How to get fit for skiing in Scotland
Hopes are high for another great skiing and snowboarding season in Scotland. If you are keen to get out on skis – or a snowboard – it’s a good idea to follow a get-fit-for-the-slopes plan. The following article appeared in my Sunday Mail outdoors column.
How to get fit for skiing
Skiing puts demands on specific joints and muscles and while being fit in general is helpful, there are specific exercises that will benefit your slope-time. Also see this blog about five exercises for skiing fitness.
Rachael Lowe is a keen skier and physiotherapist. She said: “To be a better and stronger skier, and to prevent injury, you should consider an exercise programme that replicates skiing as much as possible.
“It’s a good idea to start an exercise plan specifically for skiing at least eight weeks before an outing or holiday.”
Rachael is co-founder of SkiFit, a video-based online training programme and mobile app aimed at skiers.
It has been created by experts to offer a programme of high quality ski-focused exercises and is suitable for all levels of fitness to help people to get fit for skiing.
Rachael said: “Most skiers know about the need for strong thigh muscles, the quads.
“But skiing also calls for butt strength, aligned hips and knees, dynamic flexibility in your spine and a solid core.
“Our app helps you to develop dynamic stability to keep you centred over your ski, strength to keep you going all day and a conditioned core to support all of this.”
The SKiFit programme offers a build up over eight weeks and each session takes an hour.
There is an eight-minute SkiFit option for busy people. See befitapps.com/skifit/
If you are a gym member, you can also ask an instructor or a personal trainer to develop a ski fit plan to follow.
Another tip is to book a few ski sessions on a local indoor or artificial slope prior to the season.
Gordon Scott is a representative of the Scottish Artificial Slope Operators’ Group and general manager at from Bearsden Ski & Board Club, East Dunbartonshire.
He said: “For many people it will be at least six months since the end of the last ski season so they will be a bit rusty on the slopes.
“Spending time on an artificial slope, especially if it’s a lesson, offers a number of benefits, including physical strength and flexibility.
“Getting back on to skis and boards allows you to become familiar again with the equipment and how to sue tows, for example.”
He added that it’s helpful to remind your body and mind about the “sensation of sliding on skis or a board again” and to “switch on mentally to the sport”.
Gordon said: “Ultimately, if you spend time practising before you get to the real-snow slopes, this saves time on relearning the basics in a resort and allows for a more enjoyable holiday or trip to the mountains.”