Train for the ski season in the comfort of your own home with these easy-to-learn exercises!
Skiing requires immense muscle strength and stamina to ensure that you don’t experience fatigue and lose your form as you go down those snowy slopes.
These exercises will help strengthen the lower-body muscles that you use most when skiing. With a stronger core, you’ll be able to make easier turns and recover from off-balance situations. In addition to strengthening your muscles, exercise will help improve your reaction time and lessen your risk of serious injuries.
Maneuver yourself down the mountains safely by practicing the following exercises!
Protect Your Knees by Exercising Your Quadriceps
The quadriceps are the most used muscles in skiing. They hold you in position as you ski and provide protection for your knees. Exercise these important muscles with bodyweight squats and lunges. These exercises also force you to stabilize your core to maintain your balance as you bend the knees. To increase the level of difficulty, use the TheraBand Resistance Band Beginner Kit. As you begin to strengthen your muscles during these exercises, advance to the next resistance level.
When you lower into a lunge position with your back knee hovering over the floor, keep your arms straight, and raise them up to shoulder high in a front raise.
Return to a standing position with your resistance band under the front foot and arms back at your side
Option to keep the arms rested at your sides
Stabilize Your Body Positioning with Hamstring/Glute Exercises
When skiing downhill, you hold your body in a flexed position leaning forward from the hips. This requires a lot of strength from your hamstrings and glutes as they help stabilize your body. To strengthen these muscles, practice sets of planks and glute bridge raises. Over time, your core strength will determine how long or how many reps you can perform during your workout. To increase the level of difficulty, try using the Bosu Pro Balance Trainer.
Place the inflated dome of the Bosu Ball on the floor
Bend down and grip the sides of the base
Extend your legs out behind you and rest your toes on the floor (tip: your body should form one straight line from your shoulders to your heels)
Squeeze your entire core/glutes and tuck your butt under a little to keep your lower back straight (tip: make sure you are not dropping your hips or hiking your butt up high toward the ceiling)
Position your head so that your neck is in a neutral position and your gaze is in between your hands
Hold this position for 30 seconds
Glute Bridge Raises
Lie down flat on your back and put one leg straight above you in the air
Keeping the other leg bent, raise your whole body up, with the raised foot flat in line with the ceiling
As you raise up, move all your body weight on to the heel of the foot that is on the floor
Lower back down until your butt is just above the floor
Repeat the exercise on the other leg (tip: drive the foot as high and the body as far off the ground as possible)
Help Improve Your Steering by Training Your Thighs
Your inner thighs help to keep your skis together, while your outer thighs keep your body stable and help you steer. To exercise your thighs, practice side leg raises and side-to-side slides. To increase the level of difficulty of these exercises, use the TheraBand Resistance Band Beginner Kit for the side leg raises and the Fitter Slide for the side-to-side slide.
Side Leg Raises
Loop a resistance band around your ankles and lie on one side with your feet stacked one on top of the other
The arm closer to the floor should be bent to a 90 degree angle, forearm resting on the floor, and hand positioned at ear level supporting your head
Your other arm should be brought across your midsection, elbow bent at 90 degrees and palm planted firmly on the floor
Brace your core and lift your top leg up to the ceiling, keeping your hips stacked (tip: maintain tension on the band at all times)
Option to make it easier: perform this exercise with the resistance band above the knees
Place the fitter slide booties over your shoes and carefully step onto the right side of the fitter slide board
Slide your left foot laterally to the left as you press your right foot against the right bumper to continue the movement
As your left foot is about to touch the left bumper, lift your right foot off the board to help you catch your balance as your left foot makes contact
After your left foot touches, place your right foot on the board again and slide laterally to the right as you press your left foot against the left bumper, returning to start
Continue this exercise for two to five minutes (tip: swing your arms comfortably as if you’re skiing)
Tighten Your Core with Ab Exercises
Because you're in a bent over position while skiing, your back has to hold your body in a flexed position for long periods of time. Your abs help in that effort while also protecting your spine. To exercise your abdominals, try doing russian twists and boat crunches. You can increase the difficulty of these exercises by using a TheraBand Soft Weight Ball.
Begin in a seated position with your knees bent and feet off the floor, holding the weighted ball a few inches in front of your chest
Twist the ball to your left hip bone, keeping body centered
Twist the ball to your right hip bone, keeping body centered
This is one repetition. Continue to twist back and forth for desired number of repetitions or length of time
From a seated position on the floor, bend your knees and
then raise your legs until your knees are over your hips and your shins are roughly parallel with the floor
Lean back, keeping your spine straight and your shoulders and neck neutral, until your torso and your legs create a "V" shape (Tip: extend your arms out in front of you for balance)
As you inhale, extend your legs out straight and lower your upper body until you are almost parallel with the floor (Tip: don't lower all the way to the floor)
Come back up into a "V" shape to repeat the exercise
Rebuild Strength in Your Arm Muscles
Skiers perform better with strong triceps. It is essential as they will help you use your poles to ascend those hills. As part of your workout, the exercises you will use to strengthen your arms will also help to engage the surrounding muscles like the shoulders and upper back. Check out this CLX resistance band exercise that’s sure to get your heart pumping and your arms moving, the CLX Skier.
Improve Your Endurance to Become a Better Skier
Endurance is the base in all these real-world movements. Continue to improve your strength and balance by increasing the number of sets or time intervals practiced for each exercise.
In addition to these exercises, it is recommended that you practice aerobic exercises like running or biking to improve your cardiorespiratory endurance. The short bursts of intense activity alternating with low-intensity activity recovery is beneficial for steep inclines. Couple this cardio with some stretching for 5-10 minutes to loosen up your hamstrings and lower back.
References Gorder, S. (2019). How to Train for Skiing. REI Expert Advice. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2Jeneji Wielkoszewski, H. (2019). How to Train For Skiing: A Beginners Guide. The Adventure Junkies. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2BxNSzv Killelea, E. (2016). 7 Moves That Will Get You Ready for Ski Season. Outside. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2BBgeJi Snelgar, H. (2017). Ski Exercises: The Top 5 You Can Do At Home. Red Bull. Retrieved from https://win.gs/2OP70Ox
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