Preparing for ski season: easy exercises you can do at home

November 26, 2014

Getting in shape for the slopes doesn't mean needing a costly gym membership. In fact, preparing for ski season is easier than you think: here are someeasy exercises you can do at home to get results fast.

Preparing for ski season: easy exercises you can do at home

What to focus on

If you want to get the most out of your trips to the mountain, staying fit for skiing is a year-round activity. Your pelvis, knees, strength and weight distribution are the four key areas you will need to work on.

  • Developing your flexibility will also help prevent injury, especially if any muscles are tight.
  • Often, the calves and hips also need loosening, so stretch them properly before your work out—and definitely before strapping on skis!

All of the following ski fitness exercises can be done at home, with minimal cost to you.

Building endurance

Although it doesn’t look like it to non-skiers, skiing is physically intensive. The most important thing to do is work on endurance, using cardiovascular exercises.

Creating a home workout schedule can help build your stamina. Try starting with:

  • A variety of workouts at varying intensities lasting from 20 to 45 minutes.
  • Three to five days each week of your favourite activity. For skiing, focus on running, the elliptical trainer, tricep dips, single leg laterals, three-point squats or isolation jump squats.
  • One long, slow workout each week for 60 or more minutes to prepare your lungs (and your legs) for those long days on the slopes.

Building strength

As well as requiring great endurance, skiing also needs physical strength. It uses the thighs, calves, abs, arms, back, hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps.

  • Focus your home exercises on building up these muscles with weights.
  • Your thighs keep you steady on the snow—use lunges, squeezes, lifts and squats to build them up.
  • Extensions and dumbbell rows work your back and abs.
  • Deadlifts, step-ups, pull-throughs and hamstring rolls work best for hamstrings and glutes.
  • Ultimately, squats will be your best friend, working both your quadriceps and thighs.


Step-ups are great at helping you improve your balance and coordination—an exercise that can easily be done at home.

  • Squats will also train you to more easily recover balance.


Make a schedule to ensure you stick to your ski exercise routine at home. Don’t make it up as you go along.

For example...

On Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, do between 20 and 45 minutes of different activities:

  • Reserve Monday and Friday for lifting.
  • Plan cardio on Wednesday and Saturday.
  • Make Thursday a 60-minute (or longer) session, and mix lifting and cardio.
  • Set aside Sunday as your rest day.

It’s important to keep your exercise schedule until it becomes a habit, especially if exercising at home. It's easy to become complacent. And remember, the more you work now, the better you’ll perform on the slopes!

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