ski hills in ontarioSkiing isn’t like other sports.  Dynamic movements and environment aside, the thing that makes it so very different is the frequency of it.

There’s no real off-season equivalent and practicing for it usually happens during your first few sessions back on the slopes.  The problem with this is that it usually shocks your body and can lead to injury; especially if you jump into it for a full day as most do.

Here are 8 exercises that will condition you during your time off.  They’ll reduce the impact of your first few sessions and minimize the chance of getting hurt.

1.  Running

By the end of a day on the hill, your body is so tired that it’s actually getting weak.

Regular running will give you the endurance to last through a long day on the slopes.

2.  The Stairs

Running is a great cardiovascular workout but you also need an exercise that will directly toughen up your legs.

Throwing stair climbing or a stair master into the mix will keep your legs stable over long periods of time.

3.  Squats

The quads are used more heavily in skiing than other sports.  There’s no workout quite like squats to build massive strength in your thighs.

Building them up will keep you in control of your posture and protect your knees.

4.  Step-ups

Keeping steady can be hard when skiing downhill because of the pressure on your glutes or hamstrings.

Using a small platform with weights in your hands, step-ups will strengthen you dramatically so that your muscles can stay tensed for longer.

5.  Sliding Side Lunges

As mentioned before, your thighs are very important when skiing.  Everything from turning to stopping needs to come from these muscles and a good way to toughen them up is by doing sliding side lunges.

A gliding disc or paper plate of some kind is perfect for this.  The sliding will come close to the movement on snow.

6.  Standing Calf Raises

You’ll be standing all day on the slopes so you need to make sure your calves can hold you up.  Calf raises are a great way to isolate them and work them hard.

You can either find a machine or do them with weights, the key is to raise and lower the heels and focus on the calf as you do.

7.  Back Extension

Being bent over for a long time can take its toll.  Strengthening the lower back is key and some back extensions are a simple way to do just that.

Adding weight over time will really build stability here.

8.  Biceps and Triceps

The arm element to skiing can’t be overlooked.  In order to use poles effectively, biceps and triceps should be worked out.

Exercises like chin-ups and curls for the biceps and pull downs and dips for the triceps will fill out your arms and help you maneuver.

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