Exercise is one of the most important steps to include when preparing for a fun and injury-free ski trip. Since skiing is a seasonal sport and most of us who live in Texas only get to participate now and then, it’s important to prepare with other methods of exercise to ensure a safe vacation. In order to take full advantage of every day you’re on the slopes, cardio endurance is a must!

Cardio

Most injuries on the ski slopes occur in the afternoon near closing time. Most skiers on vacation plan to ski all day. Without the right exercise before the trip, exhaustion and fatigue at high altitudes can overcome you before you know it. You’ll have more endurance if you can complete 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 days a week before your trip. Some suggested cardio exercises include:

  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Elliptical trainer
  • Stationary bike

Along with cardio for endurance, strength training is important for your legs and core.

Strength Training

Although skiing works all of your muscles, here are some tips on how to prepare the muscles that will do most of the work:

  1. Hamstrings and Glutes.  As you ski downhill, your knees will stay bent to act as your shock absorbers.  Staying in a bent position requires strong hamstrings and glutes.  Deadlifts, one legged deadlifts, and lunges are exercises that will tone these muscles.
  2. Inner and Outer Thighs.   Successful turns need hips and thighs that are in great shape.  Turns start with your outer hips and thighs. Working with side lunges, inner thigh squeezes, side step squats and leg lifts will focus on these muscles.
  3. Calves. A semi squat is great at working your calf muscles.
  4. Core and Arms.   Since you are in a downward position most of the day, strong back muscles help you maintain the position you need to get on and off chair lifts.  Crunches, planks, and push ups work this area.

A good program will combine cardio and strength exercises in a way that doesn’t overwork one area of the body.  At Sterling Ridge Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, we offer the Skier’s Edge Program that helps skiers of any ski level prepare in the following ways:

  • Enhance functional core strength and stability
  • Maximize functional leg strength and power
  • Obtain faster and more precise reaction skills
  • Develop effective upper and lower body strength programs
  • Improve cardiovascular endurance
  • Reduce the risk of sports injuries

Call our office for more information about getting ready for your trip to the mountains.