When the snow falls, you want to be ready. And fit! Nothing will kill the fun quicker than an early season injury, so we asked pro skier Greg Hill for his best advice. “It’s definitely time to start getting ready,” he says. Below, he outlines the exercises you need to be doing to be in good shape for the snow.
Obviously keeping up on our cardio is very important, biking, running, treadmill whatever we have time for. But it’s important to do at least three sessions of 20 minutes each week. This is to just keep our cardio at par, but to improve it we need to push ourselves a little harder. That means three longer runs or bike rides of an hour but then 10% of that should be in the pushing hard phase – pushing so hard you can't speak! Put another way: 90% of our exercise should be in the ‘able to talk’ phase and then 10% in the ‘unable to talk’ phase.
Run or walk downhill. Hiking down from alpine hikes, or running downhill is a great way to shock your muscles and get them ready for the endless downhill descents. This imitates the impact of hard turns and the repetition of the sport.
HOLD THE WALL
Too busy? Go for a ‘wall sit’ and start extending the times you can sit against a wall. Get your legs at 90º, with your back against the wall and hold it there. This replicates the constant quad stress and strength you will need to crush the big runs. It’s an isometric strength training. Nothing moves or flexes – it just holds. Try two minutes and build up. (NOTE: Greg has quads of steel. We tried this and failed so don’t feel bad starting at 1 minute and pushing from there.)
It’s the classic ski training exercise but that’s because it works on developing power. There are many different games to play but the main thing is exploding up as high as possible and then landing and absorbing the shock smoothly. Reps of 20 and three or four sets to start off.
All around strength is also a big factor – core strength being key to balance and good skiing. So if you can, an all around weight routine will help immensely.
STAY UP LATE WATCHING YOUTUBE
Lastly, get excited for the ski season! Watch ski videos, dream up adventures, fuel your desire as much as possible. It’s the mind that will drive your body so get it excited!
Images by Bruno Long Photography