What Exercises Will Prepare Me For My Downhill Ski Trip?

What Exercises Will Prepare Me For My Downhill Ski Trip?

Posted by Staff on Dec 25th 2018

Downhill Skiing Exercise

Skiing can be an intense--yet beneficial--workout, especially if you're new to downhill skiing. Before you take to the slopes this winter, prepare your body ready with exercises that will improve your skiing and recovery from skiing. That way, once you're on the top of the hill, you'll glide to the bottom without worry of what could happen in between.

Don't forget to read our article about the clothing and equipment you will need for your downhill ski trip.

You may also enjoy our article on the heath and fitness benefits of downhill skiing.

Before you leave town, you might check out Amazon's page on skiing to make sure you don't forget anything.

Muscles used during downhill skiing

Skiing is physically intensive and uses lots of muscle groups. Besides your core for balance, you will use your legs, gluteus maximus (butt), and arms. That's why it's important to make sure your body is ready for skiing. If you're not in good shape or have never skied before, you might injure yourself if you're not careful.

Exercises to prepare for downhill skiing

In order to prepare for your  downhill skiing trip and reduce the risk of injury, you can do exercises that strengthen your muscles, improve agility, and increase your balance. Ultimately, you need to develop an exercise routine that works for your health and needs. But squats, lunges, and planking are good ways to work the muscle groups used most in downhill skiing so you can be ready for your trip.

You should also work on your  mobility and flexibilityYou can read more about that here. Not surprisingly, yoga is a great way to improve your range of motion.

Squats

Squats are a good  exercise to work your thighs and butt, both of which work hard when you're skiing. When you add squats to your exercise routine, you will gain muscle in preparation for downhill skiing. This is a basic squat:

  • Stand straight with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Push your hips backward and bend your knees outward until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Your knees should be no further forward than your toes.
  • Straighten your legs until you are standing upright again.
  • Try to do a minimum of 20 squats per set, with a short rest between each set.

Along with these basic squats, you can modify them to make them harder and to work your muscles differently. For example, you can add a jump to the end of the squat, instead of just standing back up. This will work your quads and glutes. You can also change your squats to a wall squat, which will help increase your endurance. This is a wall squat:

  • Stand against a blank wall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Slide down the wall into a squat position, with your thighs parallel to the floor. Keep your back and hips against the wall.
  • Hold the position as long as possible before moving back to a standing position.

Lunges

Lunges not only improve your strength but also improve your balance. This is a basic lunge:

  • Stand straight with your feet together.
  • Step your right leg forward and bend your left leg. Your right leg thigh should be parallel to the ground and your knee should be above your ankle. Your back knee should be nearly touching the floor.
  • Step your left leg back to the starting position.
  • Try to do a minimum of 20 lunges per set, alternating which leg steps forward, with a short rest between each set.

Planking

Planking is used effectively to strengthen the core muscles, which help you keep your balance and maneuver turns when  downhill skiing. This is a basic plank:

  • Lie flat on the floor on your stomach with your legs straight out.
  • With your elbows on the floor, using your forearms for support, lift your body so your weight is resting on your elbows and toes. Keep your body straight. You can also do a plank by holding the top of a push-up position instead of resting on your forearms and elbows.
  • Hold this position for a minimum of 60 seconds.

You can make planks harder and work your oblique muscles by doing side planks. This is a basic side plank:

  • Move into a plank position.
  • Twist your body so that you are resting only on your right elbow and foot. Rest your left foot on top of your right foot. Extend your left arm upward. Keep your body straight.
  • Hold this position for a minimum of 60 seconds.
  • Repeat the side plank on the other side.

Whether you're new at  skiing or it's just been a long time, exercising before you hit the slopes is a good way to minimize the likelihood of injury. By doing these three simple exercises, you'll be able to increase your endurance and balance as well as building your strength.

Now that you are ready, you can find your skis on Amazon. Sure, go ahead and browse.