The Best Strength Training Exercises To Do For Skiing

Prepare your muscles for those slopes.

Originally Published: 
Strength training for skiing exercises trainers recommend.
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If the 2022 Winter Olympics has inspired you to hit the slopes, then you may want to start by strength training for skiing. Trainer Heather Lachance says to focus on your quads, adductors, and core, as these muscles will help keep you balanced and stable as you maneuver downhill.


Squat Jumps

Lachance says a strong lower body is key for navigating turns on the slopes without falling over.

- Stand, feet hip-distance apart.

- Lower into a squat, keep chest lifted.

- Jump straight up, swing arms overhead.

- Land, return to squat.

- Repeat.

Do 8 reps, 2 sets.


Wall Sits

This move mimics the tension you’ll feel in your legs as you ski downhill, says Lachance.

- Press your back into a wall, feet shoulder-width apart.

- Lower down until knees, hips are at a right angle.

- Hold for 20 seconds.

Slowly increase time as you get stronger.


Elevated Split Squat

Lachance says this one will improve your balance.

- Stand by plyo box or bench.

- Place back foot on box.

- Bend knees to squat.

- Drive through front leg to rise back up, squeeze glute at top.

- Hold dumbbells for a challenge.

Do 6-10 reps, 2-4 sets per leg.

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Goblet Split Squats

Tonal’s Troy Taylor recommends these to build strength and coordination.

- Hold a weight at chest.

- Feet hip-width apart, split stance.

- Press front heel down, drop back knee to mat.

- Power up.

- Repeat on same side.

Do 3 sets, 15 reps, then switch sides.


Bird Dogs

Club Pilates pro Vanessa Johnson says Pilates is an amazing way to cross-train your body for skiing.

- On all fours, lift left arm and right leg.

- Reach long in opposite directions.

- Keep core tight. Hold a few seconds.

- Return to start.

Do 10 on each side.



Johnson also likes this move to work the back, glutes, and hamstrings.

- Lie on mat, feet planted hip-width apart, arms at sides.

- Lift hips up. Hold.

- Return body to floor.

Do 10 reps, 3x.


Skater Jumps

Trainer Denise Chakoian recommends these to strengthen inner and outer thighs.

- Feet hip-width apart.

- Step right leg forward, bend knee.

- Hop left leg forward, sweep right leg behind.

- Hop back to right, sweep left leg behind.

- Alternate.

Do 15-20 reps, 3x.


Bosu Ball Squats

Chakoian also likes this exercise to improve left-right stability, which you’ll need to glide downhill.

- Step on the center of a balance ball.

- Hold a squat, knees over toes.

- Rock side to side.

- Hold dumbbells as you get stronger.

Do 30 seconds to 1 minute.


Lateral Band Walks

Trainer TJ Mentus says these work the stabilizing muscles of the hips.

- Put resistance band around ankles.

- Start in half-squat position.

- Step to side with one foot.

- Continue to step sideways, keeping low, then change direction.

Do 15 steps, 3x.


Chair Pose

Yoga pro Brett Larkin says skiing with strong legs and glutes can also help prevent injury. Try this pose to work both areas.

- Stand, feet together.

- Inhale, stretch arms up.

- Exhale, bend knees.

- Lean torso forward, arms by ears.

Hold for 6 breaths.



Do this exercise with free weights or a bar, Chakoian says.

- Feet hip-width apart.

- Bend knees, grab weight.

- Lift weight by straightening legs, driving hips forward.

- Keep arms and chest straight.

- Lower, repeat.

Do 5 reps, 3 sets.

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