Ski season is upon us and while some may opt to launch themselves onto the slopes and hope for the best, there’s no denying the benefits of preparing your body for both the activity and the icy-cold weather.
We speak to Steve Mellor, founder of AMP (Athletic Medical Performance), about targeted workouts, warming up and cooling down after a session on the skis.
How far in advance should we start preparing our body physically?
For skiing, like many sports, the more preparation the better. However, 6-8 weeks training at AMP and you will be Mogul ready!
Which muscles are used most while we’re skiing?
The big muscles used when skiing will be the lower body - specifically, your glutes, quads, hamstrings and adductors are targeted on every turn! You will know about this after a couple of days as these will be the muscles that are aching. The core also gets a good workout too and if you are doing any ski touring then the upper body will feel the burn.
Are there any workouts you would recommend to target those areas?
Obviously training at AMP is a great way to prepare for the slopes. We make sure you cover all strength areas whilst also working on your cardiovascular fitness so you can keep jumping on those chair lifts all day long.
A simple workout with 6-8 exercises can make sure all the key areas are trained effectively. Mixing some single leg movements with double leg ones is a perfect combo to make sure you are making the most of your workout and prepping yourself for the mountains.
Which exercises would you suggest for someone worried about keeping their balance on the skis?
This is where developing strength and stability on both one and two legs is important. Exercises like hip thrusts, split-squats, lunges, step-ups and single-leg leg press are all cornerstones of the AMP programme and will make sure you can navigate any run on one ski or two!
What is the best way to warm our body up just before we hit the slopes?
This is a big one that is always overlooked! When we travel with a client to the mountains, we will always make sure we get 20 minutes in the gym prior to heading up the mountain. Focusing on some basic stretches that target the back, hips and the muscles around those areas are a sure-fire way to feel ready to attack your first run.
We combine this with some active mobility and stability exercises principally working on the core, glutes, hamstrings, adductors and quads. This can be done efficiently in 10-20 minutes and will mean the first run is enjoyable rather than being a creaking and unpleasant experience!
And what can we do after a skiing session to aid recovery?
If you’re skiing for a week, I would strongly recommend adding in some stretching, yoga or a massage. This will help the body recover and keep every day enjoyable. With the yoga and stretching, again a simple 20-minute routine can be enough to have a meaningful impact on the next day's skiing.
AMP specialise in exceptional coaching, with a focus on delivering results in Strength, Endurance and Body Composition.
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