Get fit for the winter

Follow these tips to prepare yourself for a successful winter on the slopes

What could be better than carving over the snow on a gloriously sunny day, feeling the wind whistling in your ears and enjoying the freshly fallen powder? Winter in SalzburgerLand exudes an irresistible charm, and year after year ski and snowboard enthusiasts succumb to it. However wonderful having fun on the slopes may be, winter sports also demand a lot from your physical strength. Unless you’re in the peak of health and fitness, winter sports can very well result in accidents or injuries. Through targeted training and preparation for the season ahead, you can minimise the risk.

Winter sport belongs to one of the best hobbies that you can pursue and getting out and about in the great outdoors doesn’t just do your soul the world of good, but your physical health too. That said, there are certain risks and dangers that come with it. Ligaments, tendons, joints and all bones are all put under great strain with this form of activity, so it’s a good idea to get a bit of targeted training in before and during the season as this can radically reduce the risks to your body. As soon as the days start to get shorter and you feel that first chill in the air, it’s time to start kicking yourself into action and whipping your body up into shape for the upcoming ski and snowboard season.

How to prepare yourself for a winter on the slopes

Some good areas to work on are muscle strengthening, balance and stretches. If you start with the following exercises in good time, and repeat them regularly over the winter, you’re well on your way to an injury-free successful season.

Exercises to improve your balance

Standing scale

Stand on one leg and move the upper body forwards. The leg off the floor should be stretched behind you, and your legs should be at about a 90-degree angle. Hold the position for at least ten seconds.

Stand on one leg

Stand still on one leg. Move your other leg in front of you, to the side and behind you. For an advanced work out, vary the speed of the movements.

Strength exercises

Lunge step

The classic lunge step should always be made to the front and the side. Perform it at least five times per leg.

Knee bends

Do classic knee bends, making a 90-degree angle with the thighs and lower legs. Repeat at least five to ten times.

Basic jumps

Jump up rapidly from a deep crouch position. Throwing your arms up will support you. Repeat five to ten times.

Stretching exercises

Skiing and snowboarding are forms of sports that demand suppleness of the body. Completing stretching exercises both before and after hitting the slopes is essential. Not only do they prevent injury, but they also guarantee great movement on the slopes.

Thigh stretches

  • Stand on one leg and pull the heel of your other leg up to your buttocks. Stay in this position for at least twenty seconds.
  • Keep your legs straight. Try to touch the tip of your toes with your fingers. This is a good stretch for the back of your thighs. Add another level to it by touching the toes on the opposite side of your body. Keep it up for ten seconds!

Stretch with your ski poles

Take a pole behind your back, and hold it with outstretched arms. Slowly move your upper torso in all directions.

Quick tip: if you get the feeling whilst skiing that you haven’t stretched enough, you should stand still and take all the time you need. Prevention really is better than cure at times like this.

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