Stay ski fit in the Summer
Some people head to the southern hemisphere to ski over the summer, others hit the glaciers but for the majority of us, the ski boots are shoved to the back of the wardrobe for a good 6-7 months, until the first snowflakes of the following winter arrive.
So, what can you do to stay ski fit in the Summer?
For the most part, it depends on what you want to achieve.
These will probably fall into 3 categories:
1 – I just want to keep my current level of fitness for my current skiing ability
2 – I want to change the shape of my body (gain or lose weight/muscle-fat proportion) so I make the most of my ski time
3 – I want to substantially improve my fitness level, to improve my skiing
Addressing category 1; maintaining current fitness levels to stay ski-fit is probably achievable by taking part in other sports over the summer and doing something more ski-specific towards the autumn.
But for categories 2&3, the answers are a little more interesting.
The truth is, in order to make safe, serious and long-lasting improvements, you need a training program that specifically fits around you and your needs, which isn’t going to be something you found on the internet.
For this reason, in this series, you are not going to find a training schedule.
In order to hand out a training program, a professional coach should first assess you on a whole range of aspects (I am thinking of a list with over a dozen boxes to complete before writing up a program).
Without all that, no accurate advice on a specific training schedule should be given (or taken).
What the internet is good for however, is acquiring a bit more general knowledge on the subject, and hopefully answering the question: Which sport is better training to stay ski-fit in the summer?
We generally chose a sport we enjoy, and in most cases that does the job of keeping us fit.
But is there a sport which would substantially improve our ski fitness? Or is there a combination of different sports that could do this? Here we’ll look at the physical requirements of each sport, and which of the “ski skills” are being trained, where some of these movements could be very different from skiing but still somehow useful.
To better understand other sports and how to use them, we need to analyse first what skiing is:
From an energy point of view, skiing is an anaerobic lactacid sport, which means the energy we use is created in the muscles and lactic acid is produced.
All disciplines that last between 20 seconds and 2 minutes are anaerobic lactacid and will have at least that in common with skiing.
It’s worth remembering that the other two energy systems are the Anaerobic A-lactacid, which uses ATP and no oxygen (efforts under 15-20 seconds) and Aerobic, which is oxygen-based plus a variable mix of sugar and fat (efforts from 2 minutes and above).
As we want to ski more than one run, and in fact probably many runs in a day and at altitude, we need a well-trained aerobic system as well, since that system enables us to recover between runs.
To simplify a little we could say:
Efficient anaerobic a-lactacid system = efficient start
Efficient anaerobic lactacid system = efficient run
Efficient aerobic system = efficient recovery
Skiing also requires skills such as agility, short reaction time and well-developed proprioception.
Core strength and a healthy range of motion will also constitute an important part of the base upon which we can build a high performance.
With so many boxes to tick it’s easy to see how different sports can contribute to the training of a skier.
Keep following us for this journey into sports!
Chapter 1 – Running VS Cycling
Our Ski Courses.
Strength and conditioning is an integral part of all our courses dedicated to ski instructors. Our professional coaches follow each individual though out the journey together and make sure all efforts are maximized towards the best results.
Check out our Autumn and Winter Gap Courses, ISIA Level 3 Course, Level 4 Course, Race Training as well as the Full Focus, our one to one coaching course.
Looking for summer training? Check out our Summer Ski Instructor Training schedule!
Ski fit in the summer – Subzero Coaching