Prepare Your Body For Skiing

Progressive Plan to Prepare Your Body for Skiing

In the winter, lots of people head to the mountains for skiing trips – most for a week, sometimes as a family holiday.  During a skiing trip, whether it’s for a few days or a few weeks, what you ask of your body can be very different from your usual, day-to-day activities (especially if a typical day is spent sitting at a computer).  As a skier, you will probably be using muscle groups that don’t usually get that much use! Skiing requires particularly strong stomach and leg muscles, as well as a good level of basic fitness.  As you go through the skiing day, fatigue starts to creep in, increasing the likelihood that an injury will occur.  The more you prepare your body for skiing, the better you will cope and avoid injury – and probably enjoy yourself more!  

Preparation should start a few weeks before your trip.  By working through this programme, it will reduce the likelihood of injury, reduce muscular fatigue, and increase your confidence in your own ability.  To combat injury risks and fatigue, it is very important that you prepare by warming up and preparing your body for the skiing activity.  So that you understand what is required, and your body has time to adapt and become more flexible, you should start your exercise programme a few weeks before the first day of skiing.  We’re giving you this guided programme to complete over 4 weeks before you ski. 

If your skiing trip is only a week away, focus on week 4 of the programme, whilst also completing all stretches in the whole programme (which are easily identifiable as the “Hold” exercises, rather than the “Reps” exercises).

With two weeks preparation available before your trip, like above, focus from week 3 onwards whilst also completing all stretches available.

As well as preparing your body with an exercise programme, think about what you are eating.  Your diet should be aimed at helping you with the amount of extra energy you are using, you may be skiing many hours a day for several consecutive days or more – this will depend on how ‘hard core’ a skier you are. Make sure you have enough protein and carbohydrates and of course stay well hydrated.

If you need help with a bespoke assessment and personalised exercise programme, feel free to get in touch, and see how we at Amanda Marsh Physiotherapy can help.

A 4 Week Programme Leading up to the Trip

The Exercises

The 4 week programme

Week 1

The first week is focused on stretching exercises and flexibility. 

Before you can test your muscles and other soft tissue by skiing, you need to make sure that they are capable of development and progression.  To do this, you must make sure that they are flexible and adaptable to the stresses of the exercise, by stretching the muscles consistently throughout the week.

It may take a few days to get used to each week of new exercises, but once you get the hang of it, each session should take no longer than 20mins.

Do all these exercises at least once per day.

ExerciseSets, reps & holds
Hamstring Stretch 1*1 set
*20 second hold
Hamstring Stretch 2*2 sets
*20 second hold
Quadricep Stretch*1 set
*30 second hold
Forward Flexion*1 set
*30 second hold
Calf Stretch*3 sets
*10 second hold
Soleus Stretch*3 sets
*10 second hold
Wall Sit*1 set
*20 second hold
Glute Bridge*2 sets
*10 reps
Week 1 exercise programme

Week 2

Week 2 starts to implement strength-based exercises, as well as core control/strength and flexibility for small changes in direction.  Once the muscles are flexible and easily adaptable, we can start to increase the intensity to build on the strength of individual muscles.  It is important to not forget about stretches, as you can still do damage to soft tissue if it regresses back to how it was before week 1.

ExerciseSets, reps & holds
Hamstring Stretch 1*2 sets
*30 second hold
Hamstring Stretch 2*2 sets
*30 second hold
Quadricep Stretch*1 set
*30 second hold
Forward Flexion*2 sets
*30 second hold
Calf Stretch*3 sets
*20 second hold
Soleus Stretch*3 sets
*20 second hold
Wall Sit*1 set
*20 second hold
Stabilisation Hip External Rotation*2 sets
*10 reps
Single Leg Hops*2 sets
*10 reps
Eccentric Glute Bridge*2 sets
*10 reps
Week 2 exercise programme

Week 3

Within week 3, we continue to develop the musculature of the hamstrings, quadriceps and calf complex with strength-based exercises.  As you can tell, the number of reps (repetitions) and sets will slowly increase throughout the programme, so you shouldn’t plateau.

ExerciseSets, reps & holds
Hamstring Stretch 2*2 sets
*30 second hold
Quadricep Stretch*2 sets
*30 second hold
Forward Flexion*2 sets
*30 second hold
Calf Stretch*3 sets
*20 second hold
Soleus Stretch*3 sets
*20 second hold
Stabilisation Hip External Rotation*3 sets
*10 reps
Wall Sit*1 set
*20 second hold
Single Leg Hops*3 sets
*10 reps
Deadlift with Weights*3 sets
*5 reps
Stabilisation Lunge*3 sets
*5 reps
Eccentric Glute Bridge*3 sets
*10 reps
Week 3 exercise programme

Week 4

This is the final week before your skiing trip.  It should be the toughest week, and it will better prepare you for what you should expect.  Some skiing trips may last a long time, and with a lot of hours skiing each day, your muscles will fatigue slower with more training beforehand.

ExerciseSets, reps & holds
Hamstring Stretch 2*2 sets
*20 second hold
Quadricep Stretch*1 set
*30 second hold
Calf Stretch*3 sets
*10 second hold
Soleus Stretch*3 sets
*10 second hold
Stabilisation Hip External Rotation*3 sets
*10 reps
Straight Leg Raise*5 sets
*5 reps
4-Point Hold*2 sets
*20 secs
Wall Sit*2 sets
*20 second hold
Single Leg Hops*3 sets
*10 reps
Deadlift with Weights*3 sets
*10 reps
Stabilisation Lunge*3 sets
*10 reps
Posterior Lunge*3 sets
*10 reps
Eccentric Glute Bridge*2 sets
*10 reps
Single Leg Glute Bridge*2 sets
*10 reps
Glute Bridge*2 sets
*10 reps
Week 4 exercise programme

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