>I am planning on taking the plunge this winter and learning to ski.
>I did have one lesson last season and could barely walk for a couple of days
>Can anyone out there recommend some excercises I can do to make this a little
>less of a painful experience this season? And strengthen the necessary
>muscles? Or is there a web page out there with some information? Or a back
>issue of a ski mag I could get at the library with any info?
>Thanks in advance!
First let me start by saying that I am not a fitness professional
and can only offer you advice based upon my experience, and with
no knowledge of your age, physique, or physical well being.
These are all factors that should be considered before undertaking
strenuous physical exercise.
I teach many beginners every winter, and find that although everyone
is unique and can develop individual aches depending on their muscle
tone or how they are standing on their skis, common areas for soreness
are the thighs, arms, and lats (back under the armpits).
Skiing at beginner level, is a sport of high repetition,
and low (depending on your body weight) muscular loading. Therefore
you will better condition and prepare yourself for your winter exploits by adopting a workout that puts your body under similar stresses.
I would recommend a good all round routine with weights that focuses
on light weight and medium to high reps. This should awaken your
muscles and prevent too much of a shock the day after you take to
the slopes. To be effective you should commence working out at least
one month prior to getting on snow.
Your, arm and back muscles can get sore from the action of pushing
around with the poles, so use exercises such as bicep curls, tricep press downs, and lat pull downs to condition these areas. Alternatively
if weights are not available press ups, and chin ups (with both narrow
grip palms facing you, and wide grip palms facing away) will target
For the thighs riding a bike or exercycle is as good as anything. Try
to ride for long enough with sufficient resistance that you can feel
your thighs work.
Once on snow, pay attention to your stance. Many of the aches are
a result of extra effort needed because of a poor stance.
So try to stand on the center of your skis with your ankles
bent and your shins touching the front of the boots.
This centered stance will allow you to move around with less effort,
thereby sparing the arm and back muscles a little, and will also
allow you to "stack your bones", (use your skeletal frame for support)
which will lesson the load placed upon the thigh muscles.
Conversely if you sit back and bend your knees too much,
you will involve your quads to a degree that the next day you will
feel like Arnold Schwarzenegger after a heavy squat session.
Good luck and have fun.