Heading out to catch a little fresh powder these holidays? Don’t look like a louch on the slopes after a long off-season. Use this collection of exercises to bring your body back into peak shape while you’re shredding the gnar and catching the eyes of every snow bunny on the mountain.
Our calorie-torching speed circuits are great for fat loss. But they don’t just help you shed the kilos – they’ll get you fitter and stronger at the same time. This 30-minute routine will burn hundreds of calories, and doing it three times a week for four weeks will train knees, ankles and hips to stabilise themselves under heavy loads – ideal preparation for a skiing holiday. It can also serve as a warm-up when at your destination and give you a fitness boost. The ski squats are perfect for strength endurance, while the adductor slides will switch on the muscles that keep your skis in line. Even if you’re not planning to hit the slopes, the circuit will build functional muscle and a strong core – and, of course, strip away that unwanted fat.
1. Start: To warm up, alternate one minute of jogging on the spot with one minute of star jumps for five minutes. Then do five minutes of press-ups and lunges to get the blood pumping to your muscles.
2. The Static Ski Squat (aka the wallsit): Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart about 60cm from a wall, then lean your back against the wall. Bend your knees and slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor and hold that position for as long as you can, up to 60 seconds. It’s working when your quads burn and your legs are trembling slightly.
3. The Reverse Bench Crunch: Sit on a bench with your shoulders back. Extend your legs and pull your knees to one side of your chest quickly without rocking back. Alternate sides with each rep. It’s working when your lower abs and hip flexors work together to crunch your legs in and out.
4. Jump Twists: Hold your packed rucksack to your chest and jump on the spot. When jumping, rotate your lower body to the left and right and twist your upper body in the opposite direction.It’s working when your quads and obliques are working simultaneously.
5. The Ski Bridge: Lie on the floor with your heels touching the ground and your knees bent. Lift your hips so your body is in a straight line from knees to shoulders. Tense your core and the tops of your thighs and hold for three seconds.
It’s working when your hips are high at the top of the move and your core is tight.
6. Lateral Jumps: Stand side-on to your rucksack. With your feet together, squat down and then jump sideways over the bag, landing on the other side.
It’s working when you’re going into the next jump as soon as your feet touch the ground.
7. The Aquaman Plank: Start in a plank position with your core tight. Keeping your back straight, raise your right arm and left leg. Hold for ten seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat on the other side then continue, alternating sides.
It’s working when your core is working hard as it adapts to the different positions and your neck is in line with the rest of your body.