Summer is creeping around the corner and before you know it, it will be ski season again! It's time to start browsing chalets and ski areas in the Alps and, more importantly, it's time to think about getting in shape for your week in the snow. By staying fit over the summer, you can make your ski holidays much easier on yourself - trust us! In this article we've laid out ten summer activities that will help you stay fit for ski season. So when the hills turn white again, you can proceed directly to the slopes without panic-working-out in the days leading up to your ski holiday!
Mountain biking and cycling have more in common with skiing than you might think. Biking strengthens your leg muscles, especially your quadriceps, which as every skier knows are the first to burn after carving a few runs! Cycling and mountain biking also help train your core and your overall fitness. A huge bonus is that cycling is low-impact, meaning it won't wear out your knees like running will. There are plenty of mountain biking and cycling routes that open for the summer season in the Alps - if you haven't seen the mountains green, you're missing out!
Bet you'd never heard of this one! Roller skiing has a lot in common with cross-country skiing, except instead of a smooth waxed surface, roller skis have wheels on the bottom! They're shorter than normal skis, about two feet long, and have a wheel on the front and one on the back. They may not be as sexy as real skis, but the big advantage is that they don't require reliable snow cover!
There are loads of activities you can do on the beach to stay in shape, but beach volleyball is perhaps the most popular choice. Beach volleyball works your legs, arms and general fitness. Jumping in the sand is exhausting and this will whip your cardio into shape! Of course, after you've played a few games, the water is there just calling you to take a dip.
Stand-up paddling is great for training your core. Plus, it's a way to experience the tranquility of the water - even better if you have mountain views! If you're a real pro, try doing some yoga poses while on your stand-up paddle board. Like beach volleyball, stand-up paddling is great on warm days as you can take a swim afterward to cool down.
Trail running, or off-road running on narrow paths, is super intensive and requires a great sense of balance. It uses lots of different muscle groups and is easier on the joints than running on a hard surface. If trail running is a bit too intense for you, then hiking is another good option. Uphill hiking works your muscles and cardio and is a good way to get out in nature.
Skis are skis! Water skiing is one of the sports that most closely approximates the adrenaline rush that comes with skiing. Usually you're towed behind a boat or a specially designed water skiing cable. The skis are slightly wider than normal skis and the hardest part is getting your skis on top of the water to a standing position at the beginning. Once you manage this, the rest is intuitive.
If you're looking for the sport that works what seems like every muscle group in your body, this is it. After just a short climbing session your body will be hurting in muscles you didn't even know you had - perfect, that's what we're going for, right? By the time ski season rolls around, you'll find the sport a piece of cake.
What better way to stay in shape for skiing than by skiing? Britain has plenty of indoor ski halls that stay open all summer long and all right, they're not the Alps, but they're not bad for practising your technique. Some of the indoor ski centres have skiing on dry slopes and some on real snow. It can be a bit of an adjustment but once your skis hit the snow, you'll forget that it's 25 degrees and sunny outside!
It's never too early to start doing skiing-specific workouts! These workouts are one of the best ways to prepare your body for your ski holiday. You'll train the muscles you need to make the movements that are specific to skiing, as well as get your cardio up to scratch so you last the whole day on the hill. Just 20 minutes a day already goes a long way towards getting yourself in shape for ski season.
Skiing on sand is not just for pro French skiers in Audi adverts. When the weather turns warm and the snow starts to melt for the summer, you can still go skiing at a handful of dune skiing areas in Germany, France and Namibia. Dune skiing is a little different from regular skiing in that it requires exerting more power in order to turn the skis. While you can use your regular skis, make sure you have the proper wax and don't bring along your most expensive skis, because sand and bindings are not friends.
What's your favourite way to stay ski-ready over the summer?
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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