Client case study: Active Winter Holidays – Skiing Training Ideas


One of the reasons some of my clients contact me initially is because they wish to prepare for and be strong enough for their next active adventure holiday.  These types of holidays can vary and may include skiing.     

Many of us enjoy getting out, moving and taking an adventure, if this requires more physical exercise than usual, then we need to prepare our bodies, otherwise face the risk of being injured.  In our 1:1 PT sessions, we can plan in specific training to target certain muscle groups, for example, quads and calf muscles for skiing.  The goal of being fit for a holiday can certainly help my clients to focus on their training.  

With a ski holiday approaching, we have been doing lots of leg and core strengthening exercises. The main element of the training sessions is stamina in the leg muscles, but a close second is injury prevention (as much as it is possible). To prepare for this activity, slowing down movements like squats and lunges help to keep the muscles under tension for longer, and exercises like a wall sit or pulsing movements in a dep hold can help.  Gradually adding weights to these movement patterns adds more of a challenge to the muscles. This is relevant to skiing, in particular, because you need to be able to keep your knees bent and hold the position on and off all day.   

Core exercises like walking out to plank or holding a plank help to build up endurance strength and is useful in general, but in particular for hiking or cycling holidays.   Not only do my clients get stronger muscles from these workouts but I also hold them accountable in our 1:1 sessions.  Below is an example of the kind of exercises we might choose:

Warm up – Side lunges, squat swings, jumping jacks, arm circles.

Main workout

  • 3 x Wall sits for 30-40 seconds
  • 3 x slow squats for 40 – 50 seconds (counting 3 counts down, 3 counts up).
  • Walking lunges covering the length of your garden.
  • 3 x kneeling or full plank for 40 seconds
  • 3 x single-leg lunged dips for 30 seconds on each leg.

Cool down and stretches – Calve stretches, hamstring stretches, quads and glutes.

Here are a few of the things my clients have said on their return from their recent skiing trips.

‘I started training with Sara 6 months before my ski holiday, as I knew that I need to build up the strength in my body to be able to enjoy my holiday fully.  In our regular training sessions, I worked with Sara to build my leg and core strength.  I am pleased to say that it paid off!  I was able to really enjoy my ski holiday, as my body was not in a lot of discomfort and remained injury free.  Thank you, Sara!”

Sophie, Windsor

“Having done PT with Sara for some time now, twice weekly sessions are part of my weekly routine. I enjoy the sessions and I know they keep me fit and healthy. My skiing holiday really put that to the test though! I started doing PT in the pandemic and skiing was the first holiday I booked when things opened up. Wow… the difference was incredible. It’s easy to do PT each week and perhaps not notice the improvements you’re making. My legs were so strong for skiing, it made a huge difference. I enjoyed the holiday all the more, and it was great validation that all the hard work in my PT sessions is paying off. The formula does work! Now I’m even more of an advocate and working on building up my legs for the next ski holiday!”

 Anna, Windsor

“Having never skied, being older and having a foot injury did make me worried about a weeks skiing. A spot of 121 training was required to build my strength having not really exercised properly since June 2020. The first day of skiing was hard work, tiring, due to the sudden weight around your feet and ankles and repetitive short movements.

However, my knees and hips which I thought would hurt or be stiff didn’t. By the second day with more a relaxed posture and confidence (also different sizes boots) there was little to no discomfort. I had more confidence in my body because of the previous weeks of squats, stretches and weigh resistance training. The different exercises working with Sara meant that my legs didn’t turn to jelly. All those repetitive resistance bands exercises paid off! Sara ensured each week had specific exercise’s designed to strengthen my body for skiing. Now to get fitter for the next trip.”

Becca, Windsor

If you would like to prepare for your next adventure holiday, please get in touch to see how personal 1:1 training sessions might help you.

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Sara McDonnell

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