Skiing - Downhill, Alpine

Skiing - Downhill, Alpine Fitness Training

Skiing - Downhill, Alpine Description

Downhill, or alpine, skiing is a fun activity that increases muscular strength, coordination, balance and endurance. Participants travel down hills on their skis, then are carried back up by a lift. It can be performed alone or in groups. Snow skiing also provides plenty of fresh air and beautiful scenery. Beginners should learn proper skiing and safety procedures from a qualified ski instructor.

Skiing - Downhill, Alpine Warnings

  • Those with lower back, knee, ankle, shoulder, hip, elbow or wrist problems should seek medical clearance before skiing.

Skiing - Downhill, Alpine Risks

  • Muscle strains of calf, shoulders, lower back or hamstrings
  • Thumb, toe, ankle or knee sprains
  • Tendinitis, primarily in triceps from poling, also wrists or knees
  • Hip injury
  • Cuts and bruises from falls, branches or accidents with the poles
  • Broken bones, fractures or concussions from bad falls
  • Eye injuries from poles during falls
  • Weather-related: extreme cold, sunburn, sun damage to eyes
  • Avalanche
  • Altitude sickness
  • Boot-related injury, such as compression nerve damage

Skiing - Downhill, Alpine Sport-specific applications

  • Three types of competitive alpine skiing: downhill, slalom and giant slalom at national, international and Olympic level competition

Skiing - Downhill, Alpine Equipment required

  • Boots: proper and comfortable fit are essential
  • Bindings: hold boots firmly to skis, releasing only in the event of a fall
  • Ski brakes or straps: prevent losing a ski
  • Skis: length and stiffness depend on ability, size, purpose and terrain
  • Poles: made of steel or aluminum; used for quick turns, push-offs and as a balancing device
  • Eye protection: goggles/sunglasses; protect from snow and sun
  • Helmet (optional): preferably hard shell
  • Clothing: should be waterproof, fit snugly and provide adequate warmth; hats, jackets and gloves are strongly recommended

Skiing - Downhill, Alpine Applicable substitutions

  • Water skiing
  • Racquet sports
  • Kayaking
  • Soccer
  • Outdoor cycling
  • Roller skating
  • Ice skating
  • Windsurfing
  • Volleyball

Skiing - Downhill, Alpine Reference sources, organizations and publications

  • U.S. Skiing: PO Box, 100 Park City, UT 84060, (801) 649­9090
  • NCAA: 6201 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS 66211­2422, (913) 339­1906


Recreational/Cardiorespiratory: Anaerobic/Interval

Fitness Benefits

  • Cardiorespiratory 2
  • Flexibility 1
  • Muscular Strength 1
  • Muscular Endurance 3
  • Body Fat Recution 1

Fitness Requirements

  • Cardiorespiratory 1
  • Flexibility 2
  • Muscular Strength 1
  • Muscular Endurance 2
  • Coordination/Skill 4

Muscle groups used

Primary muscles: quadriceps, calves, hip flexors, gluteals, hip abductors and forearms Assistance muscles: hamstrings, abdominals, obliques, lower back, shoulders and triceps

Energy expenditure

Approximately 0.049 Calories per minute per pound of body weight

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