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Ski Fitness - Ski Specific Strength

Ski Specific Strength Circuit

To be most effective your ski specific circuit needs to replicate the movements made when skiing, and must incorporate an element of balance and coordination. Good form is crucial when doing the exercises, so if you have a training partner get them to spot you, or check your position in a mirror.

Warm Up


The Skier's Edge (Big Mountain)

5 mins on a cross trainer - just get your heart rate up don't go too hard.

5 mins dynamic stretching. Controlled leg and arm swings that take you to the limits of your range of motion. Here are a couple of examples:

  • The Goose Step - with a slight swing bring your leg straight out in front of you until you feel a tightening in your hamstrings. Make sure you keep your toes pointing upwards.
  • Kick Down The Door - lift one leg in front of you then extend it as if kicking open a door.

Strength circuit

The following is a suggested Circuit for building ski-specific strength.

Illustrations coming soon... watch this space...

Lateral Tube Walking - 10 paces - 4 sets - 2 each direction

If you can find one of these bands with handles great, if not you can use a thera-band. Stand upright knees slightly bent, with you feet on the band, and the handles crossed in front of you.

Extend one leg out to the side in a controlled manor. Then bring the other leg back in.

Single Leg Balance Reach - 4 on each leg - 2 sets

Stand on one leg, hands on hips body straight. Now bend your standing leg, and reach out sideways with your other leg. Don't try to go too far, it's best to do this one with good form. You should feel no tilting movement in your hips.

Ball Cobra 1 - 15 reps - 2 sets

Place your hands on the ball for balance, and feet against a wall. Extend your back until your body is straight. Do not try to look up to the ceiling.

Alternatively - Ball Cobra 2 - 15 reps - 2 sets

The same movement before except this time keep your hands infront of you as you straighten your back, then at the end of the movement bring them out to the side rotating them so that your thumbs point upwards.

Ball Crunch - 15 reps - 2 sets

Rest with the centre of your back on the ball, shins vertical, and fingers behind ears find a point to look at on the ceiling. Lock in your pelvic floor, girls should know all about this one.

Sit up using your stomach muscles watching that you don't tilt forward with your head.

Ski Jump to stabilisation - 8 reps - 2 sets

Stand with equal weight on both feet with knees bent. Stomach should be tensed and core muscles locked in.

Jump forward without any excess movement in the upperbody keeping good form.

Land in the same balanced position.

Alternatively, Super G Jumps 1 - 8 reps - 2 sets

Balance on one leg with hands on hips then spring diagonally across to land on the other leg. Try to land in a balanced and controlled position.

Alternatively, Super G Jumps 2 - 8 reps - 2 sets

Same as before, but use your arms to generate more power into the jump.

The Chair - 1 minute hold

An old favourite. With the ball between your back and the wall roll down until your knees are at right angles. Make sure your shins stay vertical and hold for one minute.

Lunges 1 - 5 each leg - 2 sets

Lunge forward as if holding a pistol Starsky and Hutch style make sure that your shin is vertical and that you have not pushed your knee too far forward.

Rotate your upperbody away from your trailing leg.

Alternatively, Lunges 2 - 5 each leg - 2 sets

Lunge forward with arms down.

Lift arms above head and bend upperbody so that arms point away from trailing leg.

Rotate upperbody so that you can look behind you.

Windmills 1 - 12 reps - 2 sets

With your legs slightly bent lean forwards with arms outstretched. Make sure your keep a curve in your lower back, and your pelvis locked in so that there is no movement in the legs. Rotate your shoulders and arms one side then the other at a slow/medium tempo.

Alternatively, Windmills 2 - 12 reps - 2 sets

Same as before except this time with one leg lifted an inch from the floor. Really make sure you are not moving your pelvis.

Single Leg Romanian Dead Lift - 12 reps - 2 sets

Stand on one leg with hands on hips, knee slightly bent.

Lean forward with your upperbody keeping your stomach tensed and back straight. Then using your bum and hamstrings straighten back up again.

This one takes some practice before you start to feel it where you should.

Body Walking - 6 reps - 2 sets

This one is quite hard as it combines strength and flexibility.

Stand with your legs straight and reach down towards the ground, then gently fall forwards onto your hands. The more flexible you are the closer to your hands will be to your feet. If you don't have good flexibility you can bend your knees slightly.

Now walk your hands away from your feet, but try to keep your heels on the floor for as long as possible.

Keep walking your hands away as far as you can, this is where the strength comes in.

Finally walk your feet back in until you can stand up.

Cool Down

To get the most out of your training, and limit the effects you'll feel the next day(!) it is important to take some time to cool down and stretch before re-fuelling.

5 mins on the bike.

5 minutes Static Stretching.

More about Ski Fitness

See Also :- Are you fit to Ski?, Balance and Coordination for Skiers and Endurance Training for Skiers.

Our Ski Fitness advice has been kindly provided by Graham Bell, former British Olympic Skier and UK Marketing Director for The Skier's Edge.

Note :- The information on J2Ski, where not clearly factual, is opinion only and is neither definitive or exhaustive.
Warning :- Snow Sports are Dangerous! Skiing, snowboarding and all winter sports involve risk of serious injury or death. You MUST confirm all information, especially snow and weather conditions, locally before you ski or board. You participate at your own risk.
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