Saturday, 31 May 2008

Skiing Fitness - Which muscles to use?

With it being the off season for skiers in the Northern Hemisphere, it is a good time to look at training over the summer months. I plan to cover some different aspect of this over the next few posts - and yes, there will be more on unicycles.

The image above shows (roughly) the various muscle areas that are important to skiing. The obvious area is the quadriceps, marked in blue. These are the muscles that most people will think of in connection with skiing. However the quads are not the only, nor even the most, important muscles for skiing. The hamstrings, marked in green, are at least as important and perhaps harder to train effectively. Like most sports the core muscles (abs and back, marked in red) are very important. Finally arm strength has a role to play in high performance skiing.

An all round training programme needs the right balance of speed, strength, endurance and aerobic fitness training, and also needs to suit the type of skiing you do. A bumps specialist will have different needs from a ski mountaineer. In either case though, it is better to start now and build up a good base rather than leaving it until the weeks before the next ski trip.

The next post will cover the leg muscles - quads and hamstrings - what we use them for and how to train them.

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