Quick At-Home Ski-Preparation Workouts


Author: Kene Ezeji-Okoye

You might think that gravity does all the work, but skiing is actually a pretty good workout and being in proper shape for skiing will make a huge difference to your holiday.

When skiing you’ll use lots of small stabilising muscles that you might miss in your regular exercise routine – this is why even people who are in good shape often feel the burn after a day on the slopes.

These little muscles in your legs and your core are super important for your balance and equilibrium, getting them prepped for the ski season will not only help you ski better for longer, it can also help you to prevent injury.

However, while legs and core get all the press, your hips are another very important area that shouldn’t be neglected.  

Many athletes – recreational and professional alike – ignore the importance of the hip muscles.  For skiers, this can be very serious as the hip muscles play a key role in knee injury prevention and are vital to help you change direction on the slopes.

Luckily you don’t need a gym membership or a lot of expensive equipment to give your hips a good workout, all you need is a yoga mat or a $10 exercise band.

SkiBro, a new specialist app for ski lessons in Val d’Isere, France have worked with expert Alpine physiotherapists, Bonne Sante, to develop a 20-minute yoga for skiers routine that is beginner-friendly but will still benefit serious athletes before they head out to the snow.

Dynamic hip-strengthening exercises using a resistance band are also a fantastic way to prep for your time on the mountain.

One of the benefits of using a band rather than machines is that your range of motion isn’t limited and you’re forced to work all those stabilising muscles.

Hip Bridge Pulses: Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees pointing to the ceiling. Normally this is a classic gluteus maximus exercise but by adding a resistance band just above your knees and pressing your knees outwards throughout the movement you’ll also target your gluteus medius aka. your side glutes.  Try and do 3 sets of 15.

Squats with knee pulses: Begin standing with your feet slightly past shoulder width apart with a resistance band across your lower thighs.  Lower yourself down to halfway into a squat and pulse your knees outwards against the band 20 times.  Note: don’t let your knees get past neutral.  Aim for 3 sets.

Ankle jumping jacks: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with the band just above your ankles.  Lower into a very shallow squat and jump your feet out in a standard jumping jack motion before returning to the starting position.  This is one rep.  Go for 2 sets of 20.

Lateral band walks: Begin in the same shallow squat as before with the band in the same position.  Place your hands on your hips and side step in one direction three steps at a time before taking three steps back in the opposite direction.  This is one rep – try to do 2 sets of 20.

Fire hydrants:  Start on all fours with hands aligned under your shoulders, your knees under your hips and the band just above your knees.  Lift your left knee laterally out to the side without rotating your hips and very slowly return to the starting position – this is one rep.  Aim for 20 reps on each side.

Doing either or both of these routines in the lead-up to your next ski trip will have you skiing better and for longer.  Make sure you get your money’s worth on your next ski pass by staying in shape!