Three Wacky Things Skiers Do to Stay in Shape

Posted By: The Ski Channel on September 2, 2009 11:06 pm

Shaping up for the ski season isn’t necessarily all about serious sweat-time in the gym and a myriad of squats. That stuff is part of an Olympian’s fitness roster, but it’s not the whole story. Instead, the world’s best skiers cross-train with a multitude of activities, to stay strong, mentally motivated, and generally balanced.

Want to join the ultra-fit club (and in turn improve your athleticism and overall skiing performance)? Maximize your mojo? Take a gander at these seemingly random sporting trends.


photo: Wii






Yes, of course, bigger is better. And that’s especially true for large flotation devices, like paddleboards.

Paddleboarding is the latest sporting trend to storm mountain towns. Yup, it’s true. We said mountain towns. All you need is one giant board, a giant paddle and abs of steel. (And a lake. Whoops!)

Nearly every member of the U.S. Ski Team is a fan, and with good reason. Paddleboarding is low-impact, obviously, so easy on the knees, and challenges the small, proprioceptive muscles that support joints and help develop balance. What’s more, paddling a board around a lake, be there minor wake waves or not, is a kick-ass core workout. It’s about building stability, remember? And you’re also pulling serious H2O tonnage with each paddle stroke. Top it all off with a glorious arm and shoulder workout, not to mention quiet, zen-like time on the water, and you’re good to go. As are the athletes on the Ski Team.








Finally, it’s cool to be a slacker. Top skiers love slacklining for many of the same reasons they love paddleboarding: It’s mellow, helps increase core stability and hones balance.

Slacklining, however, is completely portable. (The U.S. Ski Team women had a slackline on hand during a recent New Zealand training camp.) All you need is a 50-foot strip of nylon and some rachets, and of course a couple of trees. It’s best to buy a complete set. Gibbon makes rubber-infused and coated slacklines, to increase spring (for tricks) and improve traction.

Afraid of walking the tight rope? Set it at knee-height to start. Sort of a no-brainer, but you never know.

photo: just get out



It’s the rage everywhere, but especially with skiers. In fact, the U.S. Ski Team has brought local yoga teachers into the new Center of Excellence. For the general ski population, the après-ski yoga classes are also uber popular in Park City, and lauded for their magical muscle-relaxing benefits.

Want to ensure you’ll have a stellar ski day um, day after day? Hit the mat. You’ll help release knots and loosen up with ‘dynamic’ moving stretches, which will help prevent soreness after a tough day on the slopes. Poses like Lunge, Warrior and Chair heavily challenge thighs and glutes—important ski muscles. And Triangle and Downward Facing Dog relax and release.

Then, of course, you’ll be ready for what the next day has to offer. Bluebird skies and pow-pow? Sign yourself up!