Going skiing? Make sure you’re fit for the slopes

Going skiing? Make sure you’re fit for the slopes

The weather always provides healthy conversation. In July it may be all about BBQ summers, but in winter it is the agonizing wait for snow over the Alps.

Its eventual arrival brings a mass exodus, as winter sports enthusiasts hotfoot it to the slopes. Sadly, however, not nearly as many hotfoot it back again. Instead, a large number limp home, painfully nursing an assortment of injured thumbs and shoulders, not to mention the odd broken limb.

Yet many of these injuries can be prevented by having the right equipment, and by doing some ski-fit exercises before your trip to strengthen those all-important muscles.

Paul Trikha, Consultant Knee Surgeon at the Surrey Orthopaedic Clinic (SOC), treats countless skiing injuries.

“The winter ski season is one of the busiest times for our specialist knee, shoulder, hand and fracture clinics. Skiers often injure their knees, while snowboarders tend to hurt their shoulders, elbows and wrists when they fall,” he says.

Paul advises training for six to eight weeks before travel, but even exercising for one or two weeks can help.

“Skiers should focus on three areas. First, flexibility – yoga is great for this. Be sure to stretch your hamstrings and Achilles’ tendons. Next, strength and power – try aerobic or anaerobic conditioning on an exercise bike for 20–30 minutes per day. And finally, core stability – do two sets of crunches of 15–20 per day.”


Get ski ready (prices valid as of March 2012):


Skiplex, Dukes Meadow, Chiswick – A popular concept in Europe, this is the UK’s first and only indoor ski simulator training centre. It features a continually revolving ski slope – like a giant snowy treadmill – with adjustable gradient that can replicate a piste, taking your skill level into account. Equipment plus instructor included. From £19.99

(020) 8994 3314

Sandown Ski Centre, Esher
– Learn to ski and snowboard and enjoy recreational skiing. There are beginners’ sessions for adults and juniors, as well as half-term courses. Places still available for February. From £70

(01372) 467133

David Lloyd (centres at Hampton, Farnham, Epsom, Kingston, Raynes Park, Cheam, Weybridge)
has two courses. The snow sport power plate programme boosts endurance and tone in the legs, as well as core strength and balance, while ViPR (vitality performance reconditioning) uses free weights and a super-strong rubber tube. From £50.


Colets Health & Fitness, Thames Ditton
– Join a Saturday morning ski fit class, which includes strength training and cardiovascular fitness, focusing specifically on the muscle groups required for skiing. Also recommended are spinning, swim-fit body conditioning and Les Mills’s body pump and body attack.

(020) 8398 7108

Bracknell Ski Slope
– This centre offers adult and junior skiing lessons, privately and in groups, with a maximum of 12 participants. Open practice, toboggan and snow-tubing also available. Lessons from £99
for four sessions.

(01344) 789002 

Ski Conditioning Classes, Banstead
– An eight-week course run by Core Motion Bootcamps, including core strength, fitness assessment, core stability, balance, flexibility, ski endurance, speed and power. From £88


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