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The best workout to prep for the slopes

The best workout to prep for the slopes

If you look at what’s involved in skiing there are a few things you can train for:

  1. Balance and coordination
  2. Strength
  3. Endurance
  4. Injury minimisation/bulletproof your body

The good news is with an intelligent program you don’t have to think about or train these physical abilities separately. The right exercises and program will train all abilities simultaneously.

The program is also quite simple and straight forward (don’t confuse this with easy) and can be done inside of 45 minutes including decent rest periods. At a minimum you would do this program twice per week but four times is optimal.

Now here’s a list of the exercises and the reason why you’re doing them:

  1. Squat - Strength, balance and coordination
  2. Kettlebell swings- Endurance, balance and coordination
  3. Overhead carries - balance, coordination
  4. Farmers carries - Core strength, coordination
  5. Accessory basic exercises - presses, pull ups etc

ALL of these movements strengthen your connective tissues, help bulletproof your body and are all “core exercises”.

Side rant - who has a stronger core: someone who does 1000’s of crunches but can only squat 30 kilograms or someone who doesn’t bother with crunches but squats 130 kilograms? The answer is the person who can squat 130 kilograms because it’s their “core” that can hold the extra 100 kilograms up. Crunches can also be bad for back health and often make problems worse.

So let’s leave crunches (and pilates wink) back in the 1990’s where they belong.

The program has alternating days, so train workout #1, workout #2 then repeat. You can do this 2-4 times per week.

Session #1

  • Heavy squats x5 repetitions followed by 20 kettlebell swings for 4 sets.
  • Push ups x10, pull ups x5 for 4 sets

Overhead kettlebell carries and farmers walks to finish.

Session #2

  • 30 kettlebell swings for 4 sets.
  • Farmers carries and kettlebell overhead holds 1 minute each side for 3 sets.
  • Squat x 5, barbell press x 5, pull ups x 5 for 5 strength sets.

One last thing. All these exercises, especially the heavier squats, should be done fresh. As a general rule train at about 80% intensity. Some days you’ll feel great and may bump it up to 90% or even 100% and other days you may need a little TLC so 60% will be plenty on those days.

I don’t write the weight you should use on these programs for a simple reason - it’s different for everyone! I know this might sound painfully obvious but I have seen gyms with two options, extra light or extra heavy, and IMO this is completely unacceptable and you should fire their asses. As you get better each week or two you can add a couple of kilograms to the bar.

Now go out there and get ready for some frothing snow.

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