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Get Fit for the Slopes

Only those who bring a certain basic level of fitness with them can enjoy their ski holiday to the full. Here are some valuable training tips to improve your strength and stamina for the winter. None of the exercises require a fitness studio, just a gym mat and some motivation.
Make sure you are training correctly

Stand in front of the mirror in shorts with your feet parallel in a skiing position. Draw an imaginary dot on the centre of your knee cap and drop a vertical line to the floor. The line should land between your second and third toe, not towards the big toe or in between the feet as it does with most. Correct your alignment and try repeating every day so that it becomes the norm. This will enable you to carve properly on the slopes and avoid problems with the knee cap joint.

Still in front of the mirror, examine your body from the side. Make sure your bottom is not sticking out or tucked in too much. You need to find the neutral position of the pelvis as this is when your muscles work best, keeping the upper body relaxed. Practice bending your knees into a skiing position whilst maintaining pelvic neutrality.

Now observe where your hips move when you bend your knees. Sitting down too much puts excessive strain through the quad muscles and knees, so make sure the weight is kept forwards, almost like you are going to tip over. You should not have any weight on the front of your ski boots, but by balancing forwards like this you are ensuring your weight is balanced over the centre of your skis, affording maximum control and the ability to turn the skis smoothly.

Cardiovascular fitness

Before you can start doing strength exercises it is important that you get your circulation going. We recommend that you begin your workout regime at least 6 - 8 weeks before your ski holiday, training 2 - 3 times a week. For the cardio sessions it makes sense to choose an activity that uses the same muscles as skiing, such as cycling or jogging.

Strength exercises

Skiing demands core stability (stomach, back) and strength in your legs. After your cardio warm-up, we recommend repeating the below exercises 3 - 4 times. Don't forget to stretch out once you have finished.

Half press-ups
Place your hands together in front of you, elbows at right angles and knees on the floor, then raise your buttocks until your shin bones are parallel to the gym mat. The advanced can stretch their knees thus tensing their whole body.
Important: Keep your back straight, keep your balance.
Duration: Hold for 45 seconds

Lie on your back on the mat with your knees at a 90 degree angle and the soles of your feet on the floor. Then slowly raise your buttocks until your back and bottom form a straight line. Hold briefly and return to the basic position.
Amount: Repeat 20 times

Radiator mascot
A dynamic stance that stimulates your muscles by alternating the tension on both sides and requiring some coordination. The basic position is similar to the starting position on a running track, however one arm and one leg are pulled in tightly towards the body. Stretch the arm and leg, hold briefly, then slowly return to the basic position.
Amount: Repeat 15 times on each side

Side half push-ups
An exercise that primarily strengthens the sides of the pelvis and shoulders. Lie on your side on the mat, support yourself on your elbow and tense your body so that an imaginary straight line runs between your head and legs.
Duration: Hold for 20 seconds on each side

Diagonal tension
Lie on your stomach on the floor, stretch out arms and legs, then raise your right arm and left leg alternately, or vice versa.
Important: Keep the muscles in your buttocks tense throughout.
Amount: Repeat 20 times

We all know sit-ups are great for the stomach muscles. The basic position is lying down with your legs at an angle, your shoulder blades not touching the floor. Place your hands flat on the floor then slowly raise and lower your upper body.
Amount: Repeat 20 to 25 times

Knee bends
An exercise that prepares you well for that tough downhill position.
Important: Stick your bottom out as far as you can when you bend the knees. Your body should never be in front of the tips of your toes, with the exception of your arms.
Amount: Repeat 20 to 25 times

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