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Star Ski Fitness

You’re about to go on a winter skiing holiday... and you’re also about to put an incredible strain on your body.

Whether a beginner snowboarder or an expert skier, if your body isn’t prepared before going away, the risk of injury and muscular aches & pains increases.

And don’t forget the difference in working at altitude – with less oxygen in the air, the body has to work harder. Both skiing and snowboarding are great physical, aerobic workouts, using a lot of muscle power. Whatever your fitness level, you need to be ready for the extra physical demands you are about to put on your body.

By adding just a few simple exercises to your daily routine before going on holiday, you can improve your flexibility, posture, balance and co-ordination. And more importantly, reduce your risk of injury.

The following exercises have been suggested for you to do with little or no equipment, so they can be done around the home. You can incorporate equipment such as a core board or stability ball if you have them available.

If you are interested in receiving massage treatments during your stay in the resort, then please click here for more information.

As with any exercise, it is advisable to warm-up prior to starting. Several minutes of light aerobic exercise – marching/jogging on the spot, high knees/heels to bum, swinging/rotating arms – will prepare your joints, muscles and cardiovascular system.
When finished, cool down by gently stretching the muscles used.

Remind yourself to continue breathing throughout each exercise and not to hold your breath:
• breathe in to prepare – breathe into the ribs so you see the rib cage expand
• slowly perform the exercise whilst breathing out – draw your belly towards your spine as you breathe out

If you are a beginner, perform 5-10 reps of each exercise to start with. As your strength improves, increase the number of reps to 12-15, eventually progressing to repeating the circuit.

• activate your core by drawing your belly button in towards your spine
• stand with feet pointing forwards, shoulder-width apart
• it is essential to maintain a neutral spine throughout this exercise – ideally perform in front of a mirror so you can observe your technique and watch for any deviation from correct body alignment
• bend the knees and slowly sit backwards as if going to sit on a chair
• take your arms forward in front of you for balance
• keep heels down and squat no lower than a maximum angle of 90 degrees at the knee
• squat back up
• Progression – squat jump – other progression – 1 leg to leg landing

• activate your core by drawing your belly button in towards your spine
• place hands on hips, start with feet pointing forwards, with good body alignment
• take a normal walking step forward and descend slowly by bending at the hips, knees and ankles
• keep most weight in the forward leg and keep the front knee above the ankle
• avoid letting the back knee touch the ground
• use your hip and thigh muscles to push yourself back up to starting position
• if you feel weakness in the knees, take a longer stride forwards
• Progression – hold dumbbells

• stand with feet pointing forwards, hip-width apart
• bend the knees slightly
• activate your core by drawing your belly button in towards your spine
• hold a medicine ball in front at arms length – if you do not have a medicine ball, use another ball such as a football or basketball
• controlled, rotate the upper body to the right, and then rotate to the left
• Progression – tuck ball into chest and speed up rotations, still maintaining control

• start with a box-style position on your hands and knees, with your hands just over shoulder-width apart
• have your knees back so they are not below your hips, cross one foot over the other for balance
• breathe in, draw your belly button in towards your spine and ensure correct posture
• bend the elbows and slowly lower your chest to the floor, whilst exhaling
• keep your chin tucked in and your bottom tight
• avoid letting your lower back arch to the floor
• keep elbows in and avoid letting your shoulders shrug up
• Progression – move knees further back until you can do a full push up

• sit on the edge of a chair or bench, preferably against a wall for safety
• draw your belly button in towards your spine and ensure correct posture
• place hands either side of you and lift yourself off the chair so your hips hover past the edge
• bend the elbows behind you and slowly lower yourself towards the floor, no lower than a 90 degree bend at the elbows
• push back to the start position
• remember to maintain correct posture and avoid arching your back as you dip

• start lying face down on the floor
• draw your belly button in towards your spine, squeeze your bottom and lift the entire body off the floor
• rest on your forearms and toes so the body forms a straight line
• hold for 5-10 seconds, depending on your ability
• avoid hunching your shoulders – draw the shoulder blades down and press forearms into the floor
• avoid letting your tummy sag
• keep from lifting your head and looking up
• Progression – as you get stronger hold for longer – other progression – alternate leg lifts

• start by lying on your side in a straight line, resting 1 leg on top of the other
• activate your core by drawing your belly button in towards your spine
• ensure correct body alignment
• lift your body up onto your forearm and hold for 5-10 seconds, depending on your ability
• keep core activated and lower yourself back down
• repeat on the other side
• it is common to hold your breath during this exercise, so remember to keep breathing throughout the movement
• Progression – as you get stronger hold for longer

• sit up straight so your tailbone is not tucked under
• activate your core by drawing your belly button in towards your spine
• raise your feet and bend knees to 90 degrees
• draw your shoulder blades down and place your hands on the back of your thighs
• keep core activated
• maintain this position and slowly straighten 1 leg
• bend the knee back to starting position and slowly straighten the opposite leg
• maintain good posture and avoid arching your back
• Progression – increase number of reps

WARNING: Always perform exercises correctly and seek instruction from a qualified professional if unsure of proper technique. Do not attempt exercises that are too advanced for your level of conditioning. If you feel pain or discomfort, stop exercising immediately and consult your GP or a health care professional.

We would like to thank Alicia Kaill for advising us and providing us with the ski fitness information. Alicia is a Qualified Personal Trainer & Sports Therapist.

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