Train like Lindsey Vonn to prepare for the slopes
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Fitness

5 exercises to get you ready for the ski season

The slopes may be cold, but that doesn't mean your body needs to be. Add these moves to your workout to get yourself prepped for the powder.
Written by Matt Evans
4 min readPublished on
When it comes to snowsports, a well-prepared body can make the difference between an enjoyable visit to the mountains and a painful first week on the slopes. To that end, we’ve drafted in celebrity personal trainer Scott Laidler to provide five easy exercises to prep you for the demands of the piste.

The Cossack squat

What’s it for: joint resilience
"The Cossack squat works your hips and knees in multiple planes of movement,” says Laidler. In layman’s terms, this move is all about getting your body used to moving side-to-side in different directions, getting it prepared for everything the mountainous terrain is going to throw at it."
How to do it:
  • Stand with your feet approximately double your shoulder-width apart
  • Shift your weight onto your left foot. Squat down onto your left side, making sure to keep your left foot fully planted and your right leg completely straight
  • Take 10 seconds to breathe deeply, exploring tension in the legs, hips, and body
  • Drive upwards through the left foot. Once you’re standing up, repeat the movement on your right leg

Jumping lunges

What’s it for: functional cardio
This simple move is a one-two punch of leg strength and cardio benefits. "Jumping lunges will help develop your cardio capacity. It will also help strengthen your quads," says Laidler. Last longer on the slopes with all-day stamina and leg strength to match.
How to do it:
  • Stand with your left foot slightly in front of your right. Keep your knees slightly bent
  • Look straight ahead and jump, switching the position of your feet in midair. When you land, bend your knees, dropping into a lunge
  • Without rest, repeat this movement 10 times, alternating which leg is in front. To prevent injury, make sure your front leg is bent at 90 degrees at the knee and hip

Horizontal leap

What’s it for: propulsion
Need a lift? We’ve got your back. "The horizontal leap will help you develop the ability to propel yourself into the air," Laidler tells us. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a bit of a boost or an advanced skier graduating into getting airtime, this move sticks an explosive burst of energy into your arsenal.
How to do it:
  • Stand on one leg with a slight bend in your knee and the other leg raised off the ground
  • Jump sideways, landing on your opposite foot. Bend your knee when you land
  • Pause, then jump back to the other side. That’s one rep

Overhead medicine ball throw

What’s it for: total-body power
"The overhead medicine ball throw will help you develop power in your glutes, hamstrings and lower back," says Laidler. The only move on the list that requires equipment, hefting a heavy ball skywards will also strengthen your arms. "This exercise is excellent for developing a fast and powerful ski stroke."
How to do it:
  • Hold a medicine ball at chest height with your arms fully extended
  • Bend your knees while bringing the medicine ball between your legs
  • Jump upwards and throw the ball up, either to your partner or against the wall
  • Catch the ball from your partner or rebounding off wall. Repeat for 10 reps

One-legged box squat

What’s it for: control
"The one-leg box squat will help develop your coordination. It’s excellent for all-over control of your body and provides extra resilience to injury on the slopes.” Isolating one leg at a time will help your balance and strength, keeping your parallel turns tight and focused.
How to do it:
  • Stand on one foot with a chair or box positioned just behind you. Your other foot should be raised a few inches off the floor. Hold your hands straight out in front of you
  • Keeping your hips as square as possible, slowly drop into a deep knee bend so that your bum is gently touching the chair
  • Push yourself back up, extending at the hip and knee. Repeat for 10 reps before switching to the opposite side