Ski Fitness: Flexibility, Strength & Conditioning - Exercises
Ski Fitness

Skiing is vigorous exercise and physical preparation for your ski holiday is very important. It will help enhance your ski experience and maximise your time on the slopes. If you suffer from muscular tightness in your legs and feet, standing in a flexed ski stance all day long will only exert extra stress on these muscles.

We have compiled the following stretches to help improve flexibility in the main muscle groups used when skiing.

Ski Fitness: Flexibility

Ski Fitness: Calf Stretch

1. Calf & Plantar Fascia Stretch

  • Place toes up against a wall or step
  • Keep heel on the ground
  • Lean forward into wall until stretch felt on back of calf
  • HOLD 30 seconds | SETS 2
Short Calf Stretch

2. Short Calf Stretch

  • Start with one leg in front
  • Point feet straight ahead
  • Bend knee of back leg to feel stretch in the lower calf
  • HOLD 40 seconds | SETS 2
Arch/Plantar Fascia

3. Arch/Plantar Fascia

  • Roll your foot over the spiky ball
  • Roll between front of heel and ball of foot, avoiding rolling over bone and do not press too hard
  • ROLL for 5 minutes
Arch/Plantar Fascia

4. Hamstring Stretch: Bent Knee

  • Start with knee bent on a step and keep back straight
  • Slowly extend the knee until a gentle stretch is felt in the
  • back of the thigh
  • Keep hips perpendicular to leg
  • HOLD 40 seconds | SETS 2
Piriformis Stretch

5. Piriformis Stretch

  • Pull knee to chest
  • Then grasp ankle & twist leg towards opposite shoulder
  • Ensure non stretching leg is not rotated out
  • Feel stretch deep in glutes
  • HOLD 40 seconds | SETS 2
Hip Flexor/ITB Stretch

6. Hip Flexor/ITB Stretch

  • Kneel on leg to be stretched
  • Lunge forward, squeeze glutes and reach arm overhead
  • Feel stretch in front of hip and thigh
  • HOLD 40 seconds | SETS 2

Ski Fitness: Strength & Conditioning

A good level of cardiovascular fitness and strength will allow you to get the most out of your ski day. The following exercises work the key muscle groups used when skiing and will ensure you are fully prepared for your holiday.

Ski fitness: Split Squat

1. Split Squat – Bulgarian

  • Support back leg on a chair or bench. Ensure hip is in extension using a wide stance
  • Bend the front leg to squat down keeping chest up, knee in line with second toe and heel down
  • Hold weights to progress the exercise
  • REPS 8 – 10 | SETS 3
Ski fitness: Leg Bridge

2. Single Leg Bridge

  • Bend one knee so the foot is close to your buttocks – keep knees level
  • Push through heel to lift pelvis
  • Ensure shoulders, hips and knees are aligned and pelvis is not sagging on the non-weight bearing side
  • Ensure you do not over-extend your lower back
  • REPS 10 – 12 | SETS 3
Ski fitness: Single Deadlift Squat

3. Single Dead Lift Squat

  • Standing on one leg with back straight and knee slightly bent
  • Lean forward from the hip to reach towards toes
  • Pause when you can no longer keep the back straight or the hamstrings become tight
  • Slowly return to the start position maintaining balance
  • REPS 8 – 12 | SETS 3
Ski fitness: Single leg squat

4. Single Leg Squat

  • Stand on 1 leg
  • Engage lower abdominals drawing belly button in towards spine
  • Keep hip level on non-weight bearing leg
  • Slowly sit back and bend the knee keeping knee cap in line with 2nd toe
  • Do not squat too low > 45°
  • If struggling, use a door frame for support
  • REPS 8 – 12 | SETS 3
Ski fitness: Hip Abduction

5. Hip Abduction: Walking Sideways

  • Stand with resistive band around ankles or feet
  • Step to side and raise foot off the floor
  • Pause and slowly lower leg and lift other side
  • Slowly bring the legs back together to take tension off the band then lower foot to floor
  • Now step to the side again
  • Avoid leaning over to the side to perform hip movement
  • REPS 10 | SETS 3

These exercises are designed to specifically focus on your skiing muscles and can be used in addition to your usual routine.

Happy Skiing!

If you are unsure about these exercises or experience any discomfort or pain, please consult a professional


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