If we could, we would ski all year round. Of course, Mother Nature has other ideas. When spring comes into season, it’s time to start thinking about other things to do because the snow won’t be around for long and your powder won’t remain dry.
Although landing softly in Les Houches, France is the aim, it will have to wait for another six months before that an option, unfortunately. However, that doesn’t mean you have to let all of your hard work go down the drain. As a skier, you’ve spent the winter improving your health to aid performance, and maintaining the same level of fitness should be your goal in the off-season. Even though your preferred sport isn’t available, others are that will ensure you keep your eye in and don’t drop the ball. With that in mind, here are three options that are perfect for post-season recovery.
With the season fresh in your mind – most fans can still remember the chaos of the men’s 50-kilometer race at the 2021 World Championships – it makes sense to opt for a sport that’s closely related to skiing. But it also has to be accessible, which is where ice hockey comes into the equation. It’s evident to everyone that the skating motion of ice hockey and the skiing movements of cross country are linked, yet there is more to it than meets the eye.
While it’s true that playing hockey works out the essential muscle groups required for XC, including the lower body and abdominals for balance, it’s also effective for maintaining a healthy weight. This post from WebMD says that the average game time for hockey players results in their heart rate hitting 190, which leads to increased calorie consumption when they are sat on the bench resting.
Let’s not forget about the time factor of being off the slopes, either. When you have less to do, you need an activity to engage your brain and maintain your focus as you run the risk of losing motivation. Considering that the average American experiences 131 days of boredom per year, it’s no joke.
Thankfully, the NHL can help relieve the boredom and NBC has shared the schedule which shows that the Stanley Cup final could last all the way to July 9th. Not only can you watch the action from now until the summer, but you can also wager on the outcome with Betway to add extra excitement to the fixtures and stop your brain from switching off. It seems a lot of fans have a similar idea, as there are already odds for outright winners. Just imagine if the Nashville Predators, currently at odds of 51.00 as of April 8th, managed to make history and you weren’t around to see it.
The idea of hitting the open court is an ideal way for lots of people to spend their summer. For a skier, it doesn’t rank as highly because you assume you won’t get much from the experience. The truth is, your legs will thank you for it when the fall rolls around and you head back out to the slopes.
Whereas some people can head to cross country ski centers, you might not have access to facilities such as these. Basketball courts, on the other hand, are commonplace throughout the US, with Statista showcasing that there are as many as 17.4 hoops per 10,000 residents, depending on your location. Hitting a correct jump shot will help train your knee so that it doesn’t overextend and put too much stress on your knee joint.
You only need to do exercises like squatting, which use the same muscles, for 10-minutes a day to strengthen your legs and reduce your risk of injury when you return to XC. So, you may as well hit the court and have fun while exercising and enjoying the health benefits.
Finally, there is baseball. Again, baseball seems as if it’s too abstract for skiers as there are no solid links on the surface. Delve deeper, though, and you’ll find reasons why pitching and batting will put you in good shape for the start of the new season. Mainly, it’s down to the impact the sport has on your core muscles.
When training for skiing, it’s imperative to concentrate on the body parts that will get you down the mountain, and the likes of your abdominals are central to this as they keep your weight centered. This not only improves your balance, giving you extra control, but it also prevents back injuries. Among many other sports, baseball is an activity keeping your core tight and healthy.
Staying in shape in the off-season is harder than it sounds, especially when your main source of fitness is less accessible. The sports listed in this guide are proven to manage and train the muscle groups you require to perform at a high level on the piste.