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Wimbledon Clinics

How can I improve my skiing strength over the summer?

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As we bid farewell to the colder months and the tail end of the ski season, it is all too easy for winter sports enthusiasts to let their ski fitness slide. However, maintaining an exercise programme over the summer is the best way to ensure you are in perfect shape for when ski season next rolls around. You might be fighting fit right now but, without regular training, your muscles are likely to regress, meaning you could be at a greater risk of injury when you get back on the slopes as well as needing time to build your fitness levels back up from scratch.

When it comes to keeping your levels of ski fitness up over the summer months, James Vickers, physiotherapist at Wimbledon Clinics, has a few top tips to help you on your way:

1. Consistency is key

Maintaining a consistent pattern of exercise over the summer months is the best way to stay ski fit and improve your strength. It is not necessary (and often not manageable) to work out daily. Instead, stick to a regular number of sessions that fit into your life. You will be much more likely to keep this up and see progress in your strength and fitness levels with this approach as opposed to sporadic sessions. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to make progress with your fitness and strength levels with three work out sessions per week.

2. Make ski specific exercise a priority

Although maintaining a good level of general fitness will help minimise your risk of injury on the slopes, James recommends incorporating ski specific exercises into your fitness routine, preferably for three months preceding ski season. When preparing for ski season, it´s key to be aware that the most important parts of the body to focus on are the legs. Exercises for the ski season are all based around building lower limb strength. The easiest way to do this is to use weights in the gym, however, classes which focus on the lower limbs are a good option for those who might not be as fond of making those regular gym visits or prefer to mix up their work outs with a bit of variety. Body Pump, circuit training, steps and spin classes all help to build strong legs.

3. Variety is good for the body

As well as incorporating ski-specific exercises into your fitness regime, participating in other sports or fitness activities over the summer months will do wonders for your general level of fitness. Variety is good for the body and frequently moving the goalposts in terms of intensity of workout is far more likely to build strength than sticking to the same routine.

4. Choose exercise you enjoy

It might seem simple, but this highly effective tip is the key to keeping up any fitness routine. You are much more likely to incorporate exercise into your life if it is an activity you enjoy rather than pushing yourself to take up the latest fitness fad and find yourself dreading your work out sessions. Whether it´s running, playing tennis or swimming that helps keep your fitness levels up, just remember to include a selection of leg strengthening exercises to ensure you are ready for the season.

Keeping your ski fitness up over the summer means that your body will begin the season in a much stronger position than if you let your routine slide, minimising the risk of pushing yourself too hard and causing an injury when you are finally back on the slopes.