Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Exercise for Skiing

The exercise illustrated to the left is often cited as the way to prepare for a skiing holiday. You adopt a sitting position (minus the seat) against a wall and hold it until your thighs cannot take any more. And this achieves? Well, not a lot really. It will make your quads burn a bit and possibly give some small strength boost. However the quadriceps are not the only muscles used in skiing, nor even the most important.

Skiing requires aerobic fitness, flexibility and physical strength. Improving these can help improve your skiing. Concentrating on one muscle will not.

If you want to be able to ski all day then regular aerobic exercise such as running, cycling or swimming is the best plan. Doing one of these three times a week is probably all the training most people need to get the most out of their skiing holiday.

If you want to do more to help your skiing you need to plan a program including both strength and flexibility straining. The strength training should concentrate on core strength and stability as well as all the leg muscles. Squats are ideal for this and should form a significant part of any weights programme for skiing. A programme of stretching should accompany the weight training, but static stretches should not be done before a weights session. The programme can also include plyometrics, interval training etc.

You can obviously take your training as far as you like - it depends what you want to get out of your skiing. World Cup racers train full time whilst one week a year skiers just need a basic level aerobic fitness.

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