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Fit for Skiing

Updated on 06.11.2023 in Sports


Everyone knows the feeling of burning thighs or tight back muscles at the end of a long ski day. Aches and pains such as these can put a downer on an otherwise enjoyable skiing experience. That is why it is important to get fit for skiing before you hit the slopes. This will not only make skiing more fun but also increase your performance on the piste and help prevent injuries. Christoph Ebenbichler, fitness coach at the Olympic Centre in Innsbruck, has put together the most important exercises to get you fit for skiing.


1. Three Point Hinge

It is important to warm up before every training session so that you can perform the exercises as well as possible. Focus in particular on the areas of your body which you are going to train.

Here’s how it works

  • Balance on one leg
  • Stabilise your ankle and knee
  • Pick up and put down the tennis balls to the left, to the right and in front of your body

Reps and sets:

  • 1 rep comprises picking up and putting down each of the balls
  • 3 sets

If you want to increase the intensity you can bend your standing leg more to lower your centre of gravity. Another way to make the exercise harder is by placing the balls further away from you.

Important! Keep your leg stable at all times. Use your other leg to keep your balance and guide your movements.

2. Lateral Box Jumps

An important part of skiing is being able to apply pressure to the edges of the skis. The muscles you need to do this can be trained using box jumps. This variation of the exercise is carried out laterally.

Here’s how it works

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart
  • Keep both legs parallel and make sure ankle and knee form a single line
  • Tense your core, stabilise your back
  • Jump up and to the side
  • Keep your legs stable when landing
  • Swing your arms to generate momentum

Reps and sets

  • 20 reps per side
  • 2-3 sets

If you want to increase the intensity you can put your hands on your hips and bend your knees more as you jump. You can also vary the speed to increase and decrease the difficulty level.

Important! Keep your legs stable at all times. Make sure your knees don’t lean inwards as you jump.

3. Nordic Ham Strings

This is a tough exercise aimed at strengthening the muscles in the back of your legs. Start off slowly and increase the intensity as you get more comfortable. If you are training on your own you can use wall bars to hold your feet steady.

Here’s how it works

  • Knee down with your legs hip-width apart
  • Knees, hips and shoulders form a single line, eyes ahead
  • Keep your core stable
  • Slowly let yourself fall forward, keep the tension in your body and catch your fall

Reps and sets

  • 5-7 reps
  • 3 sets

Important! The further you fall and the later you catch yourself with your hands, the more intense the exercise. Our professional trainer recommends increasing the intensity slowly, step by step.

4. Leg Levers

Skiing isn’t just about strong legs – it’s also about a strong core. This exercise is perfect for strengthening your stomach muscles.

Here’s how it works

  • Lie down on your back
  • Tense your stomach muscles
  • Press your lower back into the floor
  • Move your legs up and down (easy option: bend your legs)
  • Slow and controlled movements

Reps and sets

  • 10-15 reps
  • 3 sets

Important! Make sure your lower back stays on the ground at all times. Do not lower your legs to the point where your lower back comes off the floor.

5. Cyrus

A strong core needs a strong back. When skiing you can encounter lots of different conditions and types of terrain. In order to deal with them effectively, you need to be agile. This exercise aims at strengthening the lower back.

Here’s how it works

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, slightly bend your legs
  • Lean forward with your upper body, place your hands on a support at around knee-height, stabilise your shoulders
  • Keep your back straight, tense your stomach muscles
  • Perform the exercise by tilting your pelvis back and forward
  • The movement should come from your spine

Reps and sets

  • 20 reps
  • 3 sets

Important! Make sure that you only move your lower back. This exercise may seem easy at first, but after a few reps you will start to feel the effect.

An outdoorswoman with a passion for sports, Mathea is always looking for authentic stories about Tirol. You can usually find her in the backcountry, surrounded by good people.

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