It might be tough to believe, but ski season is coming. To make the most of this winter you need to add skiing exercises to your workout program.

If you look outside right now you’re greeted by warm temps, long sunsets, and the smell of barbecues. However, this won’t last forever and in a blink of an eye, it will be fall and then winter.

To have a great time in the mountains this year it’s a good idea to start training for ski season now. This blog will cover what muscles skiing uses and the 10 best exercises to get you ready for ski season.

What Muscles Are Used in Skiing?

Alpine skiing is a lower-body dominant sport. It uses the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves as the primary muscles. It also requires a lot of cardiovascular fitness as you are performing small lunges and squats all the way down the hill.

How Should You Exercise for Ski Season?

To get ready for ski season, train the squat, bend, and lunge movements patterns. You should consider doing cardio weekly to prepare your aerobic system for the demands of skiing.

A good starting point is to train these movement patterns two days a week. This will give you plenty of time to recover between sessions. If you feel up to it add in pulling and pushing to make each day a full-body workout. This will keep you well balanced. 

Here is what a ski workout plan could look like. Feel free to move the days of the week around as needed. I would recommend doing easy cardio the day after your workout because your legs will be sore.

A Sample Ski Workout Plan:

Monday: Squat (or lunge), Push, Core

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Bend, Pull, Core

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Cardio

Saturday: Cardio

Sunday: Active Rest

The 10 Best Skiing Exercises:

Here are the 10 best skiing exercises. All of these exercises are a squat, lunge, bend, or core movement. They cover all the muscles that are used during skiing. A good starting point is to do 8-10 repetitions for 3 sets. Start with a light weight or just your bodyweight until you master the movement. Then add weight as needed.

  1. Split Squat

The split squat is a great squatting and lunge variation. It targets one leg at a time and forces you to focus on stability.

  1. Glute Bridge

This is a great exercise for working your glutes. While simple it teaches you to hinge at your hips. This is the same motion you use when you lean forward and drive your skis. 

  1. Box Squat

The box squat enforces great form by giving you a target to aim for. Adjust the boxes’ height to change the difficulty.

  1. Front Foot Elevated Split Squat

This is a split squat variation that adds more depth to the squat. I would first master the regular split squat before moving onto the front foot elevated variation.

  1. Prisoner Step Ups

This exercise is more dynamic and recruits the core, glutes, and hamstrings. These step-ups will prepare to blow past your friends on that side-step traverse.

  1. Deadlift

If you are a freestyle skier, the deadlift is your friend. The motion used in the deadlift is the same motion when popping off of a lip, jump, cliff, or side hit.

  1. Goblet Curtsey Squat

The Goblet Curtsey Squat adds more range to the split squat. It forces you to drive with your glute.

  1. Dead Bug

The dead bug teaches you how to move your limbs independently while activating your core. This is a great way to build your stability.

  1. Forearm Plank

The forearm plank is a tried and true way to build your core.

  1. Steep Hiking and Walking

Steep hiking and walking is a great way to prepare for ski season. During a hike, you’re doing hundreds of small lunges. This works your hamstrings, glutes, and calves. It also has the added benefit of being an aerobic workout. If you don’t like training in the gym this is a great alternative.

Have any specific questions about how to train for ski season? Feel free to contact me!

I'm Sean. Owner of MTBS&F and self-proclaimed ski/bike bum. Catch me on the trails on the weekends and working out during the week.

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