Pilates & Skiing

We have the pleasure of discussing Pilates and skiing today with Kate Layton, one of tops:health Pilates Instructors.

In your opinion, how does Pilates and skiing complement each other?

I don’t like sitting down at a desk using a computer – I like moving.  Downhill skiing is movement, fresh air, beautiful scenery.  High speed rush, if that’s what you like. The activity is totally addictive. Having good core strength and with the mobility benefits that Pilates gives you, means you don’t have the ‘apres ski’ tales of sore knees or aches and pains other less fit skiers  have. Also, I can get up when I fall easily and they are rare as due to good core strength I average one fall a holiday – usually first day!

When someone is planning a ski trip, what should they be thinking about to physically prepare?

Usually people go skiing for a week. It’s intense for the body if you are not fit. The most important thing is to develop core strength. It’s the same as learning to ride a bike as a child. You need to be able to switch on and tune in. Perfect Pilates training as well as leg strength and endurance will be really important for when skiing. Single leg work on the reformer can be particularly beneficial for this. Most people, as beginners, will fine the biggest struggle getting on and off of chair lifts. They move at speed and it’s a real challenge of balance to get on and off smoothly. Having good balance and co-ordination is crucial to learning this skill. For more experienced skiers, the more advanced exercises of the Pilates repertoire can give someone better awareness and strength.

In summary, skiing, like any new activity, takes practice and preparation to be able to participate safely.

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