Looking for skiing exercises you can do at home to stay in shape for the hill? When you can’t be on the slopes, it’s important to stay in shape. Skiing and snowboarding are physically demanding sports and require a certain level of ability – even if you’re just making basic turns on the mountain. Skiers who want to conquer intermediate and advanced terrain need to be fit enough to handle the more extreme physical rigors of steeper terrain, moguls, chutes and the like.
Although building muscle and skill on the mountain is always preferred, there are quite a few skiing exercises you can do at home to get ready to ski fit. We’ve put together a list of skiing exercises that you can do from home that don’t require expensive fitness gear, a Peloton bike or even a gym membership. These basic skiing exercises will have you feeling the burn!
Always begin any skiing exercises and sessions with a warm-up. The basic idea is to get loose and limber, and warm up your muscles for the workout. Start with some simple stretching of your arms and legs. Loosen your neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, hips, knees and ankles. Skipping, jogging and doing jumping jacks for a few minutes can help get you warm.
Give yourself a good 5-10 minutes for a complete warm-up: five minutes of good stretching mixed with five minutes of movement. Depending on your workout frequency, you may want to increase your warm-up time.
Skiing requires strong quads (thighs), so squats are an excellent routine to build muscle. Start by standing with your legs shoulder-width apart and bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Concentrate on pushing your hips to the back so you’re dipping deep and feeling the burn. Aim to do three or four sets of 20 with a 60-second resting period between sets.
Try this slight variation on the squat: Dip down like a normal squat, but don’t come all they way back up. Instead, stop halfway, dip down again and then rise. That pulsing action will work your quads to the max. Pulse squats help build your quads to handle those big bumps on the mountain.
Once you’ve mastered the squat, try a squat jump. When you dip for your squat, explode up with a jump instead of just raising back up. This add-on will really work your glutes and quads. Your glutes (butt muscles) are another important muscle set that needs to be strong for the slopes. Jump up high but try to land softly – focusing on technique will help improve your balance.
Wall squats are great for at home or on the go because all you need is a little wall space. Lean up against the wall and lower your hips until your quads are parallel to the floor. Dip into position and hold it for as long as you can. Push your back and hips against the wall and you’ll really build some endurance. Work in a few wall squats with a short break between each one.
Yep – good ol’ fashioned push ups are tried and true. Although skiing requires your lower body to be in excellent shape, you also need a strong core and upper body before you hit the trails. Push ups will work your arms, shoulders and back. There’s so much focus on the lower body, you’ll appreciate the change of pace. Try to mix in a few sets of 20 push-ups with a short break between sets.
Sit ups are another throwback favorite that will work your arms, legs and core for skiing. Trust us – these seemed much easier in grade school! Lay down on your back with your legs bent and hands behind your head. Raise up – but use your core muscles and don’t pull on the back of your head or you’ll strain your neck. Concentrate on technique and you’ll be on your way to six-pack abs. Aim for a few sets of 20 with a rest between sets.
Get in the push-up position and bring one knee up to your chest at a time. Alternate legs and move them continuously to your chest like you’re climbing a steep mountain. Mountain climbers are a great cross-fit exercise that works your abdominals, back, glutes, hamstrings, quads and upper body. Set a goal of five sets of 20 mountain climbers.
A good exercise for your lower back and abs is a Russian twist. Sit on the floor and stretch your legs out in front of you, but keep your knees slightly bent. Keep your back straight and lean back at a 45-degree angle while keeping your abs engaged. Bring your arms together in front of you and then twist your torso from side to side. Keep your hips and legs facing forward and twist from one side to the middle and then on to the other side. It takes some practice and patience to master, but Russian twists are a valuable addition to your ski workout if you plan to tackle Look Ma on Vail Mountain
Lunges are vital skiing exercises to improve balance and strength on the slopes. Begin with your feet together in the standing position. Step forward with one leg and bend down so your quad is parallel to the ground. Your back leg should almost be touching the floor. Keep your upper body straight with your shoulders back and head up. Lunge and repeat, aiming for 20 repetitions per set. Try to mix in four or five sets in your workout.
Planking works your core muscles, lower back and abs. Get on the ground, face down, resting on your toes and elbows (forearms). Engage your core and try to hold the position if possible, keeping your hips in place the entire time. Try to stay as “flat” as possible – parallel to the ground. To work your oblique muscles, lift onto one elbow and the side of your foot and then alternate sides.
Calf raises strengthen you calves and work the muscles in your feet and around your ankles. Stand on one foot, raise up on the ball of your foot and come down. Repeat 25 times for each leg. You can add hand weights for a more intense workout. Snowboarders will want to work in extra calf exercises because toe-side traverses on a board can really work your calves!
Strengthen your back by laying face-down on the floor with both hand under your chin and your elbows out to each side. Keeping your legs on the ground, raise your chest while holding your arms and elbows in the out-stretched position. Extend as far up as possible and hold the position for five seconds if you can. Bring your chest back to the ground, rest 15 seconds and repeat. Back extensions are a perfect way