With ski season just around the corner (thank goodness!), it’s time to start thinking about making sure your body is ready. By training well before the first flakes fall, you’ll be better prepared to ski stronger, longer. Any exercise or combination of exercises that builds leg strength, explosive power, core stability, agility, endurance and balance will help you get ready. Though the possibilities are endless, give this sample workout a try before you hit the slopes.
Sample Workout and Instructions
- 5 x 5 Back Squats at a Moderate Weight, 60 Seconds Rest Between Sets
- 3 Rounds: 1 x 15 Walking Lunge with Dumbbells, 1 x 10 Standing Overhead Presses, 60 seconds rest
- For Time: 20-15-10-5 Thrusters and Situps (20 Thrusters, 20 Situps, 15 Thrusters, 15 Situps, etc.), Immediately Followed By a Steady State 1 Mile Run
Though squats are traditionally viewed as a lower body exercise, properly executed squats use more than your legs, which makes them a perfect exercise to prep for any sport. Begin with an empty barbell in the squat rack to warm up, then add weight as you’re comfortable doing so. Position yourself under the barbell so the bar rests on your trapezius muscles, not on your neck or spine. Duck under the bar, tighten your back and abs, stand up to unrack the barbell and take one or two steps back. Position your feet shoulder width apart, toes turned slightly out, and look straight ahead.
Keeping your weight on your heels, take a deep breath, and initiate the movement by pushing your hips back as if you’re about to sit on a chair. Keeping your chest high, lower down until your hip crease is below your knee in a controlled fashion. Stand up as explosively as possible while continuing to keep your chest up, eyes forward, back tight and weight on your heels. Exhale as you stand. Rinse and repeat. Click here for more information and here for a video.
The Walking Lunge and Dumbbell Overhead Press
If you’re a tele skier, and even if you’re not, having power reserves in each of your legs independently is important. So is being able to lift and plant your poles, push yourself up out of deep powder and more. This complex of walking lunges and overhead presses will work your entire body. To initiate the lunge, grasp one dumbbell in each hand, tighten your abs, and step forward with one leg. Let your back knee lightly kiss the floor, stand up on to the front foot, and lunge forward with the opposite leg. Keep your torso upright for the entire movement and try not to let the dumbbells swing. Repeat for 15 repetitions on each side. Click here for more information and a video.
Follow each set of lunges immediately with a dumbbell overhead press. Position your feet shoulder width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. Raise the dumbbells to shoulder height to begin the movement. Push the weight over your head by extending your elbows to full lock-out, being careful not to lean back, then lower the weight back to shoulder height. Repeat for ten repetitions. Click here for more information and a video. This can also be done with a barbell or kettlebells.
Dumbbell or Barbell Thrusters
Thrusters are a great way to work every muscle in your body and to teach yourself how to harness explosive power in your legs. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with the dumbbells or barbell on your shoulders and elbows pointed forward. Execute a perfect squat, and from the bottom of the squat, explode up. As you finish the squat, use the power from your legs to drive the dumbbells over your head for one complete repetition. Click here for more information and a video. For the workout above, alternate the prescribed repetitions of thrusters with situps of your choice and complete all 100 repetitions as fast as possible, then immediately head out the door or over to the treadmill for a one mile run.
Of course, all material in this article is for informational use only. It’s always a good idea to perform weightlifting movements with a partner and/or spotter. Any exercise you read about on this site are to be attempted at your own risk. Enjoy and have a great ski season!