Before you hit the slopes, it’s always a good idea prepare yourself with regular workouts that build up the strength and balance skiing requires. Here are the five best exercises to work your legs, core and arms and ensure that you have a safe, fun ski season.
This exercise closely replicates motions you’ll be doing on the mountain, and it strengthens legs and core while giving you a bit of a cardio workout as well.
+ Here’s how to do it: Start with feet shoulder width apart. Jump your right leg to the right while moving your left leg behind you, so both legs end up in one line. Swing your right arm in front of you to the left and your right arm behind you to the left — mimicking a speed skater. Jump to the other side. Repeat for two sets of ten reps.
2. Box squats
Box squats are a challenge, but they’re worth it: they build up your quadriceps quickly so you’ll have the strength and power to make crisp turns in any conditions.
+ Here’s how to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart about 60 cm away from a box or chair, facing away. Lower down into a squat so that your tailbone touches the chair or box, and then slowly come out. Repeat for two sets of ten reps.
3. Box jump
Again, this is an exercise to build power, which is not only important for improving your performance but also for protecting your knees and avoiding injury.
+ Here’s how to do it: Stand facing a sturdy box or step that’s 60 cm tall or less, with feet a comfortable distance apart. Use your core and legs to jump up onto the box, and then jump gently back onto the ground backward, so you’re in your original position. Repeat for two reps of ten.
4. Moving plank
Planks are a great way to work your core. And a strong, stable core gives you better turns and more control while you’re out on the mountain. Moving plank adds arms, making it the perfect exercise for traversing or using poles.
+ Here’s how to do it: Place hands on the ground with straight arms just below your shoulder and extend your body out straight behind you. Walk your right hand and simultaneously with your right foot one step toward the right. Follow with your left hand and foot. Complete the set with nine more steps to the right, then switch it up with ten steps to the left.
5. Ladder hop
This exercise best exemplifies the natural side-to-side motion a skier experiences on the slopes, working your legs and core.
+ Here’s how to do it: Place a block (or any object that’s longer than it is wide) and place it on the floor, to the right of your feet. Keeping your feet together, jump sideways over the block, landing on the other side. Then jump back. Repeat for two sets of ten reps.