Just because the snow melts and ski lifts stop, doesn't mean we have to forget all about our favourite sport.
Of course, you could head to a glacier or even fly to the Southern Hemisphere – but there’s no need to do that to stay in shape for skiing or snowboarding.
Here’s five things you can do throughout the summer to keep fit for the slopes.
1. Mountain Biking
The UK has one of the biggest mountain bike industries in the world and has grown enormously in the last few years as a participation sport. There are some amazing facilities all over the country and some are considered world class.
It’s good for skiers because it builds stamina, keeps the legs in shape and also tones the upper body. You don’t have to be a crazed downhill loon either – there are trails for all levels and cross country mountain biking provides the best balance between fitness and skills to help you keep in shape and ready for the winter again.
Scotland and North Wales are particularly good for obvious reasons, but there’s some surprising gems in other parts of Britain too, like Swinley Forest near Bracknell or Thetford in Norfolk.
2. A proper gym
Ski racers train in many different ways and have a variety of tools to help them balance their exercise regime. But one of the most effective ways for skiers to increase leg strength is to learn how to perform squats with an Olympic Bar.
Firstly, you must become trained to do this in the correct way to avoid injury – but once you know the technique then it’s relatively easy and affordable to build a set up at home or in the garage.
If you’re serious about your skiing and really want to build your leg strength up through the summer then this is probably the most effective way.
3. Ice Skating
The UK is full of indoor ice rinks so take advantage of them on hot days. It’s not the same as skiing of course, you’re not travelling downhill to start with – but there are similarities.
The balance required to ice skate at a higher level requires practice and skill and is very similar to the balance required when skiing. Lean too far back on you’re on the floor, too far forward and you have the same problem. This trains you to be perfectly balanced over your feet which is a crucial element to high performance skiing.
Kids like it too, so it’s a good introduction for them, even before they take to the slopes and at least provides a good all-round balance experience that will benefit them when it comes to skiing.
4. The SkiA Sweetspot Ski Trainer
There’s a few tools out there that help skiers out when they’re not actually on the slopes. This one has caught people’s attention for its simplicity, effectiveness and low cost option.
Attach to your own ski boots and balance in the living room. There’s four different levels, green, blue, red and of course black – even the best skiers struggle to remain perfectly balanced on the black blocks.
Designed specifically to train your centred balance and literally change your physiology so your body memorises its muscle reflex – the SkiA trainer is an ideal all year around tool for skiers that want to make big improvements in performance and have some at the same time.
5. Indoor and artificial ski slopes
The UK has a long tradition with artificial slopes and although many have closed down in the last ten years, there’s still plenty of excellent facilities all across the country.
Dry slopes are outdoors and open all year around and although some don’t like the hard, bristly, surface, it has proved highly successful and is an excellent place to learn how to ski or keep in shape if you’re an expert.
Indoor slopes also provide an amazing year ‘round opportunity for skiers and snowboarders to continue to practice and make improvements ready for their winter holidays.
There are also many courses available for all levels including advanced recreational skiers on all the UK’s indoor snow slopes.
Whether you have access to slopes or not, there’s plenty of ways to keep your ski-legs on in the summer months.