Welcome to Phase One of our ski fitness programme, snowfiends! These ski fitness exercises have been designed by Dr Steve Ingham, head of physiology at the English Institute of Sport, and are brought to you in association with Inghams. They’re part of our comprehensive ski fitness guide, which is split into five phases, building from Phase One (early days) to Phase Five (the final weeks before your ski holiday).
It’s flexible programme, and you can stretch or shrink the amount of time you spend on each phase according to how many weeks you’ve got to prepare. You can even skip some phases altogether. Visit our ski fitness guide introduction for details. And don’t forget, if you’ve got any doubts about your health, check with your GP that it’s okay for you to embark on such a course.
Right then – let’s get cracking.
Ski Fitness: Phase One
Ideally, you should follow phase one for two weeks, as part of an eight-week programme before your ski holiday.
Try the following schedule
|20 min run||Rest||Workout||Rest||Rest||30 min cycle||Stretching|
SKI FITNESS: PHASE ONE WORKOUT
Start off gently and perform each exercise for a minute.
1. Jogging on the spot. Gently at first.
2. Small star jumps. Start as shown, below left. Then, as you jump, raise your bent arms up to shoulder height, to finish as shown, bottom right. Legs should now be at shoulder width.
3. Squats. Stand with your back straight, hands on hips, feet shoulder-width apart (below left). Then, bend your knees, keeping your back straight (below, right) – not too low, not yet! Repeat for one minute.
4. Rotating jumps. With feet together, jump whilst rotating the upper body in the opposite direction to the lower body. Repeat on either side, for one minute.
5. Jog on spot. Finish with 5×5 second on-the-spot sprints.
Don’t forget to warm up first! Ease your muscles in to the stretch, then hold for ten seconds.
1. Calf. Stand 1-1.5m away from a wall. With your back straight, feet flat on the floor, toes pointing forwards, lean towards the wall, keeping your legs and back in line with each other.
2. Back of thigh (hamstrings). Stand with one foot in front of the other. Leaning your body forwards, bend your back leg and keep your front leg straight. Stick your bum out to rotate the hip.
3. Front of thigh (quadriceps) and hip. Place one knee on the floor (on a cushion) and step forward with the other leg. Keep your hips facing forwards and your upper body erect.
4. Back Position yourself on all fours with hands flat on the floor. Tuck your chin up to your chest, then lift your back slowly into the stretch.
5. Chest (below, left). Link your arms behind your back, then lift your arms up and away from your back bum.
6. Shoulder and upper back (below, right). Reach out in front with one arm. With the other arm, press the elbow towards the opposite shoulder.
7. Abdominals. Lying face down, and keeping your hips flat on the floor, push with your hands to raise your chest and head, up into the position shown. This is the end of the stretching routine.
Perform each exercise continuously for 20 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds. Repeat the list three times.
1. Squat. Stand with a straight back, and your hands clasped in front of your (below, left). Then lower yourself slowly so your knee forms a 90-degree angle.
2. Press-ups from the knees. Rest your knees on a mat and place your hands flat on the floor in front of you with your body raised. Then lower your chest so that your upper arms are parallel with the floor.
3. Lunges. With your hands on hips (below, left), step out about 60cm (2ft). Then lower yourself so that the front knee forms a 90-degree angle. Return to the standing position, and repeat with the other leg.
4. Tricep dip. Place your hands behind you on a chair and your feet out in front. Bend your legs to form a sitting position with your body. Then lower yourself so that your elbow forms a 90-degree angle.
5. Hamstring curls. Standing on one leg with your hands on your hips, try to touch your heel to your bum. Don’t lean forward. Alternate legs.
6. The Plank. Rest on your elbows and knees, keeping your legs and body level. Make it harder by taking the weight off your knees and onto your toes.
7. Side Shuffle. Skip across to the side, about one metre, and touch the floor. Then, skip back to the centre, and then a further one metre in the opposite direction, and touch the floor with the other hand.
Once you’ve performed each 20-second exercise three times, the circuit workout is complete. You’re now ready to cool down.
The muscles, immune system and joints all prefer being eased back down to resting levels.Once you’ve finished your circuit workout, wind down by doing the following:
1. Jogging on the spot. Lightly, for one minute.
2. Repeat the stretching routine. But this time, hold the stretches for just five seconds each.
3. Jogging on the spot again.This time shake your arms as well, for one minute.
Choose two from the following menu:
20-25-minute run/walk: run continuously for 20-25 minutes, spending the first five minutes easy into the run. If you get out of puff, adjust your pace to a slower run or fast walk, but try not to stop altogether.
30 minutes cycle ride: choose a flat or undulating course without too many stops. Adjust the intensity by using your gears to give yourself a steady workout.
60 minute fast walk: get the pace up and keep it up. Don’t stop on the way and find some hills to walk up if you can.
Ready for the next stage of our ski fitness programme? Then go to Ski Fitness Exercises – Phase Two.