Ski Conditioning Workout

These exercises are designed to help strengthen the muscles used in skiing - legs, abs, back and arms.  It also challenges your balance, core strength and stability--all things that are challenged in skiing.  Do this workout 2-3 nonconsecutive days a week or add some of the exercises to your usual workouts.


See your doctor before trying this workout if you have any injuries, illnesses or other conditions.

Equipment Needed

Various weighted dumbbells, an exercise ball, BOSU or step, a medicine ball and resistance band.

How To Do the Ski Preparation Workout

  • Warm up with light cardio
  • Keep the rest very short between exercises
  • End with a light cool down and stretch
  • Beginners:  Perform one set of each exercise for 15-30 seconds
  • Intermediate/Advanced:  Do each exercise for 1 (or more) minutes and repeat 1-3 times

Squat with Front Sweep

Squat and Sweep with a Medicine Ball
Ben Goldstein

Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a med ball or dumbbell.   Squat as low as you can (knees behind toes and abs contracted) and touch the ball to the floor.  Press through the heels to press back up while sweeping the weight up and overhead.  Keep the movement controlled and try not to use momentum.

Pushups/Side Planks

Pushup side plank
Ben Goldstein

In pushup position (on knees or toes), perform one pushup.  As you come up, shift weight to your left arm, twist to the side while bringing the right arm up towards the ceiling in a side plank.  Lower the arm back to the floor for another pushup and then twist to the other side. 

Lunge On The Ball

single lunge
Ben Goldstein

Prop your right shin on a ball (or step) behind you and bent front knee, slowly lowering into a lunge.  Squeeze through the heels to raise back up, making sure knee is behind toe and torso is straight, abs in.  Adjust the ball as needed to keep your knee behind your toe.  Add dumbbells for more intensity, but these are optional. If you don't have a ball or step, you can perform these without one.

Deadlifts with Row

Stand with feet hip-width apart holding weights in front of thighs.  Keeping abs in and back straight, tip from the hips and lower the weight down (skimming the legs) as low as your flexibility allows.  Squeeze to come up and then lower back down until torso is parallel to the floor, turn the hands so that they're parallel and pull the weights up in a row.  Repeat, alternating deadlifts and rows for all reps. 

Side to Side Lunge

Side to side jumping lunge
Ben Goldstein

Stand with feet wide, toes out slightly, holding a weight at chest level.  Lunge to the right, bending the right knee (keeping that knee behind the toe) and touching the weight to the floor while keeping the abs engaged, torso straight.  Press back to start and lunge to the left, touching the ball to the floor.  Take your time and try not to use momentum.        

BOSU Squat Jumps

Stand in front of BOSU Balance Trainer or, if you don't have one, a step or low bench.  Bend the knees and, keeping the body very low, jump onto the BOSU with both feet, landing in a squat with soft knees.  Step down and repeat, moving as quickly as you can.

One-legged Balance with Tricep Kickback

Stand on right leg taking the left leg straight out behind you, both leg and torso parallel the floor.  Bring the right elbow up next to your torso while holding a weight and, maintaining your balance, extend the elbow until the arm is straight by contracting the triceps.  Maintain this position for all kickbacks and then switch sides. 

Ski Jumps

Speed skaters
Ben Goldstein

Stand with feet together.  Bend the knees and jump to the right as far as you can--think of jumping laterally rather than vertically.   Land with soft knees and immediately jump laterally to the left. Repeat. 

Seated Row

Prop ball against a wall with bands on either side.  Prop the feet against the ball with bent knees and sit up tall, handles in both hands.  Keeping torso straight and abs engaged, squeeze shoulder blades together as you bend the elbows, pulling them just behind the torso.  Release and repeat, keeping legs active so that the ball doesn't move. 

Back Extension

Lie face down with the ball under your hips and lower torso.  On toes or knees and with hands behind the head, lift chest off the ball, bringing your shoulders up until your body is in a straight line.   Lower & repeat. 

More »

Ball Rollout

Place your arms on the ball, parallel to one another.  Pulling your belly button towards your spine and tightening your torso, slowly roll forward until your chest touches the ball.  Keeping form, slowly pull your body back using your arms and abdominals.  Don't collapse as you roll forward! 

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