No Nonsense Pre-Ski Fitness Tips

Dec 2 14:32 2015 Lisa Jeeves Print This Article

After booking your airport shuttle service to ski resorts like Chamonix, Avoriaz or Val Thorens, you'll need to commit to some physical preparation.

Ah,Guest Posting you just couldn't help yourself could you? All those lovely cheap ski deals jumping out and waving their mittened fists at you as you shivered your way down the high street… The prospect of a few days (or longer) in a fabulous ski resort somewhere like the Alps is pretty hard to resist, especially when you can take advantage of the many cheap airport shuttle services at this time of year and the short flights to Geneva from various UK destinations. So go book a winter break to go skiing near Geneva in resorts like Chamonix, Avoriaz, Val Thorens or a host of others in the area, but remember: unless you're a dedicated fitness aficionado, you're going to have to commit to some physical preparation before you go.

Choose Your Resort to Match Your Fitness

First things first - if you're not at your peak fitness (be honest or risk coming home with a plaster cast accessory!) or not a very confident skier, you'd be wise to choose one of the more beginner-friendly resorts – like anywhere in the extensive Portes du Soleil region, or perhaps Les Caroz or Flaine in the Grand Massif ski area. If you attempt to ski on pistes that are really beyond your capabilities, just because the resort looked pretty or you found a super special last-minute ski deal, you'll run the risk of injury – no matter how religiously you follow a pre-ski fitness regime.

Get Ski Fit

Lower Body Training

Clearly, your legs are the most important aspect of pre-ski preparation. All those twists, turns, and raising and lowering of your body in order to maintain the traction you need for skiing makes use of virtually every large muscle group in the lower body. To work on the strength and endurance of your legs and glutes you'll need to do plenty of what could be two of the dirtiest words known to mankind: squats and lunges.

But it's not all bad news because there are plenty of variations on the theme! Try plié squats, walking lunges and perhaps some pistol squats to add some diversity to your misery. And yes, they all hurt – but nowhere near as much as a pulled hamstring or a stretched ligament would.

Even Out Your Equilibrium

While this might sound a little existential for a simple skiing holiday, maintaining your balance is very important – and we're not just talking about staying upright, but staying 'centred' as well. Focus on improving your core strength (aka your abdominal and back muscles) by including side crunches, push-ups, pikes, and planks in your gym workout. If you can slip twice-weekly Pilates sessions into your routine, all the better, as it is an excellent method of gentle, but effective, core strengthening.

You'll Feel the Need for Speed – Oh, and Agility

The sense of freedom and adrenaline as you whoosh down the pistes effortlessly navigating every tricky turn is the very reason skiing is so addictive, so to make sure you're up to the challenge you'll need to be as nimble and limber as a ballet dancer – or at least not creak when you bend your knees and ankles! The best exercises to focus on agility are those that involve rapid footwork – like jump squats, split lunges, box jumps, mini hurdles and ladder work. For something a little less structured, a bit of indoor climbing makes for a fun change.

Pre and Post Ski Workouts

Once you hop out of your airport shuttle service at your destination and are ready to hit the slopes, you should warm up with some gentle stretching, and some arm, shoulder, ankle and knee rotations before every ski session. You can even do these in conjunction with a brisk walk to the lifts, and by the time you're there your muscles will have caught up with your enthusiasm.

Just as important as pre-ski preparation is your post-piste regime. To ensure you don’t wake up as stiff as a snowboard next morning, cool down with some thigh and calf stretches - which will take care of your quads and glutes – while you're still on the slopes. A gentle yoga class, massage, or a spa and sauna are also excellent ways to bring an energetic day on the slopes to a close. Many of the resorts where you can go skiing near Geneva also have luxury onsite spas - where you can book in for some pampering or wellness treatments.

Committing just a few hours a week to preparing your fitness for a ski trip will ensure you greatly reduce the risk of injury ruining your holiday. It's a small price to pay, especially with those flight and airport shuttle service deals in mind!

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Lisa Jeeves
Lisa Jeeves

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you’re looking for a good deal on your airport shuttle service, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don’t miss your car on your holiday abroad.

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