This past weekend, Ray and I were finally able to hit the slopes. We brought my mom up to Breckenridge and skied a couple of hours in the morning and an hour in the afternoon while she walked around town, and we spent a couple hours over lunch showing her our favorite spots. It was so great to show my mom a town that means so much to us!
Because this was our first time out skiing for the year, Ray and I had to spend spend quality time with the foam roller after we got home. On a related note, below I’ve shared some tips to prep yourselves for ski season. These are absolutely relevant whether you’re traveling for your first time skiing or if you’re a seasoned skier just getting off the off-season. I can’t wait to see you on the mountain!
Since we’re preparing for a relatively different activity (vs. biking, running, etc), let’s first explore all of the great elements skiing brings to your overall well-being. Just to name a few:
- Improves effectiveness of your cardiovascular system
- Excellent exercise for your muscles (beyond just your legs, it works your arms, shoulders, and back)
- Improves coordination
- Because of the impact skiing has on your body temperature, it burns more calories than almost any other form of exercise, leading to nearly 3,000 calories a day
- Builds a positive mental attitude
- Leads to a good nights sleep
While these are just some of the benefits of getting out on the slopes, being prepared will lead to much less soreness and a more enjoyable day overall. In case you’re like me, and don’t travel to the best, snow-covered mountains year-round, then here are my tried and true tips for prepping for your ski day.
Train your secondary muscle groups
While your quads get most of the work in skiing, don’t forget about those pesky hamstrings and calves! Working the back of your legs in advance will help you to keep your balance and will make sure that you don’t tear an ACL or MCL. (Ouch! It hurts just talking about it.)
Strengthen your core
If you only work your legs, you’re definitely going to struggle. Here’s what often occurs. A person only works their legs before their ski day, then they lose their balance due to a weak core, and they tweak their knee because they can’t get out of the awkward “I can’t get my balance” position. Ultimately, strengthening your core is primarily to help you to prevent injuries on your legs.
Get the right gear
Whether you have your own gear or you’re renting for the first time, you can absolutely make sure that you have your gear ready well in advance. Get your skies tuned up to make sure you can ski throughout the entire year, rather than skipping peak weeks. If you’re renting, rent early and try to rent from places other than in the ski towns to receive a lower cost and more options. Also, be realistic about your skill level when picking your skis, whether buying or renting. Getting skis that are specialized for a specific type of snow is likely unnecessary unless you’re an expert skier.
Consider a refresher lesson
Whether you’re a beginner or expert, there are always tips and tricks that you can learn from a lesson. Early in the season is the perfect time to catch bad habits or to provide thinking points for the season ahead. Also, remember that you can always take lessons on specific skill sets, such as moguls or backcountry. Take a glance at the lesson list to see what, other than general clinics, might be of interest.
Invest in a foam roller
There’s no way I could say in words what a difference foam rollers have made to my ski season. All anyone is talking about at work today is how sore they’re feeling from their weekends in the mountains. While I definitely feel like I worked hard yesterday, my hour of foam rolling and stretching after getting home has helped me to feel strong rather than sore. While foam rolling is important to the traditional fitness routine, be sure to focus on this piece after a day on the slopes. The next day, you’ll be feeling as good as new!
Taking a cue from Ashley, I’ve started listing off my weekly workouts to hopefully see improvement (from last week) in the coming weeks. So far, so good!
Monday: 30 Minute Dance-Based Cardio HIIT (LISS)
Tuesday: Week 8 BBG Arms & Abs Resistance Workout
Wednesday: Week 8 BBG Legs & Cardio Resistance Workout
Thursday: Week 8 BBG Abs & Cardio Resistance Workout
Friday: 50 Minute Dance Class (LISS)
Saturday: BBG Meet-Up Resistance Workout (see my Instagram for an update on this awesomeness)
Sunday: 3 Hours of Skiing; Rehablitation (extra stretching & foam rolling)
This week was 100% better than last week in terms of workouts. I know that I don’t have as many scheduled workouts coming up this week, so I’m going to have to stay extra committed to keep my progress moving forward. Note to self: It’s about PROGRESS, not perfection.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
If you’re a skier, what other tips do you have for those prepping for the slopes?
If you’re not a skier, what winter sports do you prefer to focus on in the cold weather seasons?
Create a great life!