The premature end to this winter’s ski season has left thousands of skiers and snowboarders without a trip to the slopes and the chance to enjoy an adrenaline-fuelled week of sunny spring skies and end-of-season turns.
Four-time Winter Olympian Chemmy Alcott is among those who have had their season cut short. The mum of two was in the French Alps when it was announced all resorts would be shut, almost two months early, in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“I was supposed to end my ski season on April 27 but, like so many of you, worldly matters and issues far bigger than searching for the perfect piste or powder face intervened,” said Alcott.
“I was fortunate to have got so many days on snow this season coaching for CDC Performance, including winning Best Club at the English Champs, heli skiing with James Orr, presenting for Ski Sunday and hosting and entertaining all across the Alps,” she continued.
“So many were less lucky. Many people were looking forward to their end of season trip to the mountains. But we will be back. If you are a snow lover like me our hearts will always gravitate back to the mountains and the mountains will still be there when this, fingers crossed, is over.”
Now back in the UK, Alcott is on a mission to keep Britain's snow-sport fans moving and using her time at home as an excuse to do some ski-specific training.
If you, like Alcott, are missing the chance to get your heart racing and blood pumping on the slopes the Ski Sunday presenter has recorded her home fitness routine, to encourage skiers, who are now following the UK government’s advice on social distancing, to join her.
The 15-minute video tutorial covers key exercises for skiers, including a warm up. “We totally respect and understand why the mountains are shut right now, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less,” said Alcott.
“I can’t replace those endorphins you get from throwing yourself down the mountain but we’re all in this together, so let’s do something.”
Alcott has also composed a ski-inspired playlist on Spotify to act as the soundtrack for the workout. Beginning with the Ski Sunday theme tune and including the song played when she stood on the podium for the first time as a child, The Final Countdown, the playlist is bound to put a smile on the faces of keen fans.
The routine is designed so anybody can do it from the comfort of their own home. While Alcott uses an inflatable exercise ball for a lot of the exercises, a chair or cushion could act as a good substitute.
The warm up, designed to get your heart racing, includes simple-to-follow jogging on the spot, high knees and side steps, before moving onto squat jumps and ski-specific balance exercises.
The sequences that follow are designed to help with lateral movement – a key element of ski technique, which focuses on getting your upper and lower body to do separate things at the same time, for example keeping your core straight and strong while your legs power outwards at an angle, just like the movement required when completing turns on the slopes.
Ranging from lunges to burpees and squats and then core strength exercises, the workout also practises movements that will help with stability on the slopes, especially when terrain is varied and bumpy.
At various stages it's possible to add a weight, for added impact – whether it's a dumbell, bottle of water or bag of sugar, Alcott has made sure the exercises are suitable for anyone at home.
During the season Alcott runs CDC Performance ski race camps for children and adults, alongside her husband and fellow ex-professional skiers Dougie Crawford.
Don’t let the coronavirus dampen your ski spirits, this short workout will keep you in shape and ready for action when the snow begins to fall next winter.
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