The 3 Biggest Reasons To Train For Your Ski-Snowboard Holiday
When you book a holiday it’s usually to get away from the normal routine, from work and the day to day lifestyle. Some people like to lay on the beech and relax, doing absolutely nothing but soaking up the sun, while others like to get away for an adventure, exploring new places and taking on new challenges. It does seem odd to start an exercise routine to prepare for going away.
Unlike other holidays these snow sports are extreme sports, very fun, but potentially very dangerous. It is important that you take the time to prepare for these winter adventures. So here are the three biggest reasons to train physically for your ski & snowboard holiday.
Reduce the Risk of Injures
Yes this is definitely the most important reason. When you stop and think about what these sports involve you’ll appreciate how easily someone could get hurt. In short we are taking a chairlift to high and steep inclines on the sides of mountains and then travelling back down at high speeds. Though they have come a long way and are more than just wood, you are doing this on one or two well designed planks. The positions our bodies are in during this time also add multiple ways of hurting ourselves. One way to avoid injury is to take lessons, the other which I am going to go into more detail on is to prepare through physical fitness.
When we are riding downhill on the slopes there are a lot of forces bearing down on us ( yay physics! I will spare the science), resistance and strength training will help our muscles to support and stabilise our joints that are being put under intense pressure. Areas that will need our focus are the hips, knees and ankles. By adding stretching and mobility exercises to our routines we can increase our flexibility, this should help to avoid spraining and straining our muscles. During your snowsport adventure you are going to be moving fast, changing directions rapidly and maybe even hitting jumps. Training before all of this is going to make all of this possible and will certainly lower the chances of you picking up an injury. It’s not just having stronger bodies that will help, by getting into a routine you are more likely to warm up properly before hitting the mountain each day which will help keep injuries to a minimum.
Improve your Riding
I’m not sure how many of you will believe me when I say that fitness training and working out will improve the quality of your riding, so stay with me on this. A lot of your skiing-snowboarding technique comes down to holding and adapting your body position. Staying upright and getting the best performance out of your skis/snowboard relies on you maintaining balance over the working edge/s and being able to create and release pressure on them. It makes sense then that the way to do this is to increase your strength so that you can hold specific positions and keep good posture for longer. For example to improve edging technique you need to be able to increase both angulation and inclination. This will require core strength, and strength from head to toe, especially the posterior chain (your back side). Keeping your back straight means having strong, traps, lats, shoulders, lower back and glutes as well. It is fair to say that snow sports are a full body workout and whilst some favour should be shown to your lower body, it would be mad to neglect your upper body just because you don’t use it is such obvious ways. It goes without saying that with stretching and flexibility work you will be supple enough to get into the right stances and be quick and comfortable changing between them quickly. When you start hitting the park having built up your mind muscle connection during training is going to come in handy, helping you twist and move in order to nail certain tricks. Knowing how to manipulate your body will help with rotations for the big tricks like 360s and flips on the bigger kickers. All of this will become the more instinctive part of your riding which will allow you to focus on your riding technique, just remember without putting in the work beforehand you will be at a disadvantage.
Your overall health
I mean this one is just an obvious one. Any significant amount of movement or exercise is going to be beneficial to your health. But the way I see it skiing and snowboarding requires a higher level of fitness than normal. The best part is by getting fit and going out on a winter holiday you will increase your fitness further through these snowsports. You’re more than likely going to be on the mountain for 6 hours, maybe more each day, working out before you travel is going to help you stay active for longer before fatiguing. This is where cardiovascular and muscular endurance training is going to pay off. Don’t forget that the exercise you do will have an impact on your mental health too. Increased activity is going to have a positive effect on your psychology. All this is going to make you feel and perform better out on the mountain ultimately making you healthier and happier.
So there they are, the three biggest reasons you should be training before you head out on your winter holiday. Do you think there are more important reasons?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and would like to know whether you train for your snowsports holiday. Leave me a comment below, send me an email, or message me on social media.
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