Training Tips for Skiing

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With the start of the ski season upon us our in house personal trainer, Laszlo Szabo,  is sharing his training tips for skiing to help you prepare for any skiing trips on the agenda.

Not planning on skiing any time soon? Consider this some guidance for your winter training routine.


Seven essential winter training tips:

  1. Build a solid core.
  2. Make your squats deeper and heavier.
  3. Mix up your abdominal exercises to target all of your core muscles.
  4. Shape up with mountain biking and hiking, spinning classes are great too.
  5. Develop shoulders that will be crash-proof on the slopes.
  6. Build up your biceps-triceps to have enough power to push your poles.
  7. Upgrade your balance on a wobble board or BOSU dome.


Main muscles used in skiing:
– Quadriceps: Quadriceps are probably the most used muscle group in skiing. These muscles hold you in position as you ski and provide protection for your knees. Great exercises for the quadriceps include squats and lunges.

– Hamstrings and Glutes: When skiing downhill, you typically hold your body in a flexed position, which is leaning forward from the hips. This requires great strength from your hamstrings and glutes as they help stabilise your body. Work your hamstrings and glutes with dead lifts, one leg dead lifts, step ups and hamstring rolls on a Swiss exercise ball.

– Inner and Outer thighs (Hip Adductor & Abductor): Your inner thighs work very hard to keep your skis together. Your outer thighs keep your body stable and help you steer. Some great exercises are side lunges, inner and outer pushes on the abductor and adductor machines, Swiss exercise ball squeezes for the inner thigh or sliding side lunges using gliding disks.

– Calves: Your knees are bent as you ski, your calves (specifically the soleus) help you stay upright so you don’t fall over (your boots help too). You can work this muscle by doing seated or standing calve raises.

– Abs and Back: As you’re in a flexed, bent over position, your back has to work extremely hard to hold your body in that position. To protect your spine from injury, your core must be conditioned. Work these muscles with exercises like bicycle crunches, V-ups, medicine ball twists, pulley system wood chops, back extensions, lat pulls and dumbbell rows.

– Arms: Arms help push off with your poles while stabilising your shoulder joints. Be sure to work your biceps and triceps along with the rest of your body.


Below is an example training programme, typically carried out over a 4 – 6 week period prior to a skiing trip to maximise your potential on the slopes. If you’re new to this type of exercise, completing days 1-4 is the recommended starting point, ensuring you take time to recover & refuel and as the weeks pass, work towards increasing to 6 days a week.

Day One: Leg Strength and Cardio

Pick 3 of below five leg exercises, complete as outlined. Rest period 30 second between sets.

  •  Classic Squats: 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions (reps).
  • 666 Squats (Hell Squats): Do six sets of six reps taking six seconds to perform the squat. Rest one second at the bottom, then take six seconds to lift back to the upright position. Go LIGHT on weights.
  • Leg Press: 3 sets of 12-15 reps. Alternate between seated leg presses and standing leg presses on different days.
  • Lunges: 3 sets of 12-15 reps holding dumbbells. Make sure to use weight you can handle to complete a full set of reps.
  • Kettle Bell Sumo Squats: 4 sets of 10-15 reps.
  • Calf Raises: 3 sets of 10-12 reps using heavy weights.
  • Cardio: At a steady pace, aim to complete 20-30 minutes on the stair climber.


Day Two: Upper Body with Functional Core Focus

  • 4 sets of 40-50 mountain climbers progressing into maximum number of push ups to failure, which is doing as many as you can.
  • 4 sets of 10-15 reps of burpee (pushups with a vertical jump).
  •  4 sets of 10-20 reps super setting (going back to back) high lat pulls to low pulley rows.
  • 4 sets of 25 to 50 reps of core holds (sitting with your legs off the ground and slightly leaned back) and shoulder pressing light weights using dumbbells or a medicine ball.
  • 3 sets of 60-100 boxing shadow punches while holding 5 to 10 pound dumbbells. Use your core in the twisting motion while throwing punches.
  • 3 sets of 20 reps of V-ups.
  • 3 sets of 100 bicycle crunches.


Day Three: Interval Cardio Day

  • Treadmill: 20 minutes of walking or jogging on an incline
  • Bike or Elliptical: 10-15 minutes (HIIT 30sec hard:30sec recovery)
  • Rowing Machine: 10 minutes (medium to high intensity)
  • Jumping Rope: 5 minutes


Day Four: Ski Specific Exercises for Endurance Day

  • 3 sets of 50-60 reps of body weight squats on a flipped over BOSU ball.
  • 3 sets of 20 side slide lunges per leg, with gliding disk.
  • 4 sets of 20 box jumps.
  • 4 sets of 1-2 minute planks.
  • 4 sets of one minute 90 degree squat on elliptical. Use the stationary handles while going in the forward motion on the elliptical, extend your arms all the way back while holding on, lower yourself to a 90-degree angle while still rotating your legs forward.
  • 3 sets of body-weight lunges to failure.


Day 5: Full-Body Day–Circuit Style

Perform each of these exercises once for 30-45 seconds, getting as many repetitions as possible with a 20 second rest between each exercise. Then repeat the circuit 3-4 times or for 60 to 75 minutes depending on your level of fitness.

  • Jump squats
  • Jumping jacks
  • Squats with dumbbell presses
  • Medicine ball twists
  • Pushups
  • Lat pulls
  • Bench dips
  • Jumping or walking lunges
  • Side raise and then front raises with dumbbells
  • Plank
  • Mountain climber
  • Swiss ball crunches
  • 90-degree squat hold


Day 6: Core and Endurance Cardio

  •  3 sets of 50 reps of crunch with twists
  • 3 sets of burnout Swiss ball crunches going to failure.
  • 3 sets of burnout leg lift to failure.
  • 3 sets of 20-30 hyper extensions on the floor.45 to 60 minutes of jogging, power-incline walking, elliptical, rowing machine, bike or stair climbing (try to do a mixture of 2-3 of the above if you get bored easily).


We hope this has helped you to prepare for the upcoming season and if you need extra guidance or have any further questions, simply contact Laszlo HERE

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