Not everyone has the luxury or the time to train like world cup skiers do. Some of us go to health clubs and take the ski fitness classes. Some just ride the bike, and unfortunately some people do relatively nothing to get fit for skiing. Those who cannot find the time and are doing nothing are putting themselves at higher risk for injury. Those who get fit will benefit from better skiing and being less prone to injury.
However, there are a few things you can do almost anytime, anywhere, with no equipment, to help get or stay fit to ski.
Here’s an easy one…well, kind of. Sit in the invisible chair against the wall. In other words, put your back against the wall, and bend your legs down until your legs bend at a right angle and your upper legs are parallel with the ground. Keeping your back against the wall, and breathing slow, hold this position until you can take it no longer. Then do it again later. Simple. Have a contest with your coworkers to see who stays against the wall the longest.
Another good one is the single-leg knee bends. This is simply standing on one leg (the other leg pulled up a bit), and bending the knee while keeping the back upright. Up and down, up and down. Do this until you start to feel your ski muscles in your legs start to weaken, then give a little more. Make sure to do both legs. If you have a weaker side, do 10 to 20% more reps on the weak side.
You can keep your arms and shoulders toned by doing tricep dips using a chair. This would be to put your hands on the front side of a stationary chair facing away from the chair. Put your legs straight out in front of you, and bend your arms lowering your rear end to the floor (or as close as possible). Do sets of 10 or 12 in succession, do one set fast then one set very slow.
A good one for the feet is toe risers. Simply stand in one place and go up to your tip toes, and back down several times (like 20 or more). you can also do this on each foot independently. This will help strengthen your calves, and help that foot cramp those first couple of runs.
Without doing a downward dog, or a sun salutation, you can stretch your back and hamstrings (the very things that get sore). First of all, just bend at the waist. Just hang there, arms folded. Unbend slowly using your arms to help. Then slowly put your fists at the base of your back, and do a small back bend. (crack, crack). Do this hanging and bending several times.
Without getting your pants dirty, you can also do right and left lunges. That would be to take one leg and step forward and down until your leg is at a right angle and your upper leg is parallel with the ground. Keep your back foot back, and your hands at your waist. Try to feel your quadriceps one stretching, and the other holding your balance. Hold each side for 20 or more seconds.
Use the stairs instead of the elevator, and take 2 (or 3) steps at a time. Use the top step to stretch.
Finally…visualize. Visualize yourself making every turn, and being easily, perfectly in balance over your skis. Visualize making 10 or more smooth, linked turns (at any speed). Regardless of your ability, this is a key step in achieving better skiing, (just don’t get caught visualizing in a meeting).
These are just a few of the exercises you can do when you need a few minute break at the office. Just as in skiing, you can have a better time doing it when you invite others to join you.