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Winter Fitness

Winter Fitness

Do you find you tire easily when you hit the slopes? That your week on the hill is disrupted by muscles fatigue and soreness?  Maybe you are fit and exercise in the UK regularly yet for some reason you tire up the hill.  The answer to this is to prepare your body for the mountains.

Specific training for skiing and snowboarding is vital as winter sports use muscles that your regular exercise routines may and do not use.  Your aerobic cardio fitness maybe through the roof, but if you are lacking strength you will find winter sports a struggle, especially when you factor in that you are working out at altitude.

Skiing & snowboarding  engages the core muscles for balance and stability. Additionally, the hamstrings and quadriceps are engaged while bending your knees, which helps stabilise the knee joints to prevent injuries. Both skiing and snowboarding also use the gluteal  muscles (bum) – our glutes contract to stabilize the pelvis, the spine, and hip to keep us in an upright position as we move, making them a vital for sport. Even though the arms are not as used as the legs when skiing & snowboarding, strong arms will aid with sport, handling poles, being strong to push from ground after a fall or push up from seated on the slopes.

The exercises below will all help build ski fitness and prepare your body for the slopes.

The video explains how many reps and sets are to be performed.  The work out last approx 30-45 mins.  Prior to performing please ensure you warm up, 3 min light cardio i.e running on the spot followed by dynamic stretches. Ensure you warm up the whole body.  When you have completed the work out, it is advised you perform a cool down of static slow stretches, holding each stretch for 30 secs.

All exercises can be modified and if you do not have use of dumb-bells , you can modify these exercises by using water bottles filled with water, the roll out can be swapped out for a plank, hold this for as long as possible.

Winter Fit

Body Strength Squat


The Squat exercise mainly targets the thighs (quadriceps & hamstrings) and the glutes. However, core strength & stability, ankle mobility, back muscles, calves, and other factors play an important role when you are doing this exercise

How to perform a SQUAT :

#1 Stand straight with feet hip-width apart. Stand with your feet apart, directly under your hips, and place your hands on your hips.
#2 Tighten your stomach muscles. …
#3 Lower down, as if sitting. …
#4 Straighten your legs. …
#5 Repeat the movement.


Lunge with Twist


The lunge is a great lower body exercise, it strengthens the glutes and legs and it improves the flexibility of the hips. Adding the twist to this movement forces you to engage your core and work on your abs and obliques at the same time.

How to Perform LUNGE w`TWIST

#1 Start standing with your feet hip-width apart and arms at shoulder-height, elbows bent to form a goal post around your head.

#2 Take a big step forward with your right foot and bend your knees to lower into lunge while twisting your torso over your right leg.

#3 Return to standing.

#4 Repeat with left foot .

Hamstring Curl with Swiss Ball


In addition to the hamstrings, the stability ball leg curl exercise works the gastrocnemius muscles (calves). … Together the calves and hamstrings  work to straighten the hip joint and bend the knee, strengthening both hips and knees.

How to perform the ball curl

#1 Assume start position as shown by lying on the floor, back of calves resting against ball.
#2 Lift butt off floor by lifting hips toward ceiling.
#3 Pull the ball in with your feet.
#4 Push the ball back out.

(Wo)Man Makers


Essentially, (WO)Man Makers are  efficient time savers for an all-in-one workout. They work your core, calves, hamstrings, glutes, quads, biceps, shoulders, chest and back while increasing heart rate.

How to perform a Man Maker

#1 Assume the full arm plank arms shoulder width and  hands resting on dumb-bells

#2 Press up

#3 Renegade row left and right

#4 Jump legs forward with knees under chest, wide stance

#5 Stand with arms in 90° press position

#6 Overhead press

Then repeat

Bicep 21`s


Bicep 21`s This exercise is bestowed its nickname, 21s, because its 3 sets of 7 repetitions equals 21 total repetitions. The point of 21s is to make sure you build arm strength along the short and long head of your biceps.

How to perform  Bicep 21`s

#1  Perform bicep curl 7 reps from the lower part to mid way,

#2 Perform bicep curl 7 reps from the mid way  to top

#3 . Perform a  bicep curl full 7 up and down.

Tricep Kickback


The Tricep kickback is said to be the second most effective triceps exercise and not far behind diamond push-ups, coming in at about 88% of muscle activation. By bending forward, you really have to work against gravity to move the weight up and down.

How to perform a Tricep kick back 

#1 Stand with one foot forward, shoulder width apart and bend at the waist

#2  Hold the weight in the opposite hand with your palm facing in towards you and your elbow tucked at your side.

#3 Push your hand back by contracting the triceps until arm is fully extended.

Side Dips


The external oblique muscles creates rotation of the trunk or in skiing terms controls rotation  of the trunk. Side bends / dips are a great exercise for building strength through the core .

How to perform side dips

#1Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell on the left hand (palms facing the torso) as you have the right hand holding your waist. …

#2 While keeping your back straight and your head up, bend only at the waist to the right as far as possible and return to standing.

#3 Repeat

Russian Twist


The Russian Twist , this core exercise is a good workout for the whole abdomen. It engages all the core muscles. It strengthens the rectus abdominis, internal obliques, and the external obliques.

How to perform the Russian Twist

#1 Start by lying on the floor with your knees bent and your heels on the floor.

#2 Raise your upper body so it’s at a 45-degree angle with the floor, and hold your arms out in front of you with your hands clasped together.

#3 Raise your feet off the ground (if you can), if not ensure your heels are pressed into the floor

#4 Twist your torso left to right, keep tension through the core .

*You can use a medicine ball for added resistance

Roll Outs


The ab wheel rollout is more than an ab exercise; it’s a challenge to your hips, shoulders, triceps, and latissimus dorsi. These muscles stabilise your body from shoulder to tailbone while the wheel rolls in front of your body.

How to perform a Roll Out


#1 Begin kneeling on the floor.

#2 Grasp the handles of your wheel with your arms extended.

#3 Engage your abs and slowly roll forward until your belly is just above the floor, keeping your arms extended in front of you.

#4 Return to starting position by rolling back in to your knees.

The exercise program has been put together by myself, Claire.

My background in winter sports is 17 full seasons spent in the alps snowboarding and skiing.  Originally a chalet tour operator, I now train clients as a fully qualified PT and  Strength & Conditioning coach, and understand what is needed to be winter fit.

I hope the plan helps.


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Level 3 Sports Massage

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CPD Basic Mat Pilates , Group Fitness, Female Fitness and Nutrition for Fitness Certificate

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