Summer officially ends tomorrow, and you absolutely, 100% had an amazing summer. Relaxing getaways at the beach, long afternoon picnics in the park, and happy hour margaritas daily. Yes, you definitely had a great summer.
You’re a little panicked, though, because you haven’t been doing much exercise over the summer since you last took off your ski or snowboard boots at the end of the season. And, if we’re in for a La Niña winter this season again like predicted, copious amounts of snow will start falling soon and resorts will begin to open for another epic season.
Before you panic and run out today to buy a gym membership, don’t stress–the mountains won’t start opening tomorrow. Keep in mind though, before you can sit on your first chair of the season you need to be prepared to take on intense physical activity at high altitude.
First, and foremost, we can’t stress enough that you just need to get out there and get moving! Starting small, whether it’s evening walks through the neighborhood or morning runs, will make a huge difference in the end. The more aerobic training you can do, the better. Work into running, hiking, and power-walking on the weekends for longer amounts of time. Increasing your aerobic exercise will help prevent you from getting fatigued on the mountain.
Secondly, strength training is key to being strong on your skis or snowboard. Strengthening the muscles in your legs and upper body will give you extra strength and the ability to ski or snowboard for longer amounts of time without having to stop and take a break in the lodge. Squats and lunges will help your quads, which is the area that gets the most tired and sore first that sometimes it is unbearable to even stand back up on your board or skis if you are a beginner. Of course, push-ups are a must-do for any upper body exercise. These can be done a variety of different ways and are extremely helpful, whether you are doing a traditional push-up or you are on your knees.
Core work is also very important to focus on in order to get in shape for the season. Strengthening your core and keeping that area tight will help keep your entire body balanced. Stability exercise balls and medicine balls should become your best friend. Whip these out for a few core exercises and you’ll be feeling stronger and slimmer in no time.
Balance and coordination are what truly will make you a better and stronger skier or snowboarder. We cannot stress enough how important yoga is to athletes of any kind! Joining a weekly or bi-weekly yoga class will not only help you relax and cleanse out your body, but also help you become a stronger and more focused individual. By using your own body as weights, and stretching several different muscles, yoga incorporates balance and meditation for a truly humbling workout. You will see an increase in focus, balance and coordination on the mountain if you keep up with a weekly yoga class pre-season.
Lastly, plyometrics is a great way to add some variation to your workout to get you ready for ski or snowboard season. Most plyometrics exercises involve jumping, so be careful to not injure yourself before you actually get out there on a pair of skis! Plyometrics can easily be done at home in your backyard or garage, which make them a unique addition to any workout. Jumping rope, jump squats, and mountain climbers are perfect exercises to add strength and power to your muscles.
You don’t have to be superwoman to be a great skier or snowboarder. It is simply just important to get in shape before getting out there on the mountain to lower your chance of injury. Because skiing and snowboarding are such physically demanding sports, it is important to have your body prepared. Even if you only go once a week, you’ll want to feel strong and confident. After all, if you’ve already paid all that money for a lift ticket and a brand new ski outfit, you want to be out there and be able to enjoy a wonderful day on the slopes or in the backcountry!