Hit the Gym before you hit the Ski slopes

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 21, 2009 11:04 am

With the ski season quickly gearing up many skiers are getting ready to use muscles that have been lying dormant since their last mountain outing.  According to ski and fitness experts, that first time back on the mountain “is going to be painful for some skiers who don’t plan accordingly.”  That plan:  start exercising now.

President of AlpenQuest Greg Wiggins says that “Since people don’t ski year-round, it’s that kind of activity that you need to do some sort of off-season training for.”  Wiggins claims that skiers who hit the mountain without having exercised first could face “soreness in your lower back or quads, and pain in the hamstrings, upper legs and thighs.”  Colorado Ski Country USA’s ski instructor Julie Pierce warns skiers that “if you over-do it, it’s going to take you twice as long to recover.”  Pierce instructs her students to take it easy for the first few days, stretch before starting to ski, take lots of water and not be afraid to call it a day early.


Cycling: Hit the trail, or a stationary bike, for a cardio workout that strengthens leg muscles you’ll need on the slopes, and do quick intervals to condition for the sudden burst of energy that is skiing.

Squatting: Squat and walk sideways, placing weight on the inside of  your legs, to mimic skiing movements.
Balance: Stand on your toes and bend one leg back and hold it. Stand on your toes and lean to the left and right and hold it. Try a Pilates class.

Jumping: Hop from side to side over an object, with knees bent, landing and springing on one foot at a time.
Stretching: Stretch for 10 minutes before exercising and hitting the slopes. Yoga is great for improving flexibility for skiing.

Rollerblade or skating: You will use many of the same muscles as skiing, and, more importantly, work on staying upright with your feet strapped into foreign objects. Just remember, pavement is a lot less forgiving than snow.