Prepare for the slopes with exercises for skiing and snowboarding

23 September 2013

This season, whether you’re skiing or snowboarding for the first time or you’re heading back for the tenth time, it’s vital to prepare yourself so that you can get the most of your time on the slopes. With this, we will look at exercises for skiing and snowboarding, to help you to prepare.

Snowy landscape

Preparation is key

It is easy to forget just how physical a whole days skiing and snowboarding can be. Even with lots of breaks to enjoy a hot chocolate or two, most people will ski between 4 and 6 hours; Which means a long time of sustained physical activity! Although, of course the ski lifts will give you a small chance to recover; the higher the altitude, the longer this will take.

It is important to remember that getting a good nights sleep and drinking plenty of (non-alcoholic!) fluids will help your muscles deal with the intensity of exercise that skiing or snowboarding demands. You can also prepare yourself in advance with ski exercises so that you can be in peak physical condition for when your time on the slopes comes around.

Any physical activity you do in advance will help you to prepare. The better shape you’re in, the more fun you’re going to have because you’ll have heaps more energy!  It will also help you to stay injury free, because who wants to hurt themselves on day 1 of their holiday?

Exercises for skiing and snowboarding

There are many ski exercises to help you with your skiing and snowboarding, so that you are well prepared for your holiday. Any gym work will help in improving your fitness and strength. Cycling and even just walking will really help to get your legs and knees supple. Swimming and running will help to build up your cardio fitness.

Skiing and snowboarding are going to use all of your muscle groups. Make sure that you do lots of cardio work to help get your fitness levels up. There are also some more specific exercises for skiing and snowboarding that you can do. Try incorporating some of these ski exercises into your workout to help you be in the best shape you can:

Side to side jumps 

It’s unlikely that your body will be use to the shifting movements skiing entails. To help, put a piece of tape on the floor and jump from side to side over the tape for one minute. Start with just one leg hops and then go for both. Make sure that your knees are bent.

This helps to work your hip, thigh and lower leg muscles.

Single leg exercises 

Balance is a big part of skiing and snowboarding, so this ski exercise will really help. Do your normal exercises, such as bicep curls, but on one leg instead. If you haven’t done any exercises before, then start with lower weights and work up as you get stronger.

Forward lunge

 Your lower body is put through its paces with skiing and snowboarding, so lunges can really help prepare you. Stand with one leg in front of you; lower your body until both legs are bent at 90-degree angles. Repeat and switch legs.


Skiing and snowboarding means bending your knees; squats will help your knees get used to this.  Standing with your legs slightly apart, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Make sure not to extend your knees past your toes, and make sure your back is straight. Stand back up.  Repeat

If you try to incorporate some of these exercises for skiing and snowboarding, as well as starting a good fitness regime, then you’ll be in good stead to get the most out of your time on the slopes. Preparation goes a long way! The better shape you’re in, the more energy you’ll have, and so the longer distances you can travel, exploring further a field and tackling different levels of slopes.

Remember though, no matter how much preparation you do, your muscles are still going to need time to recover. So take some time out to stop and take in the views, and enjoy some lunch on a mountainside restaurant before hitting the slopes again in the afternoon. Then take some time out to relax in front of a roaring fireplace in your cosy chalet at night. 

I'm ready! Get me to the slopes