In part one I looked at ways to do some pre season training that simulated real skiing. Most of these involved some expensive equipment or a fair degree of risk hurting yourself. This article will look at some other (perhaps more realistic) things you can do to get into shape for skiing. Here’s a few ideas:
1. Anything is better than nothing
Most people think of skiing as a downhill sport with gravity pulling you down the hill so who needs to be fit? Well to get the most out of your day, ski bumps, powder, steep terrain or in anything more than a straight line you will want to have some fitness, any kind of fitness is better than nothing. Any exercise that improves your cardio will be good, especially when you come to Mammoth of which the top is 11,000 ft above sea level. I like running myself but cycling, rowing or anything that gets the heart going is good.
2. The Legs!
The legs! You might want to think about squats or lunges to work the quads. That’s your thighs and with most people the thigh muscles work pretty hard when skiing. If you tend to ski in the backseat, like a lot of skiers do, your thighs work hard to keep you upright. Then you need those same muslces to help turn the ski. Likewise the hamstrings and big backside muscles are used a lot too.
3. Core Strength
Don’t forget about the core. In skiing you can get thrown around a lot as you hit bumps, different snow or terrain. A strong core will make a difference in keeping your balance. Things like Yoga are great for the core whilst also really good for flexibility.
On your first day up the hill for the season go easy! Easier said than done (especially if it is a powder day), but why burn yourself out on the first day if you are skiing for a week? Start on slopes that are easy for you and do a few warm up runs. Stop skiing before you feel tired. A lot of accidents and injuries happen to skiers when they push for that last run. As a side note for those of you that are superstitious: you should never mention you are having a last run as this will be frequently when an accident happens; Murphy’s law I guess. The elevation at Mammoth is pretty high so other things you can do to help your first day is drink lots of water and not so much of the margaritas.
5. Take a lesson early in the season
I’m not a personal trainer or exercise guru but I can teach skiing. I teach technique that makes use of the ski to help turning which then saves your energy for more skiing = more fun!
6. Some resources on the internet
Map my run is a cool site that allows you to map your run on google to see how far you have gone and how many hills you have gone up; the more the better.
You can find some great ski exercises here that will work the legs and core.