Snow Sports Strength for Skiing & Snowboarding

Snowboarding & skiing are great fun, dynamic & demanding exercises activities. If you want to hit the slopes & feel strong and agile try the follow exercises to help strengthen your lower body & reduce the risk of a season crippling injury on your first day out. SkiiingGeneral strength & conditioning exercises such as squats & lunges are great for working the big muscles of the lower body such as the quads, hamstrings, gluts hip flexors and the muscles of the lower leg. To target more specific snow fitness elements try these variations to get the most from your ski trip!

Many of the following exercises are advanced. To ease yourself into training, or after a break, complete our previous strength program in the Snow Fitness article.

Single leg squats or Pistol Squats Single leg squat

Single leg squats will help build strength in the quads hamstrings and gluts as well as improve your pelvic stability & balance. Pistol squats, a harder variation on the single leg squat, require more strength & balance as you sit lower and keep your leg off the ground forward of your body.

Hops & skips (3 sets of 1-4mins)

Skipping with a rope or over a line on the ground will build cardiovascular fitness as well as ballistic strength. 1 leg skipsMix in fast skipping with single leg hops. If you have a T on the ground add in repeated forward & back and side to side jumps & hops to improve agility strength & cardiovascular fitness.

For those more aggressive boarders who will be attacking jumps and performing twisting moves, build your rotational strength with jumps and twists. Cycle through 90, 180 & 270 degree spins. Start form a crouched position jumping straight up and spin either 90, 180 or 270 degrees and then land back down with both feet on the ground & stick the landing. Jog 20m and repeat the process with a spin in the other direction.

Swiss ball squats (20-30)

Using a swiss ball will help you squat lower safely & with control. Adding weight will increase the intensity or alternatively utilise single leg swiss ball squats for added challenge. Set up for normal 2 leg squats but every 2nd squat lift 1 leg and do a slow single leg squat. Remember to keep your upper body upright, look forward & bend from the hip & knee. Don’t hunch forward or look down.

Wall sit (1-3mins)

The isometric wall sit, where you hold a fixed position with your back against the wall is a staple of many ski fitness plans. To add a harder version lift 1 leg off the ground for 1-5sec and then swap. This will require you to develop a strong single leg hold, which simulates the change in weight from one leg to another for skiers as they turn down the mountain.

Box jumps (10-20 repetitions)

Choose an appropriate height box or small stable wall Box jumpand jump up on to the box (landing with both feet) and then step back down and repeat. Focus on generating maximum power as you push off the ground and jump up onto the box. Use an arm swing to help generate momentum & only increase the height once you’re confident on a lower height.

Hill runsBox jump 2

Combine these exercises above with hill run repeats to add additional intensity to your workout. Aim for a 30-60s sprint up hill, jog back down and then complete the next exercise

The Queens birthday long weekend in Australia marks the official opening of the ski season, but sadly for many people the first ski trip of the season ends in injury if you’re out of shape and not prepared. Ease into the first day on the slopes and take the time now to prepare for your big trip. Regular cardiovascular exercise such as running, cycling & rowing will provide good general conditioning while the exercises above will help improve specific strength.

Of course, only begin the exercises after a complete warm up. If you have any questions on how to safely perform these exercises or need Ski slopesadvice on ways to personalise these exercises for your routine email us at

Enjoy the snow!

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