In perfect shape for ski holiday | © Edith Danzer
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In "perfect shape" for the slopes

Workout for last minute-fitness

The couch was your faithful companion in the last weeks? During short and often foggy days, there are just too many good reasons not to go out and do something for fitness? There is enough time left until the winter holidays on the slopes in the Skicircus? No more excuses! Get past your comfort zone and get in "perfect shape" for the slopes! With a few simple bodyweight exercises that work well even in the smallest of flats!

We present simple fitness exercises that will prepare you perfectly for your skiing holiday. The body thanks you with pure winter sports enjoyment without disturbing thigh burn. With just a few exercises that fit easily into your daily routine, you can gather strength and endurance at home to be perfectly prepared for your first turns in the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn. Maximilian Breitfuß and Daniel Scheyerer are talented junior racers from Saalbach Hinterglemm and they have to work on their fitness throughout the year to ensure their success in ski racing. With experience from their extensive training sessions in the gym and off-road, they know exactly: "Without training and sweating, it can quickly become dangerous on the slopes if the body can not keep up with the strain. Therefore, get off the couch and into the training clothes, because it is still not too late to get in the perfect shape for the slopes!"

 

Tips from the ski pros

Maximilian Breitfuß reaces for the SLSV, the Salzburg Landesskiverband (Salzburg National Ski Association), and is a specialist in the technical disciplines slalom and giant slalom. Together with his training colleague Daniel Scheyerer, he has compiled five exercises especially for the readers of Saalbach Stories in order to strengthen the most important muscle groups for skiing with little effort. He says, "Before you start with the exercises, you should definitely warm up. So a training session starts with 50 jumping jacks or two minutes of jumping rope. After completing the five exercises take a short break and repeat the sets four times."

1. Strengthening the hamstring muscles

Lying on the back, the legs are placed on a gym ball at a 90° angle. One leg is now raised and the pelvis lifted off the floor. The upper body is only resting on the shoulders and the arms stabilise the pose. Hold the pose briefly at the highest point and then return to the starting position. It’s important here to maintain good body tension throughout the trunk. Maximilian Breitfuß explains: "This exercise strengthens the back muscles of the thigh, the hamstring muscles, and prevents the knee from pushing forward when skiing. This protects you from a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament." Repeat 10 times, then change leg.

 

2. Strengthening the front thigh muscles

"As opposed to the hamstrings, of course, the front muscle groups must be trained to create a balance. This can be achieved, for example, with 'wall sitting'," the junior racers say and show me how it works. Lean against the wall with your back, legs apart approximately as wide as your shoulders, then go into a deep squat until the legs reach a maximum of 90°. You sit on the wall, so to speak, as if sitting on a chair. However, the knees do not protrude beyond the toes. They stay in this position and actually look quite relaxed, but this exercise is similar to a deep downhill squat while skiing and is a perfect workout for the leg and buttock muscles. Stay in the pose for 1 minute.

3. Strengthening the inner abdominal muscles

For the starting position, sit on the front edge of the gym ball and rest your feet against the wall. The arms are crossed in front of the chest and lie on the shoulders. The upper body is now slowly lowered back and then comes back up to the starting position without momentum. The head retains a neutral position. This exercise can be intensified by alternately supporting yourself with only one leg on the wall. Maximilian explains: "This exercise trains our inner abdominal muscles. For a skier, it is important to have a stable trunk. This way, the upper body stays upright and does not give way forward or backward. The better the trunk is stabilised, the more flexibility, and the more fun you have while skiing." Repeat the exercise 20 times.

4. Strengthening the back muscles

"Those who strengthen their abdominal muscles must not forget their back muscles! Otherwise, there will be an imbalance in the body," Maximilian warns, declaring: "We call the following exercise 'bread cutting' because of the arm movements and it strengthens the back." The exercise begins in a face-down position with legs approximately hip-wide apart and arms outstretched along the head. Legs and arms are raised – the thighs do not touch the floor during the whole exercise. The arms now perform a slight upward and downward movement, as if you are cutting something. The arms first move to one side, then to the other side. 10 repetitions per side.

5. Lateral forearm exercise

This exercise stabilises and strengthens the shoulders, torso and hips. Starting position: Lie on your side on an exercise mat, feet pointing forward and one above the other. The forearm is placed under the shoulder as a support. Now lift the pelvis for the exercise. The ankles, hips and shoulders form a line. The basic exercise is holding this pose, but many variations can be used for this exercise. You can raise and lower the pelvis, while the ground is only slightly touched when lowering the pelvis. Important: The pelvis must not move to the back. Advanced users lift the upper leg and arm – as you lower your leg, you move your arm under your upper body. Or you stretch your arm and leg and then bring your elbows and knees together. Maximilian explains: "This exercise is a good full-body exercise to be able to take the pressure when skiing steep curves.” Hold position for 1 minute and change sides. With the variantions do 10 repetitions per side.

 

These five exercises are easy to fit into everyday life. You can even do them during the commercial breaks of your evening TV programme. For endurance, you add a few jogging sessions and afterwards you treat yourself to a few stretching exercises. Then you are in perfect shape for the slopes in the “Home of lässig” after only a few weeks! And you can enjoy the skiing feeling even more with a relaxed smile – with more safety and without sore muscles!

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