You swore you would start that preseason ski conditioning back in August to prepare for all-out, powder-chasing days on the hill. Where did the time go? You’re shouldering gear already and it’s too late … or is it?
For those who show up slopeside not uber fit, fear not: you can still ward off soreness and injuries. According to certified fitness coach and two-time Olympic moguls skier Jillian Vogtli, when you haven’t prioritized fitness, go easy on yourself. Rather than hitting it hard and powering yourself into shape, here are a few ways to ease your way into winter fitness.
For visitors and locals alike, water helps you handle the altitude and dry mountain clime. Cut down on caffeine, alcohol, and hot tubs.
Take a brisk walk/hike/snowshoe to get the blood flowing, or hop on a gym bike before suiting up for the day. If you have time, take a total body conditioning or Pilates class for core, hip, and glute strength. “Many people see skiing as a lower-body sport and think of it as all quads,” says Vogtli. “I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a strong core, glutes, and abductors/adductors.”
Reserve just 10 to 15 minutes for these tried-and-true exercises throughout the season:
Lunge variations. Lunge one foot at a time straight out, straight back, and to the sides. Focus on a tall upper body with your knee tracking above your toes.
Plank variations. Balance on forearms, straight arms, lifting arm and leg together (right arm/left leg), and side planks.
Before your first run, warm up with quick arm circles, slow neck rolls, and thigh rotations (raise your knee to a 90-degree angle and circle it out to the side and back in clockwise and counter). At day’s end, stretch out those inner thighs, quads, hammies, calves, glutes, back, and shoulders.