As we move towards summer and the slope is less available to us, we need to think about things we can do on dry
land that enhance our ski strength and balance. Many of us cycle, fell run and walk and all of these are great for
cardiovascular fitness. Sometimes we need somethings a little more specific. Here are some ideas:
Your thighs (quads) are probably the hardest working muscles when you are skiing. Squats are one of the
best, not to mention easiest ways of building strength in your legs.
Stand with your legs shoulder width apart.
Push your hips back.
Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
If your knees are in front of your toes, you are doing it wrong – push those hips back a little more to
remedy this. Let your upper body come forward.
Stand back up and repeat.
Try to do three to four sets of 20, giving yourself a 60-second rest between sets.
Top tip: Don’t let your toes come off the ground or go onto your tip toes. Keep your whole foot planted.
2. Squat Jump
Take the squat to the next level with a squat jump. Not only will this exercise continue to strengthen your
legs, it will also help to develop explosiveness in the quads and glutes.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Squat down so your thighs are parallel to the floor, then jump high in the air.
Try to do four sets of four with a short break to catch your breath between each set.
Top tip: Try to land as softly as you can on your feet.
Lunges are great not only for strength but for balance too.
Start with your feet together.
Step one leg forward and bend down so the front leg forms a right angle. Your back leg should be almost
touching the floor.
Try to do 20 repetitions four times with a short rest in between each set.
Top tip: Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed and chin up. Try to keep your
core engaged at all times. Make sure your knee stays forward and try not to let it wobble as you move
forward and down.
3. Jumping Lunges
What’s it for: functional cardio
This simple move is a one-two punch of leg strength and cardio benefits. Jumping lunges will help develop
your cardio capacity. It will also help strengthen your quads.
How to do it:
Stand with your left foot slightly in front of your right. Keep your knees slightly bent
Look straight ahead and jump, switching the position of your feet in mid air. When you land, bend your
knees, dropping into a lunge
Without rest, repeat this movement 10 times, alternating which leg is in front. To prevent injury,
make sure your front leg is bent at 90 degrees at the knee and hip
Top tip: Make sure your knee doesn’t wobble as you move forward and down. Put your hands out level to
each side to help with balance and stability.
4. The Plank
A strong core is the foundation of a fit, strong body. You use your core muscles around your lower back
and abs a lot more than you would think when skiing, especially when you are turning or taking on more
Lie flat on the floor. This can be done as a front plank and a plank from lying on your back.
Rest your elbows in the floor, push up your hips and rest only on your elbows and toes.
Hold the position for 60 seconds.
Top tip: Do not let your hips dip or push your behind high in the air. Your body should form a relatively
straight line. You can also do a side plank on either side for your oblique muscles. Repeat the exercise on
either side. Lift yourself onto one elbow and the side of your foot to work your oblique muscles.
5. Horizontal Side to Side Leap
What’s it for: propulsion
The horizontal leap will help you develop strength, balance and side to side turning ability
How to do it:
This can be done as two footed jumps from side to side or one legged for even more use of leg strength.
Stand on one leg with a slight bend in your knee and the other leg raised off the ground
Jump sideways, landing on your opposite foot. Bend your knee when you land
Pause, then jump back to the other side. That’s one rep.
Try for twenty side to side jumps.
6. One Footed Balance
This will develop your balance and also your core strength.
How to do it:
Balance on one leg, slightly bent and put your hands out to the side low down.
Engage your core, feel your tummy tighten and use this to help hold your balance.
If you want to add a challenge, shut your eyes. This increases your proprioception.
Aim for a minute on each foot.
If you want to try using a wobble board that also improves balance.
Source: https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/best-fitness-moves-for-ski-season Accessed 6th Mary 2019. KSC and the author accept no responsibility for an injuries incurred doing any of the above exercises.