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" To ski in the best possible physical condition and not to be breathless from the first bends, it’s important to build up stamina.
At least one month before leaving (though all year round it is better), and at least once a week, take some exercise : 45 minutes of running, 1:30 hours of cycling or 2 km in a swimming pool. Work out a plan, don’t over-do it in the first session, make sure you wear approprate clothing and keep hydrated.When running, or taking other physical exercise, spend the last 10 minutes taking small side steps and making small jumps. You can do this from a step too, just climb up and with feet together, jump off the bottom steps.
These "multijumps" will greatly improve muscle structure. After the sessions make sure you stretch the muscles of both legs: the quads (your heel in your buttock), calfs (hand to support you against the wall, balance the body and tense the legs), ischio-jambiers and adducteurs (distance from legs), glutei (by crossing a leg bent on the other one tightened (stretched out), the bust (by twisting), psoas (by cracks) …
Every posture must be held for about fifteen seconds, without holding your breath, in a warm room just after the sport. Back home if necessary. This stretch - of 10 minutes minimum - is indispensable for muscles and will avoid aches. The point is to strengthen the muscles, then stretch out, to avoid aches and pains.
In addition to formal training you can also exercise during the course of the day, just set a little time to strengthen the leg muscles – you’re in good company. Before the Gernoble Olympics Jean-Claude Killy is said to read his newspaper on an invisible chair – back to the wall in a sitting position, without a chair.). Start doing this for a minute a day, then add seconds and variants, for example, raise one foot for five seconds, and then the other.
You can also work your quads with a step or a rather solid coffee table. Think of changing the support regularly (either with the foot flat, or just toes, or on just the inside or the outside of the foot). The best bet is obviously to complete these exercises with the help of a professional trainer, or in a gym, to ensure you’re exercising all the muscles effectively.
And the purpose of all of these preparations is to give more stamina, to avoid being constantly out of breath and to be strong enough to enjoy skiing to the full. Both are indispensable in maximising pleasure on slopes.
Thanks to Marc Sollier, Director of CRJS Havre, for this helpful advice.