This page may contain affiliate links – they are marked with a *. Making a purchase via my affiliate means I receive a small share of the sale.
I’m trying hard to manifest a ski trip during the next ski season and part of that is getting prepared with some ski workouts at home. It’s been years since I hit the slopes; I actually only learnt to ski in my early twenties while studying at University.
The days are long and exhausting (in a fun way) when you’re on a ski holiday so personally, I’d definitely train to get in shape before heading off again. There’s so much kit to sort out but it’s also important to get your body functioning well and strong to reduce your risk of injury.
Here’s a little throwback from my first trip to Levi, Finland. I’ve also had a go at cross-country skiing and loved it too. And if you’re looking for some outfit inspiration before you hit the ski resort, check out my ski shop collection on LTK.
Build Your Ski Workouts At Home
Incase this ski trip I’m manifesting turns up out of the blue, I know even as a Personal Trainer, I’ll need to prepare my ski legs and get strong for injury prevention. So I put together these exercises to use and of course am sharing with y’all.
You can easily use the exercises below to build your home workouts to get in ski shape.
Daily: ‘anchor’ one exercise to a routine task in your daily activities. For example, completing the Single Leg Star Balances each time you brush your teeth.
Strength training add-on: try adding a selection of the below movements to your regular strength training sessions. You could pick 1-2 exercises from each section and complete before, during or after your main session.
If you have an indoor bike, rower or treadmill at home, add some easy sessions to your weekly plan to build up your base aerobic fitness.
1. Core Strength & Lower Body Exercises
Strengthening the core and activating the glutes is crucial for skiing. It will enhance stability, control, and precision on the slopes, allowing for more powerful and enduring leg movements while reducing the risk of injuries.
These muscle groups promote efficient energy transfer, improved posture, and ultimately, better skiing performance, making them essential for a safe and enjoyable experience on the ski slopes, even for us recreational skiers.
If you’re looking for more upper body specific exercises, or workouts including core exercises like Russian Twists, check out this 30 minute No Equipment Core Workout.
- Mountain climbers
- Dead Bugs
- Side Plank with Leg Raise
- Double or Single Leg Glute Bridges
- Banded Lateral Walks
To begin, assume a push-up position by placing your hands shoulder-width apart, directly below your chest.
Maintain a straight line from your head to your heels, engaging your core muscles to prevent your hips from swaying from side to side.
Bend your knees one at a time, bringing them towards your chest. Repeat this movement for the desired number of repetitions.
To perform this exercise, start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Bend your hips and knees to 90 degrees, forming a tabletop position with your shins parallel to the floor.
Extend your arms above your chest. Engage your core muscles by gently drawing your belly button towards your spine.
Keeping your lower back pressed firmly into the floor, lower your right leg out straight, extending it as far as you can without rounding your lower back.
Simultaneously, lower your left arm towards the ground above your head. Slowly return the arm and leg to tabletop position.
Repeat on the other side, extending your left leg and right arm at the same time. Continue alternating sides, maintaining a controlled and smooth motion throughout the exercise.
Side Plank with Leg Raise
To begin, assume a low plank position with your forearms on the ground, elbows directly beneath your shoulders. Engage your core muscles to maintain a straight line from head to heels, ensuring your hips don’t sag or arch.
Lift your torso off the floor, keeping your body aligned. Slowly raise one leg as high as comfortably possible, then lower the leg back to the starting position without letting your torso touch the floor.
Either complete the repetitions on one side or alternate to complete the full set.
Glute Activation Exercises
Glute activation exercises are performed to specifically target and engage the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus muscles. Your glutes are responsible for a lot of movements, and power generation, in skiing.
Use the following exercises for muscle activation before the main set of a workout to help improve power, prevent injuries, and reduce muscle imbalances. You can also use them as standalone exercises in your workout to help strengthen and tone the glutes.
The exercises we’ve chosen are just a few examples of glute activation exercises; there are many other exercises that can be effective.
Double or Single Leg Glute Bridges
Use regular glute bridges for muscle activation before the workout and single leg bridges as a main exercise.
Glute Bridge (Double Legs):
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Squeeze your glutes and raise your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Hold for a few seconds, then lower back down.
Single-leg glute bridge:
Lie on your back with your knees bent and one foot flat on the floor. Raise your hips off the floor and extend the other leg straight out behind you. Squeeze your glutes and hold for a few seconds, then lower back down. Repeat on the other side.
Banded Lateral Walks
Choose a resistance band for this exercise, which is challenging but not over the top difficult. Loop the band around your thighs, above the knees.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, wide enough for the band to be exerting some pressure on the legs and ensure your toes are pointed forward. Create a stable base by slightly bending your knees and engaging your core muscles.
From your start position, step to the right with your right foot while keeping your left foot planted on the ground, then bring the left foot to meet the right again.
With each step, make it wide enough to maintain resistance in the band. Complete half of your repetitions in one direction, and the other half moving back towards your starting point.
2. Strength, Endurance & Power Exercises
Including exercises to build endurance, strength, and power is vital for prepping for your ski trip. These movements improve your ability to be out on the slopes for long periods of time, to tackle challenging terrain (if you’re at that level), and execute powerful, controlled movements.
You’re gonna enhance overall performance and ski fitness, reduce fatigue, and provide the strength and resilience needed to conquer various skiing conditions.
- Curtsy Lunge
- Side To Side Ski Hops
- Jump with Knee Drive
Curtsy lunges are one of the best exercises for toning your inner thighs in addition to targeting your gluteus medius, a muscle in your butt that improves your posture by stabilising your hips.
Standing tall, with an upright posture and feet hip-width apart. Now, step your left leg behind you and to the right, crossing your thighs while bending both knees in a curtsy-like motion.
Ensure that your front knee is aligned with your front ankle. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise with your right leg.
Side To Side Ski Hops
Start standing with feet hip-width apart. Take a slight bend at the knees and hips, then jump with both feet to the right and then to the left, in a quick, repetitive movement. Repeat until the set is complete.
Jump With Knee Drive
Start standing tall then take a step back into a reverse lunge position. Then return to standing but drive the knee forward and up towards your chest, jumping as high as you can.
Land and repeat the exercise on the same side for suggested repetitions, then switch sides.
Stand upright with feet hip hip-width apart, and ensure that your hips and knees are slightly bent. Shift your weight onto your left leg and lift your right foot off the ground.
Bend your left (standing) knee to lower your hips a few inches. Afterward, push explosively off your standing left foot to jump to the right side as far as comfortable, landing on your right leg.
As you land on your right leg, bring your left leg towards your right ankle without letting it touch the floor. To continue the exercise, repeat the sequence to the other side. Aim to jump as far as possible so that upon landing, you immediately take off again to the opposite side.
For an added challenge and to enhance your range of motion, consider touching the floor with your hand during each repetition. The deeper you go in the movement, the more activation you’ll experience in your hip muscles. This modification can help increase the effectiveness of the exercise.
Proprioception, Balance Work and Control
Exercises that enhance proprioception and body control are essential for skiing preparation because they sharpen your ability to feel and respond to changes in terrain and body positioning.
This heightened sense of awareness and control helps you adapt quickly to slopes and snow conditions, maintain balance, and navigate effectively, ultimately leading to safer and more enjoyable skiing experiences.
- Single Leg Star Balance
- Hop and Single Leg Land Variations
Single Leg Star Balance
Stand on one leg, bend the knee slightly. With the elevated leg, reach it forward, backward, left and right as far as you can. Avoid placing your foot on the floor. Then switch sides.
- Sets: 2
- Reps: 5 starts per set per side
Assume a single-leg stance, keeping your knee slightly bent and your hands placed beside your head. If you have ski poles, you can hold them in your hands. Next, hinge at your hips while maintaining a straight back and hips.
Slowly lower your body as far down as you can, feeling a comfortable stretch in the hamstring of the standing leg. Control the movement back to the starting position and repeat without placing your foot on the floor.
- Sets: 2
- Reps: 8 per side per set
Hop and Single Leg Land Variations
Hop and Single Leg Land
Stand tall, hop high and try to land on one leg in a controlled movement, without placing your other foot on the floor. When landing ensure that your knee is bent to protect your knee joint.
Hop and single leg land with eyes closed
As above but with your eyes closed.
Hop with 90 degree TURN land on one leg with eyes closed
As above, just this time turn your body 90 degrees (1/4 turn) while in the air. Try with eyes open first then progress to eyes closed.
NOTE: Only attempt this variation if you feel comfortable with the above variations of the exercise and have good body awareness.
The Final Run Down
Hopefully you’ve found some inspiration to get strong for a full day of downhill skiing. Always remember to focus on good form and working to your own fitness level.
Try to dedicate at least 4 weeks to improve your leg strength, cardiovascular fitness and a strong core, so whether it’s your first time or not, you’ll be prepared for a long day on the slopes.
P.S Safety always comes first. If you are new to exercise ensure you seek advice from your GP. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, wear appropriate clothing and carry out drills in a suitable space. Technique is paramount, and nothing should hurt. Should you experience pain, discomfort, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath etc, STOP and consult your GP.
#Exercises #Ski #Workouts #Home #Prep #Ski #Season