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Top 5 Tips: Heli-Skiing Fitness for Maximum Performance

Top 5 Tips: Heli-Skiing Fitness for Maximum Performance

When preparing for your Heliskiing trip, it's essential to keep in mind that you will be skiing for approximately 8 hours a day, for up to 7 days. This can be demanding on your body both physically and mentally especially when skiing at altitudes of up to 2,900 metres, and in the temperatures averaging -15C.

You have booked your time off, invested a lot of hard earned dollars, and for some people will have travelled half way around the world to experience skiing at Tyax Lodge & Heliskiing. Don’t take any chances with your fitness and flexibility. A light training program prior to your Heli-ski trip will go a long way to keeping your body sound, and maximize your days in the Powder.

Tip #1: Prepare Your Fitness 6 to 8 Weeks in Advance

Even modest exercise in the weeks before your arrival can have a huge impact on performance. Strengthening the muscle groups all through your lower back, hips and stomach will deliver better skiing posture. A strong core keeps posture and alignment, contributing to fluid technique; resulting in less energy expended while traversing your Heli-skiing adventure. Developing a strong core and consistent stretching are two of the most important factors in keeping you free from intense pain or injury. We suggest you start a fitness program that includes resistive muscle exercises and stretching 6 to 8 weeks prior to your arrival. The benefits of your program will improve your strength, balance and endurance.

Tip #2: Muscle Development Increases Strength & Agility

Strength training provides increased bone, muscle, tendon, ligament, strength & toughness, improved joint function, reduced potential for injury, increased bone density. We’re not saying to start a body building program, but some simple Heli-skiing specific exercises will go a long way such as: abdominal crunches, push up hold & row, lunge jumps, Russian twists, lateral jumps. Get into the habit of exercising and focusing on engaging specific muscle groups. You will feel the muscle groups developing when you are performing exercises properly. Exercise 3 times a week to improve your fitness, try the following “Leg Squat”.

Leg Squats: Train for Agility - 10+ Repetitions: Place your feet as if you’re about to squat with a heavy load, place your hands behind your head. Slowly drop into a parallel position, once balanced, drive up as high as possible, making sure to focus and push as hard as possible through your ankles, knees, and hips. Try and keep a consistent rhythm to the point your legs feel a natural elasticity from absorbing the deep squat.

Heliskiing Fitness

Tip #3: A Cardiovascular Lift Improves Endurance

Cardio exercise is the key is to executing your ski technique effectively and consistently with the least amount of effort. Activities such as cycling, running, Stairmaster, elliptical trainer, rollerblading, swimming, can lift your Heli-skiing performance especially on exertion at altitude. If you can raise your heartbeat above 150 beats-per-minute for a minimum of 20-40 minutes, 3-5 times per week, this will register as a boost to your cardio-vascular system and fitness. Also consider a low impact stationary bike!

Tip #4: Consistent Stretching Reduces Pain & Injuries

We often forget to stretch after exercise, but it’s as important, as the workout itself. Methodical stretching adds flexibility, providing improved mobility in all joints. Stretching will allow you to be stronger over a greater range of movement, and less prone to injury.  The following exercises and stretches will assist to raise your fitness level, specifically for Heli-skiing. Make sure you warm-up if stretching before exercising. While going into the stretch, exhale. Stretch to the point just before discomfort. The feeling of tightness should lessen as you hold a stretch. Hold a stretch for 20-30 seconds for best results. Perform 2-3 stretches before moving to the next. Shake your limbs to remove any tension. Try ”The Quad Stretch.”

The Quad Stretch: Stand on your right leg and grab the bottom of your left leg, just above ankle. Pull your heel toward your lower back and at the same time, push your hips out. Your thigh should be perpendicular to the ground. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.

heliskiing Fitness

Tip #5: Create a Fitness Plan

Fitness is paramount to maximize the enjoyment of your Heli-skiing experience.  It’s not too late to develop strength, promote stamina and add flexibility for this season.  Heli-skiing is a full body workout, and though most people focus on leg strength, training your entire body will ensure you are gaining accurate control of your skiing into the next level. Create a daily fitness calendar of exercises, cardio work-outs and stretching, based on your current level and fitness goals.  Also use as a visual resource for specific exercises and stretches.

Tyax Heliskiing – Seats Are Filling Fast – Book Early! Our 830,000 acres of ski terrain is 200 times more than Vail, Colorado, and 10 times more than Les Trois Vallées, France. With over 350 existing runs - and more being added every year - there’s always something new to explore.

Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2013

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