Getting into shape for the slopes

To get the most out of your ski trip, you should get your body into shape well before you hit the slopes. Ski-specific fitness training will help you to ski harder, faster, and injury-free. You'll also have more energy to party in the evening!

Feel the Burn!

You should focus on exercises that simulate the moves you'll be making on the slopes. For example, start to build-up your "crouch endurance" by getting into your ski tuck position and holding it for several minutes.

Work your thighs by holding a squat position with your back flat against a wall. Build up the time
you can endure in this position and/or hold weights in your hands to increase the intensity. Once you've mastered this, try lifting one heel up at at time, putting more weight on the other leg (similar to turning on the slopes).

Try placing a skipping rope on the floor and jump sideways over it with your feet fairly close together (as if you had skis on). Start with several sets of 30 to 40 seconds and gradually add time on to increase your endurance. Up the intensity by doing this in a crouch position!

Endurance & Stamina

A great way to work the whole body whilst also increasing your stamina and endurance for skiing is circuit training. The three key areas to focus on are cardiovascular fitness, lower body strength training and core stability.

Perform 1 minute of each of the following exercises, then rest and move onto the next one. Each week, reduce your rest period until you just have enough time to sip some water in between exercises. Building
up your endurance in this way will help you to recover quicker in between challenging ski runs.

Always warm-up before you start, and finish with a cool down and stretches.

Cardiovascular Fitness

  • Jogging on the spot, skipping, step-ups, jumping jacks, squat thrusts etc

Muscular Strength and Power

  • Squats (include some challenging variations such as one-legged squats, plié squats, narrow squats, half squats, squat calf raises, squat kicks etc.)
  • Lunges (include some challenging variations such as skater lunges, lunges with knee lifts, lunges with back leg raised, walking lunges, half lunges etc).
  • Calf-raises. Try doing these on a step and/or on one leg.

Increase the intensity of any of the above by holding dumbbells.

Core Strength, Agility and Balance

  • Crunches, reverse curls and back extensions to target your core muscles
  • Holding the plank position to increase your core stability. Try different variations on this including plank walking, reverse planks, side planks etc.
  • Exercises using stability balls, medicine balls and wobble boards to develop your balance and agility

Improving Your Overall Fitness

Aerobic endurance activities such as running, cycling and hill walking should also be included into your fitness plan. As with all of the above, you should try to increase the intensity and duration of these activities over the weeks leading up to your trip.


Posted by Heather Waghorn.