Essential Off-Season Skiing Exercises

You see Olympic skiers catch the air and you wonder how they make it look so easy. Although a lot of the ease comes with years of practice, expert skiers devote much of their practice to developing body awareness through regular skiing exercises. If you think you’ve reached your peak skiing performance, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how a well-structured skiing exercise program can give your skiing skills a lift to the next level.

If you ski only a couple of times a year, you’ve probably experienced the pains of the day(s) after skiing! Yet, more important than your sore muscles, is that poor physical fitness increases your chance of injury. The most common injuries happen to ankles, knees, and hips. The best way to protect these joints is to reinforce them with strong muscles.

In addition to building strength through strong muscles, a skiing exercise program also improves your flexibility and balance and adds the power you need to stay safe as you climb to the next skill level of skiing. Building muscular strength also helps you relax on the slopes, which in turn helps you keep focused, giving you the ability to stay in control, quickly adjusting to changes in the terrain.

Off Season Skiing Exercises

Ideally, you should begin skiing exercises about two months before the season begins. Starting ski exercises pre-ski also lets you see results your first time out, which encourages you to continue your ski exercise program.

Resuming your off-season skiing exercise program at season’s end helps you stay in shape year round and keeps you from procrastinating before the start of the next season. Exercise every other day to give muscle groups time to recuperate session to session. In addition to the skiing exercises suggested here, vary your skiing exercises with others you find.

The words “strength training” may give you a vision of bar bells, pulleys, and expensive exercise equipment. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get in shape!

  1. The Wall Sit – Sit with your back firmly against a wall. Beginners should bend their knees at a 45-degree angle, keeping their lower leg perpendicular to the floor. You should feel some pull in your quadriceps, but none in your kneecap. If you don’t feel any pull, increase your knee angle up to 90 degrees. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat three times. As you progress, increase time by 5 seconds per position.
  2. Double Leg Jump Over – Start by jumping over a low ruler or other flat item. If you’re unsure of the height, start by placing it on the floor. With your feet together, jumps sideways over the ruler and then back to the other side. Land with knees bent to let your thigh muscles absorb the shock. Do this for thirty seconds, increasing your time 5 seconds per session. This ski exercise both improves your agility and helps you learn how to make smooth landings.
  3. Hamstring Strengtheners – Lock your heels and have a partner hold your feet or put them under a sofa or other immobile object. Cushion your knees with a soft pillow. Lean forward to the count of five and return. Repeat ten times.

Essential Skiing Exercises – Improving Endurance

Increasing your aerobic capacity gives you the stamina you need to ski the longest trails and the endurance to ski all day long. Add one of these activities to your exercise program one day a week:

Got other good ski exercises? Go to Talk Ski’s ski forum.

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