It’s that time of year where we can start dreaming of the slopes, OK maybe let’s get Christmas out of the way first but…..  Now, if you’re a skier or snowboarder you know the buzz that comes from heading down a challenging slope and making your way to a lunch time beverage.  You may also remember that achy feeling at the end of a day or the pain in your bad knee.  Well if that’s the case then perhaps its sensible to start thinking about getting fit to ski now rather than waiting until the week before you go.  This is something that occurred to me this week, as I for one have lost lots of my fitness since the last time I skied.

Let’s break it down.  Skiing places lots of different demands upon the body and in order to make the most of our precious slope time we need to address all of these.

Strength – Without muscle strength both in your legs and core getting yourself over that tricky mogul or stopping in time for the lift can be hard.

Stamina – Similar to strength but sustained over a period of time. I can’t find any statistics, but you squat a LOT during a day skiing.

Flexibility – With one or two planks attached to your legs you can find yourself in positions you won’t often get into during daily life, so we need to prepare.

Skill – Muscle memory can fade and although its ‘like riding a bike’ most injuries occur on day one of your holiday.

Now we know what we need, how do we get it?  Well it’s a bit of hard work and practice.  Perhaps head to an indoor slope before you leave but, in the meantime, try a workout program that focuses on all the things we’ve spoken about.  I’ve found two that might give you a good start.

For beginners to intermediates try this (three videos that take you through the basics —

For the more hard core  try this —


ref. when injuries occur: 2008. American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine