It happens every year. When mid April rolls around, we hang up our skis and pack away the gloves, jackets and thermal base layers to make room for swimsuits, shorts and sandals. Along with the outwear and sports equipment, a lot of us hang up our workout programs as well. Skiing is a great source of exercise, we're not arguing otherwise, but staying in shape in the off season is an equally important part of preparing for the ski season to come. Here's some tips for defining your ski season workout.
Skiing in Vermont is one of those sports that engages a lot of different muscles in a single top-to-bottom run. And if you ski like Bode Miller, we might be talking less than a minute here. That's an aggressive workout to say the least, so in training it's important to focus on flexibility and stamina versus brute strength. Some strength is definitely important, but improving balance and endurance is what will help keep you charging the hill until last chair.
1. Start with some cardio. Biking, running, or using an elliptical or stationary bike will help to get your heart rate up while you can work on breathing. It's important your heart and lungs are in shape before you try for a long day on the slopes. Vary up the length and intensity of your workout a few times a week.
2. Build some strength. There's no universal ski workout that works for everyone. It's important to train the muscles you'll be engaging most on your skis and focus on your weaker areas. Following a Tough Mudder workout wouldn't be a bad place to start.
A few places to start... Squats and lunges are a great way to work your quadriceps. Deadlifts with some weights or a medicine ball will strengthen your hamstrings and glutes. Calve raises can also help your downhill posture. Box jumps will improve your explosive power for crushing the moguls on Mount Snow's Beartrap trail. And don't forget your back and arms, they're a key part of maintaining good form on the slopes.
3. Don't forget to relax. Part of exercising, and skiing, is knowing when to stop and getting plenty of rest. This helps to avoid injury and ensure you'll be ready for first chair on the next big powder day.
If you need a place to rest after a long day on the hill, we've got a great selection of winter rental homes, just a short hop from the lift line.