The winter holidays are almost here and you can barely wait to get your feet on a pair of skis. But the last ski season is quite a while back now and, although you have an active lifestyle, you’re worried that when you’re skiing your legs will soon get tired, you’ll get a stiff back or your knees will start to feel wobbly - does this sound familiar? If you don’t want to run out of steam right at the start of your skiing holidays and you want to enjoy them as much as possible, you should prepare your body for the extra strain. In this post and a second one (coming soon), we’re going to share with you some exercises by The North Face skier Taylor Rapley. Do them two days a week to prepare for your skiing holidays. Depending on your fitness level, you can add weights to the exercises to make them more challenging. Take into account that these exercises are not about building strength but about building a better support system for your body - it should feel lighter when you ski, not heavier. For this reason, it’s best not to push your limits in this case. WEB_TaylorRapley_DomChannonPhoto_201707_2 Let’s start with day 1: Day 1 Complete three to four sets of the reps mentioned in every exercise. Lunge jumps - 20 reps Start in the lunge position, jump up and swap legs. The leg that started out at the front is now at the back and vice versa - this is one rep. Try to land on the floor as gently as possible and make sure your knees stay stable. Sumo squats - 8-12 reps Begin in the squat position. Your legs should be slightly more than hip-width apart and your toes should be turned outwards a little. Now straighten your back and stretch up, then lower yourself back down again. This is one rep. If you’re already quite advanced, you can add extra weight to this exercise with a kettlebell. Crawl - 1 rep Get on your hands and knees, ensuring your back is straight. Now lift your knees off the floor, tense your torso and move approximately 50 metres forward, staying in control at all times. Then turn around and crawl 50 metres back. You can see exactly how to do this on the photo. Tay_Mark_Clinton4 Sidestep - 16 reps Stand on an elastic band and position both feet hip-width apart. Hold the other side of the elastic band in your hands and pull it tight. Now move one foot to the side and make the other foot follow afterwards. This is one rep. Do 16 reps per leg. Tay_Mark_Clinton1 Nordic hamstring curl - 12-16 reps This exercise is best done in pairs. Kneel on a mat on the floor and ask your partner to hold your feet down. Keep your body straight, so that your back and thighs form a straight vertical line from your knees. Now allow your body to fall forward in a controlled manner. Make sure you tense your torso and that you don’t bend at the waist. When you’re close to the floor, support yourself with your hands and then push off from the floor again to bring your body back into the starting position. If you don’t have a partner to hold down your feet, find something heavy and/or fixed to wedge your heels under. In the second part of this post, we’ll show you the exercises you should do on the second training day of the week. By doing all of these exercises, you’ll strengthen your torso and stabilise your knees to prevent accidents and ensure you get the most out of your skiing holiday. We hope you’re looking forward to the second part of the post! - - Title picture: The North Face: Tero Repo Training pictures: Mark Clinton