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Ski Like Graham Bell

Ski Like Graham Bell

Ski Sunday presenter and race ace, Graham Bell, tells you fitness is the key.

If you want to ski like a dream there is no magic bullet – just hard grunt and groan work in the gym or at home long before you hit the slopes.

Here are Graham’s 3 simple areas to look at, starting some six weeks before you go …

Aerobic fitness

If you’re not already exercising regularly, begin a simple programme of aerobic activity around two months to six weeks before you go. As well as boosting your overall fitness levels, this will help build stamina, letting you ski longer each day without feeling as tired.

At each gym or exercise session, introduce 20 minutes of cardio exercise – such as bike or treadmill. Needs to be only at low intensity, but will help increased your heart rate and improve your fitness pre holiday.”

Lose weight

Think about what you eat and drink before your ski trip, so you can have more enjoyment during it. Remember the more weight you are carrying, the more weight you have to drag around the mountain! No need for a crash diet, just cutting down on fat and sugar will shed a little weight. So, when you get to the slopes, you’ll really notice a difference if you’ve lost a couple of excess pounds.

Ski muscles

Key areas to strengthen and build for skiing are your calves and quadriceps (thighs). These are the muscles given the most punishment during your ski trip. As skiing and boarding are all about balance and co-ordination, you should try exercises that combine both at the same time. For example, squats on a Bosu ball are great for your quads.”

A really simple way to get the right muscles working ahead of a ski trip is to go ice or roller skating. Skating is a similar combination of balance and co-ordination and also gets you used to sliding. It’s a brilliant way for kids to get comfortable with the movements required for skiing. Of course, even better than that is visiting a snow centre where you can practice skiing for real.
Forget advice to do wall sits to strengthen quadriceps – they are a waste of time, as all they do is get your legs used to the pain, and they don’t build or stretch the muscle.

Snowboarders might want to spend some time on their upper body, as they use this more than skiers. Strapping in, getting up and taking a few slams can stress the shoulders, if you have a weakness then work with a theraband to strengthen the rotator cuff, or if you fancy it Indoor Climbing is great for the upper-body strength.”

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