You've booked your ski holiday and you're already dreaming of racing down the pistes!

Whether you are a beginner, occasional or regular skier and even if high performance isn't right at the top of your list, here are a few tips on how to get into shape. You should really be doing these exercise at least a month before your trip to prepare your body, ensure you are on top form and get the most from your holiday!

Motivation is everything!

A regular routine is the key to success. To ensure that you stay motivated every day, why not form a team and challenge each other?

Whether as a family, with a group of friends or as a couple, it'll be loads of fun all round. Who can do the most sit-ups or squats? Do it to music! Choose the right sound and let the rhythm take you.

Move it!
Skiing makes big demands on all your muscles, especially the thighs and calves. It's a really good idea to work on your endurance, strengthen your muscles, limber up your joints, work on your balance and do some extensions.

Adjust session times to suit the intensity of the exercise.

Advice and exercises for:

Limbering up your joints:
- Avoid using lifts, escalators and transport as much as possible. Walk and go up and down steps to make your knees work.

- Flexion - extension! Stand up straight with your legs apart, contract your stomach muscles and buttocks, keeping your back straight, looking straight ahead, flex your knees, hold the position for a few sections and then repeat the exercise.

- Weights: Stand up straight, keeping your back straight, looking straight ahead, contract your stomach muscles and buttocks, put one foot forward and flex the knee, keeping the other leg extended. Breathe out, hold the position for a few seconds and then repeat the exercise.

Working on your leg muscles and endurance:

- Mountain biking, jogging, roller blading and swimming are excellent activities to do.

- Do some skipping! 1-2 / 1-2!

- Do some squats: put your back against the wall and move down into a sitting position. Without any support under your buttocks, try to hold the position for longer and longer between 30 seconds and a minute. Repeat the exercise.

- Work on your hamstrings. Lie down on your back with your arms down by your sides and bend your legs 90° (use a chair or large exercise ball for support) and press down with your heels to release your pelvis. Rise as high as you can and then release. Breathe out as you rise. Hold the position for 5 seconds and then go back down again. Repeat the exercise 15 to 20 times.

- Do some exercises to develop your stomach muscles and work on the abdominal sleeve.

Working on your balance

- Dancing, trampolining and gymnastics are excellent activities to do

- Stand on one leg, close your eyes and hold the position as long as you can - you can do this while making coffee, standing at the photocopier or even waiting for a bus! :)

- Balancing on one leg, try to make a circle with your other foot.

Don't forget to stretch!

Stretching helps prepare your muscles and aids recovery after strenuous exercise.

Take a look at the video featuring our Skicross champion Jean Frédéric Chapuis and Benny le Flocon for some hints and tips!

So how is your training going? Share your experience, hints and tips with us!

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