Before you hit the slopes this winter, hit the gym. Training during preseason and between ski trips can help you ski better and longer, plus safeguard your body from injury.

So what workouts prep your body the best for playing in powder?

"The most important components of ski conditioning are balance, agility, strength and endurance,” says Regan Nelson, a fitness instructor and former competitive ski racer with an MS in exercise physiology. “Lower body strength, including the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings, is extremely important for making strong turns and having stamina to ski throughout the day. The core and the muscles in the back support your body, reduce low back pain, keep you in an athletic position and improve your balance."

Nelson has created the following training plan to prep your body for the challenges of ski season. Follow this plan two to three times a week to have an easier time moving quickly from ski to ski, making shorter-radius turns and maneuvering in varying terrain such as powder and bumps.

Cardiovascular Endurance And Lower Body Strength

Do three times, for a total of 15 minutes

  • Run up/down stairs: 4 minutes
  • Wall sit with knees bent to 90 degrees (press your back against a wall and walk your feet about 24-inches forward; bend your knees and slide your back down the wall until your hips are almost as low as your knees): 1 minute

Lower Body Strength, Balance And Agility

Do three times, for a total of 9 minutes

  • Walking lunges with hands on hips (step your right foot forward to a lunge, bending right knee over right ankle with left leg extended long behind; press weight into right foot and lift left foot, bringing it to meet the right foot; repeat to the left): Do 20 lunges, alternating right and left
  • Lateral hops with legs together and arms out in front (stand with feet hip-width apart and knees bent; spring up and to the right; land with feet hip-width apart; repeat left): Do 20 hops, alternating right and left
  • Squat and reach: Lower to a squat position then lift up to stand on your toes as you reach arms overhead. Do 10 squats and reaches

Core/Total Body Strength And Balance

Do three times, for a total of 9 minutes

  • Plank on all fours for Donkey Kicks (on hands and knees, hover knee one inch off of mat, flex right foot and extend leg behind you; return foot to floor for one rep): Do 20 kicks, alternating right and left
  • Side plank (start in a plank; spin to outside edge of right foot, stacking left foot on top of it, and lift left hand so weight is on right foot and hand; keep core tight so hips stay in line with feet and shoulders): Hold for 30 seconds on the right side, then hold for 30 seconds on the left side
  • Superman swims (lie facedown with arms extended by ears; pull belly in as you lift right arm and left leg then left arm and right leg): Do 20 swims, alternating right and left

About our partners' commitment to health >