Exercises for Skiing: How to Prepare for the Slopes
If you really want to make the most of the slopes, there's a number of exercises for skiing you can do in the weeks and months before you travel. Not only will these improve your performance, they'll also reduce your risk of injury.
The better shape you're in, the more you'll enjoy your skiing experience. So when you're unwinding in your luxury chalet at the end of a full day's skiing, with a chilled glass of champagne and a gourmet meal cooked by your own dedicated chef, rather than feeling worn out, you'll feel enriched, energised and renewed.
The good news is that it's never too late to start exercising for skiing, and there are exercises that can be done both at home and in the gym. Obviously the earlier you start the better, but even if you're a complete novice on the slopes, these workouts can make a huge difference.
First we'll look at skiing exercises that can be done in the gym, before taking a quick look at a few you can try at home.
Gym Exercises For Skiing – Target Your Legs and Your Core
It should come as no surprise that most exercises for skiing focus on the legs. But if you also strengthen your core you can work on your overall balance and stability.
Skiing can be tiring. It takes a lot of energy to even get to the start of the piste. So mix the below exercises with some general cardio training to boost your fitness levels, and you can look forward to better stamina on the slopes. Running is fine, but cycling will better develop your leg muscles, and a crosstrainer will improve your overall core strength.
Please talk to your personal trainer if you need any help with any of these.
Single-Leg Eccentric Leg Press
Set the leg press weight to about 60% of what you can lift with both legs. Then with one leg, lower the plate down for six seconds before pushing it back up with both feet. Do 4 sets of 4 repetitions for each leg.
How Will This Help?
A lot of skiing involves shifting your weight from one leg to another. Working on each leg in turn will ensure that they're both strengthened. This will help to eliminate your natural strength imbalance, which will greatly reduce your risk of injury.
Backwards Treadmill Walk
Walk slowly on the treadmill and set the incline to maximum. Then carefully turn around completely. Keeping a hold of the treadmill arms at all times, begin to walk backwards. And as you walk, drop to a squat similar to the position you'd adopt when skiing. You won't be able to keep this up for very long at first – 30 seconds will probably be your limit - but try increasing the amount of time you spend by 15 seconds or so every time you work out.
How Will This Help?
This is a safe and controlled way of replicating certain skiing positions, and of building endurance in the muscles you'll put to use when skiing. You might get a few odd looks in the gym, but it will all be worth it once you hit the slopes.
Holding a 36kg dumbbell, bend your knees slightly while keeping a straight back. Lower the bar to the top of your feet by bending your hips while gradually bending your knees and keeping your back straight. Do it right and your back should be nearly horizontal at the lowest point. Once the bar is on the floor, lift it again by extending your hips and knees until you're upright. Try 4 sets of 8, and you can increase the weight as your strength builds.
How Will This Help?
The Romanian Deadlift develops the hamstrings. This will help you to stabilise your knee joints, which will greatly reduce your risk of injuries on the slopes.
Home Exercises for Skiing
Even if you can't make it to the gym, incorporating these exercises into your daily routine will boost your fitness and make your skiing experience a lot more enjoyable.
Even better, these exercises are so simple that anyone can learn them in no time at all. Introduce them to your children and you can get your whole family ready for the slopes!
The squat is a full body exercise that targets the muscles in your quads, hamstrings, hips and buttocks primarily, while also working the core. A great work-out to help skiing as they help improve balance and coordination which is essential for good ski technique, plus it's an easy home exercise.
Like the normal squat but includes an explosive jump to engage the core as you rise. The key is to remain soft on your feet and make the movement slow and controlled through the rise and lower of the movement. The perfect home exercise to prepare for skiing.
A favourite of everyone for the burn and extreme facial expressions we're certain. Holding a press up position or similar on forearms for as long as possible. Engaging the core and buttocks initially however working the whole body, a great ski-related exercise… and easy to do at home.
Simple exercise to work on the buttocks, quads and hamstrings. Starting from a tall standing position with legs hip width apart, stepping forward with one leg and lower until knee almost touches the ground. A classic exercise you will have endured and practiced at the gym. And the perfect exercise to build up the reps and strength in your legs from home. Try to do around 15 a day for each leg until you're able to do 3 sets of 15 with a 90 second rest in-between.
Performing the standing calf raise is a simple yet effective home exercise. Stand close to a wall or in front of a sturdy surface and raise yourself up until on your tiptoes. Hold for a few seconds and lower back down. Repeat in a slow and controlled manner to feel the burn.
This two-in-one cardio and strengthening exercise are a go to for skiers. It improves balance and stability while also getting the heart rate up. Based on a lateral jump from one leg to the other, you must have enough space to start by balancing on one leg to lower yourself and then bound forward and sideways to the opposite outside leg. This home exercise really works when preparing for your next ski break.
Now for some abs. Start on the floor, lying down, placing your feet hip-width apart with bent legs. Aa Russian twist is an extended version of the standard sit up but at the top you want to keep muscles tight and rotate your torso to each side until arms are parallel with the floor. If that's too easy you can add in a medicine ball or equally hold heels a few inches from the floor.
Often brushed over (or not included at all) during home workouts, stretching. Be sure to stretch from calf muscles all the way up your body to arm muscles. Hold stretches for 5-10 seconds moving slowly through them. A very important part when completing any home exercise, not to be forgotten when on your ski break.
All of our chalets have gym equipment and yoga matts available on request during your stay. It is not uncommon for our guests to request a variety of equipment or to book in a yoga instructor for during their stay. You can view our chalets on channel here.
These Exercises for Skiing Will Help Make the Most of your Trip
Through improving your performance while greatly reducing your risk of injury, these exercises for skiing will enable you to really make the most of the 154 pistes and two snow parks at Val d'Isere.
We want you to enjoy every second of your time here and know that you'll want to make the most of the time you have out on the pistes. It's also important to be able to recognise when to take a break. Luckily, Val d'Isere has plenty of places to relax and take in the beautiful scenery to get yourself ready for the next run.