30 August 2013
It’s time to get fit for the snow… here’s Dr Craig McLean with same valuable and timely advice
By Dr Craig McLean, fitness expert for the Ski Club of Great Britain and sports injury chiropractor.
Now you’ve heard that preparing your body for skiing is a great idea for preventing injury and making the most of the investment you make to get you and the family to the mountains each winter, but maybe that’s not enough of a motivator to get you off your butt and down to the gym!
Well here’s another thought – a stronger, fitter and more flexible you will allow you to hold your technique and position over your skis right up to the end of the day, preventing those horrible pressure/rubbing related issues in your ski boots. Yes, thats right comfy feet!
Ski Fitness Programme – Part 2: Ski Stretch
Think about it… late in the day after that big outback trail in the deep snow or after that long lunch, you get tired, turns appear harder and your weight goes back on your skis. Shins slam into the tongue, toes hit the front and the ankles rub. I work closely with bespoke London boot fitters ProFeet and Surefoot and they agree even after the perfect boot fit, poor positioning in the boot while skiing can be down to poor ski fitness not the ski boot fit itself. There is only so much a coach like Warren Smith in Verbier can teach you if you don’t have the strength to hold form as you fatigue.
So it’s simple really – get cardio active and get to the gym.
For cardio try cycling, as it’s the closest thing you can do to replicate the skiing action in the UK. You can try spin classes at the gym, or buy that road bike and join the lycra brigade. If cycling isn’t for you get walking, running or climbing up down your local hills.
If you’re hitting the gym, give yourself a minimum three month preparation plan and follow the steps I’ve outlined in my two ski fitness videos found on the Ski Club TV.
The focus needs to be on flexibility and strength. Flexibility of the ankle and hip joints is key the more flexible you are the better you’ll be able to achieve the correct position over your skis.
Strength of your thighs (quads), butt (glutes) and core are important. A gym workout doesnt need to be a three hour time vacuum try running or walking to the gym (20 min), a circuit of six exercises (for example; squat, lunge, plank, side plank, lateral jumping and bridge), each lasting 1 minute. Repeat three times (20 min) then walk or run home (20 min). One hour total time. If you do this regularly you’ll be well on your way to a being in top shape when the snow starts to fall, not to mention setting yourself up for a more comfortable time in your boots!
Craig McLean is the Ski Club’s chiropractic and fitness expert. If you have specific questions for Craig visit our Ask the Expert pages, or see Craig and his team at Putney Chiropractic Centre in London. 
Ski Club members receive 50 off their first visit fee at Putney Chiropractic (normally 125).
Join the Ski Club to receive this discount as well as plenty of other member benefits. 
- ^ Ski Club TV (www.skiclub.co.uk)
- ^ Ask the Expert (www.skiclub.co.uk)
- ^ Putney Chiropractic Centre (www.skiclub.co.uk)
- ^ Putney Chiropractic (www.skiclub.co.uk)
- ^ Join the Ski Club (www.skiclub.co.uk)
- ^ member benefits (www.skiclub.co.uk)
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