Welcome to Phase Two of our ski fitness guide, presented in association with Inghams. It’s been prepared by Dr Steve Ingham, head of physiology at the English Institute of Sport – and it’s designed to follow the ski fitness exercises outlined in Phase One.
In this phase, we introduce stability training, and there’s more emphasis on building strength in the circuit workout.
If you haven’t started a ski fitness programme yet, get back to Phase One this instant – and get cracking. For most skiers, getting fit before they go is the biggest single step they can take to improving their ski holiday experience.
Ski Fitness: Phase Two
Ideally, you should follow phase two for two weeks. (But if you’re in a hurry you can reduce the amount of time you devote to it.)
Try the following schedule
|25 min run||Rest||Circuit workout||Rest||Rest||30 min cycle||Stretching|
SKI FITNESS: PHASE TWO WORKOUT
Start off gently and perform each exercise for a minute.
1. Jogging on the spot. Gently at first.
2. Hamstring curls. With legs shoulder width apart and arms bent, raise your arms overhead and step onto one leg. Bend the opposite leg, lifting the ankle to your bum.
3. Air Punches. Rock on our heels, alternately punching the air in front of you.
4. Star Jumps. Lift your arms to shoulder level as you jump apart.
5. Squat. For the last 10 seconds pulse in the squat position.
Ease your muscles in to the stretch, then hold for ten seconds.
1. Chest (below, left). Link your arms behind your back, then lift your arms up and away from your bum.
2. Shoulder and upper back (below, right). Reach out in front with one arm. With the other arm, press the elbow towards the opposite shoulder.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Side bends. Standing upright with feet shoulder width apart, avoid hunching or leaning back while you reach down with your arm on your thigh.
Circuit: perform each exercise twice, each time for 30 seconds with a 30 seconds rest in between. Complete as many repetitions as possible in the 30 second timeframe.
Strength: complete a third circuit, performing each exercise steadily, up for a count of two, down for a count of three. Add resistance in the form of dumbells to the exercises marked + or ++. The + symbol means add 1-3kg of weight for women, 2.5-4kg of weights for men. ++ means add 2.5-4kg for women and 4-8kg for men. This time, work for 30 seconds, then move straight on to the next exercise.
1.+ Lunge. 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.
2.+ Side Lateral Lift. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Keeping your palms facing down, raise the weights to shoulder height.
3. + Squat Pulse. Lower yourself to a squat. Perform pulse movements of 10cm (3 ins).
4. 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. Keep your legs level with your body.
5. ++ Calf Raise. Stand on one leg on a step on your toes. Lower your heel – before coming back up onto your toes. Repeat with the other leg.
6. Abdominal Crunch. Lie flat on your back, feet flat on the floor, legs bent, hands on thighs. Curl up to touch your knees. Lower yourself slowly so that your shoulder blades touch the floor. Add resistance by placing your hands on your chest.
7. ++ Bent over row. Keep a flat back, a slight bend to your legs, bum stuck out. Lift the weight from a straight arm up to the waist. Use a light weight even during the circuit.
8. ++ Sumo Squat. Keeping a flat back, hands on hips, step to the side just beyond shoulder width, feet facing out. Bend your knees to form a 90-degree angle.
9. Side leg lift. Lie on your side with one leg on top of the other and feet flexed. Raise your leg as far you can to the top. Make it harder by holding for a count of two at the top.
You’re now ready to cool down.
Don’t just finish when the exercises are over. The muscles, immune system and joints all prefer being eased back down to resting levels. Wind down by doing the following:
1. Small star jumps. Raise bent arms to shoulder height, jump feet to shoulder width
2. Repeat the stretching routine. Hold the stretches for just five seconds each.
3. Jogging on the spot. Lightly, for one minute.
These sessions can be squeezed into any day, at any time: on the tube, waiting for the bus, by the photocopier. Repeat the list three times.
1. Double-footed rotating lift. Raise yourself up onto both toes. Rotate to the left, back to the centre and down to the right. Repeat the movement to the right. Perform 10 repetitions.
2. One-legged stand. Standing on one leg with the other leg bent behind, shift your weight forwards and then backwards. Repeat 10 times.
3. Single-legged heel raise.Standing on one leg with the other leg bending backwards, slowly raise your heel to tip toes. Lower back down to the floor slowly. Peform 10 repetitions.
Choose two from the following menu:
20-25-minute run/walk: spend the first five minutes at an easy pace, and then settle into a steady tempo for the remaining 20 minutes.
12-minute run: after a steady run do 5×1 minute step ups with a 30 second recovery period. Use a step 30-40cm high.
30 minutes cycle ride: choose an undulating course, and work hard up the hills.
60 minute fast walk: spice up your walk with six 30-stride runs every 10 minutes.
Ready for the next stage of our ski fitness programme? Then go to Ski Fitness Exercises – Phase Three.