How to Get Fit for Heliski Season
So, you’ve booked your heliski trip. The snow is falling, and in a few short weeks, you will be loading up the helicopter. There’s only one catch, you haven’t skied since those late-season spring groomer days. The last thing you want is your legs to be hollering for a break before lunchtime on your first day out. When you get to ski true unlimited vertical as you do at Tyax, a little extra training can go a long way in ensuring you get the most out of your ski day.
When it comes to heliskiing, a bit of pre-season conditioning can go a long way. This means striking a balance between strength and endurance. Although everyone is a little bit different, here are our top tips for getting in shape prior to your heliski trip:
- Ski! Leg strength and core stability are important, but nothing is going to build endurance quite like skiing will. If possible, having a few days’ worth of turns under your belt prior to your trip will go a long way in training your body to hold a strong position. It will also help build muscular endurance for all that powder farming you will be doing, days in a row.
- Build strength. Skiing and snowboarding are physically demanding lower-body-dominant sports. That means your quads, glutes, hamstrings and core all need to be prepared. If you’re on a time crunch, compound movements with moderate weight are your best bet. Think squats, deadlifts, walking lunges, front squats, kettlebell swings, and single-leg straight-legged deadlifts.
- Work your core. A strong core will be key to maintaining good technique and form for the duration of your ski trip. Movements to focus on include weighted twists, mountain climbers, planks, plank plate slides, crunches and standing medicine ball rotational throws.
- Develop cardiovascular endurance. In addition to strength and skiing, a good aerobic base is important to enjoy yourself on of some of our longest runs as you glide through deep powder (it can be a lot of work having this much fun!). Light jogs, hiking, cycling, mountain biking, swimming, or rowing are all great examples of activities to build your aerobic capacity.
- Balance. Incorporate balance and coordination movements into the warm-ups or cool-downs of your strength sessions. Single-leg stands, lateral ski jumps, bird dogs and box jumps are all great options here.
A training program is only as effective as your ability to adhere to it, so don’t bite off more than you can chew! 2-3 strength sessions per week, combined with 2 cardio sessions per week should have you well on your way to ski fit by the time your trip rolls around. And if you can make it up to your local hill for a few days’ skiing before your heliski trip, all the better.
Happy training, and see you soon!
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