Skiing and snowboarding: physically prepared for winter sports

Going on a winter sports holiday soon? Good preparation is essential for a successful trip. Not only to prevent painful injuries, but also to have more fun during your time in the snow. With the right training you ensure that you are ready for the intensive effort on the slopes. By doing a few exercises every day you will be in top condition as soon as you head to the snow. This way you will get the most out of your winter sports.

The importance of good preparation for ski and snowboard

During your winter sports you will be exercising intensively for a large part of the day. Your body is usually not used to that. The contrast is particularly stark if you have a sedentary job. There are two disadvantages to this major transition from sitting still to movement. Firstly, you are more likely to get injured and secondly, you get tired quickly on the slopes. Fortunately, you can prevent these disadvantages by preparing your body for winter sports. A trained body is less likely to sustain injuries. You can also enjoy long descents more if your muscles do not become overloaded or acidified too quickly and your endurance is somewhat greater. This way you can still go up the mountain with fresh energy after lunch. Preparing for your winter sports does not require whole days in the gym, but it does require some discipline.

Exercises to train strong leg muscles

Whether you go skiing or snowboarding, winter sports mainly work your leg muscles. For the correct technique, it is very important to bend your knees properly. This applies to both beginners and experts. Working on your skills on the mountain is much easier if you have strong legs. You can build up your muscle mass at home through simple exercises. The secret is in the repetition. Just five minutes will go a long way if you keep this up every day.
For example, try out the exercises below, possibly in addition to your regular fitness routine. The advantage of these exercises is that you do not need any special equipment. You can immediately start working with it independently, at home or in the gym. In addition, these are three exercises that anyone can perform. Whether you start from scratch or are a bodybuilder.

Three exercises for strong leg muscles during winter sports

  • Lunges: step forward with one leg and lower deeply. Your knee may almost touch the ground. Make sure that your front knee does not go past your toe to avoid overloading your shin. Do 10 lunges per leg. You can make the exercise more difficult by increasing the step and sinking even deeper.
  • Gobblet squats: Bend deeply through your knees with your feet slightly turned out and shoulder-width apart. Do this 15 times, take a break and repeat 2 more times 15 times. By adding a weight that you hold and lift with each squat, you increase the intensity of the exercise and immediately train your arm muscles.
  • The ‘chair’: with this form of squat you sit against a wall with a 90 degree angle for your legs. It looks like you’re sitting on a chair. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat this after a short break. You can also turn this exercise into a competition with your winter sports friends. Who can hold the chair the longest?


Endurance on the slopes

Good fitness always comes in handy when you exercise. You also need it extra on the slopes, because there is less oxygen in the air at that altitude. The better your endurance, the easier it is for you to conquer the slopes from the first to the last lift. You can train cardio in many different ways. For example, through running training, but also by taking the bike to the office. Make sure you keep moving. Preferably in a way that you enjoy, so that it is easier to maintain.

When do you start training for winter sports?

It is preferable to start training your body well before your winter sports holiday. 60 days in advance is ideal to be able to build up the exercises slowly and develop your muscles sufficiently. 30 days before departure is still a good goal. However, any bit of preparation is better than nothing, so even if you’re traveling in a week, it’s worth it to still do daily exercises. However, don’t try to make up for it by training extremely intensively in those last few days, because that is not worth the risk of an injury before departure.

Hold it

Have you had a successful winter sport in which you enjoyed the extra exercise your body received? Hold onto that feeling and stay active back in the Netherlands. This way you stay fit all year round.