Ski Fitness with Tom Marien from One Element

We caught up with Tom Marien founder of One Element this week to talk to him all about being ski fit. As an ex seasonair and one of London’s top personal trainers we felt he would have some great thoughts on this!


Kaluma: Tom, why is it important to make sure you are “ski” fit for a ski trip?

Tom:  Well the beauty of skiing is that it suits most fitness levels but a ski trip is a great excuse to get fit, especially if you are keen to try something new like ski touring. Our bodies are amazing and actually adapt very quickly; once on the slope, our balance fitness, strength and endurance will all increase at a phenomenal rate.

Kaluma: What are your top tips for getting fit?

Tom: when training, think about the following things

  • Train on Multiple Plains – most people train on one plain of movement (up and down) incorporate rotation and side flexion at the same time.
  • Power – you use a lot of power in skiing so when you are training try and induce the lactic acid production, “feel the burn’ make sure your movements are powerful but also controlled this will build up your strength quickly.
  • Balance – Probably the most important element of skiing (except a good snow fall) do exercises that might improve your balance. Yoga and Pilates classes can help with this too.
  • Stamina – Also Cardiovascular fitness is obviously an important part of ski fit as the mountain air is thin so make sure you build this up slowly as this will then ensure you are the first to the après ski bar at the end of the day!



Kaluma: Have you any programmes you would recommend in order to achieve all of this?

Tom: Yes! I recommend that three months before your trip (if you can) you train twice a week I have put together a very simple but effective programme below:

  1. Warm up
  2. Run 1-5 k – this is preferable as it uses the whole body (muscles working together to make and release energy) there is an element of impact so you are straightening the bones, ligaments and cartilage. Running outside or on uneven ground is an advantage as the small changes in direction will help strengthen connective tissue and improve balance.
  3. Then do 16 squat jumps from side to side.

Kaluma: Tom, if you hate running like me, what are my other options?

Tom: If you have a sport you enjoy then anything from a game of tennis, hockey or football is good, a good hour session in the gym is great if you already have a routine or mix it up with a swim, even up hill walks are a great and cheap way of working out and really engage some of the areas we have spoken about.  I am also a big advocate of mixing up your training with some Yoga and Pilates sessions to engage your core properly and work on balance.

Kaluma: What are your ski essentials for a day out skiing?

I do a lot of ski touring now so I make sure I have a good but compact shovel, a probe, a fully charged phone and a map. I also take snacks and sun cream!

Kaluma: What is your favourite resort and why?

Tom: That’s too hard to call….so I am going to say the three valleys as I did one of my first seasons there and there is just so much to ski and experience.

Kaluma: What is your favourite ski memory?

Tom: That’s easy, Ski touring in the Aosta region of Italy with five of my closest friends in 2009. Its such a fantastic way to enjoy the mountains and the best bit is always discovering hidden gems, such as a refuge which serves the most delicious wild boar ragu and pasta ,it’s basically the cherry on the cake!


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