Plan now to set your personal record for the number of days you’ll ski and snowboard this winter by building strength, balance, and endurance into your fall fitness routine, say experts at the Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI).
“Pre-season training is time well spent, an effective program will make you stronger, fitter and faster,” says Robin Barnes, PSIA Alpine team member. “October is the perfect month to get serious about committing to a pre-season program, which can include time playing sports outside or hitting the gym. Pick activities that fit your skiing and snowboarding goals. If your goal is skiing mogul runs top to bottom, you’ll have to do more than stroll through the neighborhood. If your goal is to get comfortable on green runs, you don’t need to squat 200 pounds in the gym.”
Amy Gan, AASI Snowboard team member, recommends keeping your fitness routine fun, “I stay in shape by getting outside and doing something active several times a week. Whether it’s hiking, mountain biking, or pumping a skateboard around a mini ramp, getting a good mix of aerobic and strength training keeps me riding all day once the snow flies.”
Barnes and Gan encourage people to maximize their ski or snowboard pass investment by following these fitness tips from top PSIA-AASI instructors.
Beginner – Learning to Ski & Snowboard: Stay Active
- Build your cardiovascular endurance by running, biking, or taking aerobic classes to increase your stamina, and decrease the amount of breaks you take throughout your day on the slopes.
- Improve your balance by incorporating yoga into your workout to stretch and strengthen muscles.
- Develop proper muscle memory for skiing and snowboarding by doing lateral jumps or standing on a balance board.
Intermediate – You Feel Confident on Green Runs and Blue Runs: Learning to Turn It Up
- Squats are an effective functional exercise to build leg strength and mobility.
- Try skateboarding or longboarding, which prepares your body for the same movements you will use snowboarding.
- Bicycling or rollerblading strengthens your legs and reinforces the kind of independent leg action and balance you use when you ski alpine, cross-country, or telemark. These activities will also build your cardiovascular endurance.
Advanced – You Enjoy the Thrill of Black Diamonds: Go All In
- Power up your cardio by getting aerobically winded every day for at least 10-15 minutes.
- Focus on legs and core—learning how to move effectively indoors with greater intensity will translate to deeper energy reserves when challenged on the hill.
- Get committed—promise yourself you will complete your exercise cycle of at least three weeks without excuses.
- Develop balance between all four quarters of your body. Develop a symmetrical body by matching upper and lower body exercises as well left and right side exercises.
“Remember to keep your pre-season training routine fun,” says Barnes. She recommends if you want to take your skiing or riding to the next level, and are interested in learning more about the benefits of taking a lesson from a certified instructor, visit PSIA-AASI’s Take a Lesson page.
PSIA-AASI is a nonprofit education association with a membership of more than 32,000 men and women dedicated to promoting snowsports through instruction. The association establishes certification standards for ski and snowboard instructors and develops education materials to be used as the core components of most ski and snowboard school training. The PSIA-AASI Team is a hand-selected team of 30 individuals that are the “best of the best” ski and snowboard instructors and help promote the organization’s educational programs.