The best skiers know that what they do in the summer months has a direct correlation to what condition they will be in for the winter months ahead. We’ve rounded up some of the best off-season training tips from pro skiers that will help you condition your body during the warmer months with the goal of being in your best shape for the upcoming skiing season!
If skiing is your thing, it’s likely that your passion for the mountain doesn’t fade when the snow melts. If organized training isn’t quite your style, off-season mountain-centric activities like hiking, mountain biking, climbing, or running are great ways to stay active. Keeping your body active and in shape helps prevent injury and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness.)
Pro tip: Do what you love, and do it often!
Lifting + Core Exercises
Some pro skiers like to use the off months to lift heavy weights and work on core exercises. While cardio is a great modality to help increase endurance, lifting heavy and focusing on the core will also help prepare for the upcoming season.
Anything that can help with balance will also be beneficial. Try activities such as yoga, SUP, or Pilates.
Backcountry skiers spend a good amount of their offseason training, running, and hiking, which help to increase endurance. Since skiing is a foot-born, full bodyweight exercise, non-weight bearing exercises will be less effective for backcountry skiers who need a lot of endurance on backcountry trails.
The opposite stands for downhill skiers. Conventional gym-based weightlifting is one of the best ways to go, as this will help lessen leg fatigue when out on the slopes.
Variation is Key
Training in the offseason doesn’t have to be regimented. They say that variety is the spice of life for a reason! Vary more structured lifting and core fitness days with other activities such as hiking, swimming, rollerblading, or SUP. Remember to add in rest days here and there as well!
Don’t Forget Nutrition
Even though it is the offseason, that doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you want! Make sure, especially if you are working out and being active, that you are consuming ample protein, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and drink an adequate amount of water (at least 8 cups per day!).
Pro Tip: Olympic skier Julia Mancuso is a firm believer in healthy eating, and likes to incorporate special nutrient-rich shakes into her diet. Follow her lead and make a smoothie that blends coconut water, protein powder, almond butter, raw cacao nibs, and blueberries. Yum!
Need some ideas on exercises to condition your body? We’ve got you covered!
Here are some exercises that you can do from home throughout the summer to gear up for ski season:
- Squats + Lunges: These exercises target the quadriceps, which are the most used muscle in the body when you are skiing.
- Deadlifts, Step Ups + Hamstring rolls: Your hamstrings and glutes help stabilize your body as you glide down a mountain on skis. Work on these areas to increase the strength of these muscle groups.
- Side lunges + exercise ball squeezes: These exercises are great to strengthen your outer thighs, which help stabilize your body and steer while going down the mountain on skis.
- Calf raises: Working your calf muscles is beneficial because they take on the majority of your weight and help maintain an upright stance while your knees are bent.
- Crunches, V-Ups, Lat Pulls, Dumbbell rows, wood choppers, etc.: A conditioned core is key to protecting your spine from injury as you are in a bent-over flexed ski stance.
- Bicep + Tricep exercises: Condition and strengthen your biceps and triceps to ensure that your arms and shoulder joints are ready to help stabilize your body.
You don’t have to hobble around in pain after your first day back on the slopes! These tried and true tips from ski pros will ensure that you are in tip-top shape once the flurries start to fall again this winter. Until then, stay in shape!
While you train and dream about next winter ski season, check out some of our affordable lease-to-own ski options! Get the right gear that will enhance your performance on the mountain!
image courtesy of netafit.org