5 Summer Activities to Prepare You for the Ski Season
It's never too early to start day dreaming about your next ski holiday and plan how you'll make the most of it. But something that often gets overlooked is our specific ski-fitness. The better prepared your body is for skiing, the further, faster and more frequently you can ski! The team at Ongosa think this is a real essential if you're planning on hiring a mountain guide or ski instructor – you'll be able to do so much more with tip-top fitness. So they've given us a few suggestions for fun activities this summer that will get you ski-ready (with not a squat in sight!).
| CARDIO & LEG STRENGTH
Runner's World recommends ski mountaineering as the perfect off-season training for Trail Runners, and there's no reason the disciplines don't work the other way around. Head off-road ideally, as this promotes strong knees, ankles and flexibility which will help make your ski boots fit better. You could even pound the pavement on your walk or run to work (keep it up for a decent distance – remember you want to ski for hours!), and you're sure to strengthen your legs ready for winter. The most common skier's injury is to the knees, so it'll pay off if you've trained your legs all summer. For this reason, it's worth taking care to you warm up and stretch properly too.
| CORE & FLEXIBILITY
A great activity if you're looking to work on the upper/lower body separation that steep skiing demands. Being able to twist and turn your lower body, whilst everything from the waist up is locked in one direction, is a key skill in both these disciplines. In general, surfing is excellent for your core strength and flexibility too. If you're not at the coast (or a coast with waves!) this summer, stand-up paddle boarding or wakeboarding are great alternatives that you can find on lakes and reservoirs all over the UK. You'd be amazed how many snowboard instructors teach sports like wakeboard in the summer season.
| CARDIO ENDURANCE & LEG STRENGTH
As the snow in the Alps started to melt in spring, ski instructors, mountain guides and locals all dashed to ride the roads and trails as soon as they could. This is because the two disciplines are driven by strong legs and a need for speed! Get on your bike this summer, on either the roads or mountain bike tracks, to work on your endurance and leg-strength. Ongosa's founder Richard Smith, drew some parallels between a mountain biking skills session and ski coaching, in the latest article on their blog.
| SKI STRENGTH & SKILLS
Find an indoor snow centre or dry ski slope (or your nearest glacier!) and while you won't be cruising long kilometres of piste to train your endurance, you'll be strengthening the exact muscles you need for skiing and getting some skills practice in too. If you're really committed to improving your skiing, you could even have a couple of lessons too. We think the real deal is best, so try to find an indoor slope with actual snow. Prices of UK ski slopes vary widely when kids are on school holidays, or at weekends, so why not book an evening session to beat the mid-week-blues?
GOING TO THE PUB
| ACTIVE RECOVERY
OK, this suggestion is much less athletic, but eating and drinking are an essential part of recovery, helping to repair muscles and rehydrate. However, rather than tucking straight into pie and chips, how about taking a walk beforehand, to keep your legs refreshed, stretch your muscles and emulate a morning on the hill?
No squats required, as promised! The least you can do is simply run up the stairs every day, but if you'd really like to make the most of your ski holiday, ski lessons or off-piste guiding, these disciplines (with the exception of the obvious), will all push your cardio-vascular fitness and get your body strong, flexible, balanced and ready for skiing.