The snow season can undoubtedly be gruelling when it comes to keeping up your general fitness levels and ability to take on those harsh twists, turns and jumps down the mountainside. Advanced skiers and snowboarders require a super high level of fitness and a regular training regime to stay on top of their craft. But even if you’re just dabbling in the sport and are planning to spend a day or two on the slopes, you have to be prepared to experience a serious increase in heart rate to say the least.
That’s exactly why we’ve put together a write-up on everything you need to know about how skiers and snowboarders train in the summer to prep them for a big season of shredding in those perfectly icy winter months.
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Why It’s Important to Train for a Ski Season
With skiing and snowboarding being such athletically demanding sports, there’s no way of getting out of some training before you go to hit some fresh pow – no matter what level of experience you have with the sport. From keeping your joints warmed up and ready to getting your cardio up to the level it needs to be at in order to be able to take on the challenging terrain that naturally comes with snow sports, training for the snow season is a must.
Make skiing and Snowboarding Easier
Taking a break over those summer months can have more of an effect on your body than you can imagine if you’ve just come off a hard season of skiing or snowboarding – working out and keeping on top of your exercise regime as much as possible is a no brainer if you want to make things easier for yourself once the next snow season rolls around.
Improve Your Endurance
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you're itching to get onto the slopes, but once you do, you can’t even make it through one run without feeling completely and utterly exhausted. Stamina is everything when it comes to skiing and snowboarding, and if you want to be able to keep up with the pace, you need to stay on top of your training. Why not put a bit of extra work in over those summer months so you can enjoy hours on end riding that terrain without running out of steam?
Enhance Your Performance
Love showing off your skills on the slopes? Performing at your peak comes down to how much work you put into what you’re doing – whatever that may be. Imagine a door handle that’s been left unturned for years, when you go to pull it, it’s going to be stiff and locked up – much like your body if you don’t keep it moving. If you want to see yourself taking on all of those wicked jumps, twists and turns next season, you’re going to have to start preparing for it.
If you’re an avid skier or snowboarder, you’ll know all about getting injured. Unfortunately, it’s just one of those things that come with the territory. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t avoidable. Keeping your body limber and flexible means your joints and muscles are going to be able to withstand the impact of those close calls when you’ve landed the wrong way or missed that turn. We can’t stress it enough, training is key to a successful season.
When to Start Training for a Ski Season
Now while we believe keeping fit and healthy all year round is a must if you want to be at the top of your game, if you start training for the ski and snowboarding season around 6 to 8 weeks out, you should be in a pretty good position to hit the ground running. If you’re finding the prospect of getting back into regular exercise a bit daunting, you can always start slow. Try going for a jog around the block every few days and build up to longer length runs, all while adding in some body weight exercises.
You don’t have to go to the trouble of signing up to a gym either, doing effective exercises to get your fitness to the level it needs to be can all be done from the comfort of your own home and with some help from everyday items and furniture.
How to Train for a Ski Season
When skiing or snowboarding, you use almost every muscle in your body in order to be able to make those runs and do all of the exciting stuff along the way. Training for a season is all about strength, stamina and how flexible your body is – once you have all of these down pat, you’re more than good to go.
To get your strength up to speed, working on things like your upper body strength through weight lifting, core tightening exercises and squats are the go-tos. As for stamina, cardio, cardio, cardio. If you can get that heart rate up and make it last the distance, you’re going to be able to ride the mountain time and time again. Last but not least, flexibility. Workouts that have a focus on yoga practice or pilates do a whole lot for protecting your muscles and joints and giving you that room to twist and turn without causing a whole lot of damage to your body.
Training Is the Key to Success
When you see professional skiers and snowboarders gliding through the air at ridiculous heights or absolutely breezing down the mountain side, it may look effortless, but it’s so far from it. These athletes are able to do what they can do because they work for it, which means consistent, diverse training to help them stay in shape and be able to manage the pace of what is known as a very demanding sport. Training is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for the next season, so if you want to see yourself out there smashing it on some fresh pow, all there’s left to do is to tie up those laces and get moving!