It’s the end of the ski/ride season, and we have all been busy trying to enjoy the last few days on the snow. By now we feel a little tired, have a few aches and pains, maybe that old knee injury started acting up again. But we can notice a few subtle differences in ourselves. Look down; what are those hard rolls that have been forming in your legs? Those are called muscles, hard earned from groomers, bumps, and powder. Stand up straight and you’ll feel your stomach pull a little tighter. That’s your core, hardened from keeping your balance as you masterfully navigated the changing terrain under your skis or snowboard.
After a full season on the mountain, you’re probably able to ski or ride the whole day and not feel fatigued. You’ve accomplished a lot this season, and that’s something to be proud of. But now that the months of summer stretch out before us, you want to keep those muscles toned and your aerobic fitness up so you can pick up right where you left off next season.
First, find something you enjoy to keep your endurance up. Running and biking (road or mountain) are both great activities for this. If you haven’t laced up your sneakers or rolled around on two wheels in a while, that’s okay. Start slow and increase your distance little by little one week at a time. Biking is especially great as it also targets specific muscles used for skiing/riding, primarily your quads and gluts. These are usually the first muscles to feel sore as we get back on the slopes, so keeping them in shape is imperative. With mountain biking, the quick movements required to dodge rocks and stumps on the trails will translate to the quick movements you need when skiing moguls or when tree skiing.
Next, keep your muscles fit. If biking isn’t your thing, there are other options. Hiking with a weighted pack in the hills is a fun and effective way to build leg muscles. Rock climbing is another fun challenge that will target core, leg, and arm muscles all at once. Weight training that focuses on exercises such as overhead squats and lounges will really keep your legs tuned for next season. All of these workouts will also help to improve your balance, which you all know is key to making it down the mountain in one piece. Any activity that targets your core will help to improve your balance.
Last, try joining a gym or a workout program like Crossfit, specifically to participate in their classes and group workouts to keep muscles toned and flexibility up. It can be very hard to motivate yourself, but group classes will require you to show face. Plus, gyms are great places to meet new people, especially attractive new people… A class that can target both your core and your legs, such as kettle bells, is a great place to start.
Skiing and riding are so much more fun when you’re physically fit. There is nothing worse than having to call it quits early from a day on the slopes because you’re tired or sore. Whatever combination of summer fitness activities is right for you, keep them up with regularity so you’re ready when the snow starts falling again.
Enjoy your summer and we look forward to seeing you next season!