“Ooh, my thighs”
This was my refrain for a good few days after I tried out Crystal Ski‘s new Slopercise ski-fit routine at a David Lloyd Club in London. The burn told me something I already knew: I needed to put in some work before heading off to Passo Tonale ski resort this winter.
When I first started skiing, back in my early thirties, I was child-free and had acres of time to tone up those muscles in the gym. Now I keep fit mainly by running with local friends, and taking regular yoga classes. But skiing uses different muscles to those put into action on a 5k run, or through yoga’s Down Dog. Last spring, when we skiied for a few days in Austria, I was decidedly jelly-legged by the afternoon.
In collaboration with David Lloyd Clubs, Crystal Ski designed Slopercise with specific ski moves in mind. So, when I was invited to try out the routine, although the Fulham gym was a far cry from the crisp air of the Alps, I did recognise the actions from my time on the piste. My muscles didn’t thank me for repeating the moves until aching point, but with a bit of persistence, I know Slopercise will help me make the most of my time on the Italian mountains.
Alastair Crew, Group Health and Fitness Manager from David Lloyd Clubs, developed the programme with different levels of difficulty, so you can pick a pace that suits you. The moves are good for beginners through to experts, and children as young as eight can join in. They help with toning and strengthening the muscles used in different types of skiing: downhill, snowboarding and cross country. Even après-ski’s covered.
Here are some examples of the moves:
Mogul Ski Hop
This exercise is all about lateral steps. Small hops will prepare you for when you come across moguls. Lateral movements improve strength, stability and coordination. They also help reduce the risk of injury by enhancing and improving overall hip, knee and ankle joint stability. So this is an exercise that would help legs withstand all the changing direction involved in skiing and snowboarding.
Powder Snow Pole Pull
If you’re worried about falling over on the piste, and never being able to get back up, the powder snow pole pull will help. This exercise will build strength in the back, arm, shoulder and stomach muscles. Starting in the press up position, using a dumbbell or equivalent, you lift the weight to the body while supporting yourself with the other hand on the floor.
Ski lift Sideways Shuffle
This move is essential for anyone wanting to head towards the ski lift with style and panache. The exercise strengthens the glutes on the sides of your pelvis, increasing leg strength and stabilising the pelvis.
Après-Ski Stein Squat
Want to make sure you have enough strength to lift steins of beer at the end of a day on the slopes? Then this exercise is for you. As well as helping with lifting drinks, this exercise builds muscles in your arms, shoulders and legs.
If you want to see these moves in action, and try out Slopercise for free at home, you can see the routine on the Crystal Ski Youtube channel:
David Lloyd Clubs’ members can also take advantage of Synrgy 360 Slopercise classes, available at selected clubs across the country from 30 October. There will be three classes for all the family to enjoy: Synrgy 360 Slopercise for adults and teens aged 14+, Synrgy 360 Slopercise for 11-15s, and Synrgy 360 Slopercise Family for adults and kids aged 8+.
We will be skiing at Passo Tonale this winter as guests of Crystal Ski. All views are my own.