Whether you’re a novice or a black diamond master, every skier needs to take their fitness seriously. Check out our fitness ideas to warm yourself up for hitting the slopes and build your very own ski workout plan.
The wind in your hair, the lack of feeling in your toes, bombing down the slopes at a death-defying 20 mph—for us, that’s a thrill ride! But what happens when you get tired halfway through your run, your limbs feel heavy, your muscles are aching, and by 1 p.m. on your third day, you can’t even bring yourself to make your way up the mountain? That’s your body telling you, “Hey, Sir Sits-a-Lot, you didn’t do any training. What on earth did you expect?”
After all, although gravity is on your side with downhill, skiing can be absolutely exhausting—it’s called a “winter sport” for a reason—so if you want to make the most of your time on the slopes, you’ll need to gain a certain level of strength and cardiovascular fitness. Before you head out, try to organize your workouts around ski-specific muscles like the core, the lower leg, the foot-and-ankle group, the glutes, and the knee flexors and extensors. Need some more guidance? Explore these awesome ski workout ideas and get that body ready for ski season.
When you’re out on the slopes, your thighs have to work incredibly hard. To improve the strength of your legs, including your hamstrings (back thigh) and your quads (front thigh), squats are ideal. Plus, they help to improve your coordination and balance, two attributes that are vital for skiers when they’re heading downhill at breakneck pace.
Here’s a simple squat you can add to your ski workout plan. Make the burn even more effective by holding a weight while you squat.
- Place your legs shoulder-width apart, pushing your hips back.
- Bend your knees down until your hips are lower than your knees.
- Return to the standing position.
Reps? 3 or 4 sets of 20 squats.
A quick word of warning: before you start a new form of exercise, you should check with a doctor, especially if you’ve got a history of injuries. Let’s be honest: most skiers do!
Increasing your reactive strength and helping to build up your muscle mass, hand-eye coordination, and cardiovascular endurance, a medicine-ball slam is a great way of developing your power and speed, making it the ideal addition to your ski workouts. How do you do it? Check out these simple medicine-ball slam instructions.
- Place a medicine ball in front of you and stand above it.
- Bend your legs and pick it up.
- Raise your arms above your head and slam the ball against the ground.
- As you slam the ball, contract your abs and keep your weight on your heels.
Reps? 5 sets of 8 slams.
When you’re out on the slopes, you’ll need to do lots of side-to-side movement. Lateral jumps, replicating this sort of movement, are a great way to become more agile and dynamic, while they also help to develop thigh strength. Follow these simple steps for an awesome lateral jump.
- Place your feet together with your arms by your sides.
- Bend your knees until you’re in the squat position.
- Jump to your side, squatting as you land.
Reps? 4 sets of 20 jumps.
Lunges are a great exercise for your quads and glutes, making them an ideal addition to your ski workout plan. Because so much of your skiing performance depends on the muscles at the back of your legs, lunges are a must. Plus, they’re great for your balance, and as all skiers know, that’s something you can never have too much of. Here’s a simple lunge you can add to your ski workout plan:
- Place your feet together, lifting your chest and chin.
- Step forward and bend your knee, forming a right angle with your front leg.
- Push back, returning to the starting position.
Reps? 3 sets of 10-12 lunges.
Don’t let your fitness go off-piste! After all, there’s nothing worse than spending thousands of dollars on a skiing holiday and finding yourself too tired to actually enjoy it. With these awesome ski workouts, you can make sure that when you attack the slopes, you’re in tip-top shape.