice skating rink near you, why not try regular skating?
I’ve yet to meet a child who doesn’t love trampolining and there are centres all over the UK where you can participate in this brilliant sport. It’s a great way to strengthen your core and develop your coordination. It’s also a good cardio work out as you tend to do it in short burst. And for those of you working on your freestyle skiing and snowboarding, a trampoline is the go to place to start practising somersaults and rotations.
3. Visit a snow centre?
The most obvious of all but it is now possible to continuing skiing and snowboarding regularly while you are in the UK. This doesn’t totally eradicate the need to get ski fit, but some regular trips to a snow dome is great fun for all the family and you will be working the ski muscles, while skiing. As your fitness improves with the home exercises you will certainly and quickly notice the difference on your next visit to the snow dome.
Skiing is a sport. In fact ( as fun as we all find it) it is still considered an extreme sport. There are very few similar activities where we would turn up having done no other physical preparation.
So become an exercise opportunist. Spend quality sport time together with the family. See the world as your possible gym.
Because it all adds up.
With busy lives, it’s important to see the world as your gym
Ollie Martin, Performance Coach for The Telegraph
Share this story