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Dynastar Ambassador Betony Garner, who is based in Chamonix, France, explains the benefits of pre-season training and how you can get in shape for your next skiing or snowboarding trip:

If it’s merely a matter of weeks away from your ski holiday, you are probably still procrastinating about hitting the gym, getting on your bike, or at the very least doing a few squats. We always have the best intentions of training for the winter season, but it can often be hard to fit it in.

Why is it Important to get Fit for Skiing and Snowboarding?

  • Ride for longer: Many people go from sitting at a desk to riding 5+ hours a day, and expect their bodies to be able to cope. Being fit means you can make the most of your precious week on the mountain by being able to ski or snowboard harder for longer.
  • Minimise injuries: Without preparation, muscles fatigue and concentration waivers after less than a few hours, which can increase the risk of injuries. ‘Prehabilitation’ helps ensure that your body is strong enough before skiing or snowboarding to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Maximise enjoyment: The more you prepare, the more fun you are going to have on the mountain. You will feel energised, stronger, and more in control of body and technique.

How can I Improve my Strength, Endurance and Flexibilty/Balance?

Strength: Find local ski fitness classes or try CrossFit, kettlebells or strength-based circuits. Strength work needs to be effective; the key areas to focus on are the legs, back and core. SkiFit, a new app which helps you do ski-specific exercises at home, is also a good option. You should try to start strength training at least six weeks before your trip.

  • General fitness: Cycling is probably the best exercise for skiing or snowboarding, but running or even walking can help, as long as you are getting out of breath. If you can, it is worth adding some hard sprints into your cycles or runs – if it’s going uphill, even better!
  • Flexibility and balance: Being flexible will help your overall skiing or riding, as well as helping you recover more easily from tumbles. Dynamic stretching is a good idea before you work out (and before each day on the slopes); stretching once you are warm will also help flexibility. Balance work and yoga classes will help you on your skis and snowboard, and might help you fall over less!

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