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Ski fitness

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Few other sports demand fitness the way that skiing does. The preseason for skiing requires that to avoid injury and maintain stamina, skiers are exercising and taking their fitness to higher levels than the rest of the year. The importance of machines to help you practice the side-to-side moves of parallel skiing has diminished greatly as fitness is now seen chiefly a way to avoid injury.

The most obvious need in skiing is to develop stamina through cardio-targeted workouts. Fitness must be high to be able to ski for hours without getting tired. As skiers tire, their ski form may be sacrificed or they may miss critical turns, which can lead to serious injury. In order to avoid this, cardio training programs need to bring in mid-October to give skiers 6 weeks to build up endurance.

Exactly what type of aerobic training each skier does varies on preference and locale but popular choices include running, cycling, aerobic classes, treadmills and elliptical machines. All of these will preferably be done while measuring heart rate so that you can note an improvement in heart rate recovery, the main need in skiing.

ski fitness

One of the least seen but most debilitating injuries that keeps skiers off the slopes is foot pain. There are plenty of contributing factors to foot pain including, most significantly, the amount of weight a skier carries (hint-hint). But all skiers can greatly benefit from these two fitness exercise which will help get your feet in shape and ready for the rigors of skiing. The goal here is to avoid plantar fasciitis, which can sideline you for weeks or the whole season. The first exercise is to do full squats while holding onto a table and keeping the ankles and toes firmly on the floor. Do these slowly with at least ten repetitions to stretch your feet and legs. Next, wrap a belt or yoga band around the top of your foot while sitting down with one leg extended. Pull slowly and deliberately on the band until you feel the stretch in the arch of your foot. Repeat this exercise with the other leg.

Finally, your fitness may really hinge on core training. While it is not obvious that your core, the stomach, hips and chest, play a large role in ski fitness, they can help prevent knee and leg injuries. The more strength a skier has in the hips, the less tension that is sent down to the legs and the knees. Not only does this relieve the stress there but it also makes you a better skier--one who is able to initiate lift and turns from the waist, the ideal form for an expert. There are any number of fitness exercises to improve core strength and most can be found under the Pilates method.

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