We’re all thinking about summer.
But that shouldn’t mean all this progress you made this season should fall to the wayside. In the winter, one of the great things about skiing consistently is the level of competence you can build in a relatively short amount of time. So what are you supposed to do with all that summer full of no skiing at all? Well, you could keep skiing at somewhere like Timberline in Oregon over the summer, or you could do some simple cross-training activities that will keep your progress right in line for next season. Here are just a few ways you could take care of business off the slopes for a strong performance on the slopes.
1. Walking, Hiking, Running
One of the best things you can do for your body in preparation for next ski season is just keep it moving. You don’t want to be scrambling to stretch and train in November when you finally see favorable snow forecasts. That’s a good way to pull a hammy. Instead, think of your body like a vehicle–if you let it sit for long stretches of time, the more likely it is to not perform so well, and it only gets worse the older you get. So consider taking the vehicle (your body) for a stroll around the block every day. It will not just keep you limber–it will also give you a nice dose of vitamin D, enhance your mood, and give you plenty of time to dream about deep powder turns and free refills. If you live in an area where hiking is available, try to get out on the trail a few times a month. If you’re up for it, try running up the hill! The climb will do your legs wonders.
2. Strength training
Summer is your time to build the strength you need to ski/ride harder, faster, and for longer periods of time. When you’re on the mountain in the winter, you use a tremendous amount of energy holding your muscles in place and adapting to slight movements of snow (or hidden bumps!) underfoot. Consider building your static strength through isometric exercises. These exercises entail holding positions for long periods of time like a wall sit or a plank. Don’t focus too much on this one type of training, though. It’s good to incorporate dynamic movements with resistance to mimic movements like pushing hard against the slope when you’re emerging from a perfect carving turn.
3. Balance training
As mentioned above, there’s a pretty good chance you will be thrown off your rocker at any given moment while sliding down a ski slope. In preparation, take some time in the summer to develop your balance. You can do this through one-legged exercises, standing on unstable objects at the gym, or even taking a crack at a slack line. No matter what you do, any sort of balance training will be beneficial when you accidentally end up on one ski next season.
Finally, yoga is a beneficial practice that incorporates balance, strength, and mental training all in one. This is the kind of thing that will benefit you when you need to get back on one ski, pop out of a deep squat, and stay cool as a cucumber in one split second. We recently wrote Why Skiers and Snowboarders Need Yoga (And How to Get Started), which can be a great guide for incorporating yoga into your skiing or snowboarding routine.
If you remember anything from this article, let it simply be this–keep moving. There’s tremendous power in a daily walk and you’ll be surprised by how much it can benefit your skiing. Keep calm and walk on!