It’s not long now until the ski fields open, and Aussies who’ve been waiting two years for the chance to hit the slopes might need a little refresher (and tone-up) before getting their feet back in ski or board boots.
If you’re not sure what exercises for skiing and snowboarding will get you up to the task, we’ve got you covered. Physiotherapist Gavan Sticka shares his tips for the best exercises to do at home if you’re a beginner or expert skier or snowboarder, so your snow trip goes off without a hitch.
How to prevent ski injuries
The leading cause of most sports injuries is ‘doing too much too soon, after too little for too long’. Whether you’re planning your first trip to the snow or you’re a seasoned snow bunny dying to get back into it, it’s easy to see how this applies.
The most common skiing injuries are traumatic injuries like ACL tears, shoulder dislocations or fractures of the hand and wrist – but you’re more likely to injure yourself if you’re tired or over-ambitiously doing a harder run than you’re up to. So, take enough breaks and don’t overdo the black runs if you’re not an expert.
But the best way to prevent ski injuries is by strengthening the main muscles of the lower body ahead of your snow trip. Skiing and snowboarding are physically demanding, and even the best riders can come unstuck.
Doing these simple exercises will build strength in the right muscles, boosting your stamina and helping to prevent injuries from the inevitable poor landings.
Best skiing exercises for beginners
If you’re a newbie, you probably have no clue what exercises to do for skiing and snowboarding. By getting ready for your snow trip with these skiing workouts, you’ll reduce the risk of injury, plus you won’t run out of puff on your first run.
Here are three simple skiing exercises to do at home to strengthen those muscles.
A squat targets the legs, lower back and core muscles. Squats are perfect skiing workouts because they copy the skiing and snowboarding stance and work the glutes, quads, hamstrings and knees.
2. Step ups
A step up is a single-leg, hip and knee exercise you can do almost anywhere. When skiing and snowboarding, your legs, hip and butt muscles cop a pounding. Step ups build strength and get your heart rate up to get you slope-ready.
3. Drop jumps
A drop jump targets your entire lower body. Drop jumps are an ideal skiing workout to improve your explosive strength and refine your soft landing.
Beginner skiing workout
You’ll want to start out small with your beginner skiing exercises and build up over a few weeks. Do each exercise for 20-30 seconds, aiming for at least 10 reps. Do three sets, three or four times a week. Increase your reps as you build strength, and if you’re up to it, do some cardio in between to build your general fitness.
Best skiing exercises for experienced skiers
If you’re an experienced skier or snowboarder, the last couple of years have probably been excruciating, and let’s be honest, you might’ve lost some form.
Start with the skiing exercises for beginners as a warm-up. Then add in these three more advanced exercises for skiing prep as your strength and endurance builds. Make sure you put a rest day between each skiing workout so you don’t overwork these muscles. Other activities focused on other muscles will be fine.
1. Single-leg squats off a box
These squats on steroids are a perfect upgrade for a more advanced skiing workout. They will challenge your joint stability and balance and get you ready for off-piste action. Start with 10 reps each leg and build up as your endurance grows.
2. Wall squats above one minute
You’ll need glutes of steel to grab some glorious long runs. Long wall squats will help build those glutes plus strengthen hamstrings, quads and thighs. Rest 30 seconds between reps and repeat five times.
3. Single-leg drop jumps
Single-leg drop jumps build on the beginner version to help you master your soft impact landings and build explosive strength even further. Start with 10 reps each leg and build up from there.
Ready to ride?
Following Gavan’s tips for what exercises to do for skiing and snowboarding will help get your body ready for your much-anticipated ski trip and hopefully cut down the chance of injury.
But despite your best intentions, like doing these exercises for skiing prep, accidents can and do happen. While you’re (kind of) patiently waiting for snow, why not check out Flip insurance for your snow trip?
For just a few bucks, get peace of mind and a $2,000 cash payout if you get injured - like if you've torn your ACL in an epic snow fail and need surgery.
If you’re a beginner, you have a decent risk of injury as you work out the basics of keeping upright. Even if you’re experienced, you’re probably pretty rusty, and accidents can happen anytime.
If you’re heading out backcountry for some off-piste action, literally anything could happen and most insurance companies run for the hills. Luckily, Flip was made for adventurers and covers skiing and snowboarding accidents in Australia and NZ, on or off the beaten track. For more info on what injuries are covered, check out our PDS.
We've done our absolute best to make sure our content is accurate, but our articles shouldn't be considered comprehensive or as rendering advice. Our content is general info, not catered to your life situation or health needs. So please make sure to get any help and advice you need from qualified health professionals and check with them before you make any health decisions after you've visited our website. Those older than 50 or with underlying health conditions, should seek advice from their GP before commencing a rigorous exercise program.
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