It looks like ski destinations will be back up and running across Canada this winter season. Perhaps there will still be restrictions in place and a limit on participants at any one time, but, with any luck, there’ll be many more resorts and ski hills open than last year to accommodate you and your family.

If you’re an avid skier or snowboarder, and you missed most of the 2020-21 season, we can bet you’re raring to go. But just remember, after a year off your body and your muscles may be in need of a tune up. The last thing you want is to finally hit the slopes and promptly injure yourself!

It’s important to not only get yourself tuned up physically, but also to tune up your equipment and gear. And now’s the time to get started – well before you set out to tackle the slopes on a perfect snowy winter’s day.

Some Physical Fitness Basics

Let’s take a quick look at what you need to do before you hit the slopes so that you can enjoy a long and fun-filled season. Taking the time to get in shape will make all the difference! The exercises which follow are designed to cover off the four basic fitness criteria – all vital for anyone, at any age who wants to have a physically better skiing or snowboarding experience.

  1. Balance: Good balance helps in navigating unexpected bumps and moguls as well as contribute to a smoother, more fluid ride.
  2. Core: Developing strong abdominal muscles and hips will help provide the support and strength needed to protect your back and knees from impact and compression – essential to a better trip down the mountain or hillside.
  3. Strength: The stronger you are the more your body can withstand the forces your hips, knees, legs and torso will encounter when hurtling downhill, while making turns and quick moves or performing jumps and aerial maneuvers. Overall body strength helps provide resistance to muscle fatigue in your legs too.
  4. Agility: A higher level of agility will ensure you can adjust quickly to changing terrain as well as various snow and ice conditions. Being agile will also help you avoid other skiers who may inadvertently fall in your way or cross your path on a downhill run.

Ok, so What Are the Best Pre-Ski Season Workout Exercises?

Good question. And according to a ski fitness guru and coach I know, the following seven exercises are recommended to help you get yourself (or your kids and grandkids) in shape. It’s suggested you follow this simple “do it at home” programme 2 to 3 times a week, doing each exercise one after the other, You then take a break for one minute or two and repeat them. Try to work up to repeating the series 3 times each session. Add an extra round once you progress and have built up your stamina and strength.

  1. Jump squats: 10 reps
  2. Hip bridges: 10 reps
  3. Single leg deadlift: 10 reps per leg
  4. High plank with shoulder taps: 16 reps 
  5. Squats with or without weights: 15 reps
  6. Alternate front lunges: 16 reps
  7. Skater side jump: 20 reps

The Sooner You Start, the Better

Now then, you’ve got a month and a half, give or take, to get these exercises working for you so that you can then enjoy a fabulous ski or snowboarding season to the max.

After all, a year away from your favourite sport deserves that you be in top shape to avoid injury and to maximize your enjoyment, whether it’s spent gracefully gliding down the hills or racing at top speed to the bottom!

Check Your Gear

When it comes to you and your family’s equipment and ski gear, don’t forget to do a complete pre-season check-up of everyone’s ski stuff – items like bindings, boots, skis, boards, and poles as well as check the condition of ski suits, helmets, gloves and goggles to ensure they’re all in good shape and still fit and function properly. Kids will have grown and many other things may have changed in the last year and a half!

Finally, all that’s left to do is purchase ski passes, wait for the snow to fly and off you go – out into that wild and wonderful winter wonderland!

Here’s to a terrific season!