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Ski fitness: 4 ski exercises you can do at home

Now the Christmas festivities are kicking in, we have a few simple exercises that you can do at home to get yourself ready for the ski season.

By working on your cardiovascular fitness and strength you will make the most of every day on the slopes and still have energy for the all-important après ski, weekend trips and activities on offer.

Here are a few simple exercises from GH Fitness that you can do at home to strengthen your body (please watch the video for full instructions and demonstrations):

Exercise 1 – Squats

Really important for activating your main leg muscles used in skiing.

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart and parallel
  • Sit backwards to keep your weight in your heels and knee tracking in line with your toe

Progression 1 – Single leg squats

  • Similar movement and alignment to squats but with one leg lifted

Progression 2 – Jump squat

  • Sink down into a squat and power through your legs to jump into the air.
  • Land softly and bend your knees straight away back into a squat

Exercise 2 – Tree pose

Strengthens your glutes and hamstrings as well as working on balance.

  • Stand on one leg
  • Raise your other leg, press the sole of your foot into your thigh, and the thigh into the foot to feel engagement
  • Brace your core to help find your balance and then raise your arms up over your head

Progression – Single leg Romanian deadlifts

  • Grab something heavy (in our video we use a book)
  • Stand on one leg again. Keep the knee of the standing leg soft
  • Think of your other leg like a pendulum and descend keeping your back leg straight until you are in a T shape
  • Let the weight drop down to knee height

Exercise 3 – Lunges

Another good exercise for working your ski muscles, lunges focus on your legs.

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart and parallel
  • Step one leg forward and bend down so both legs form a 90-degree right angle.
  • Make sure your front knee stacks directly over your ankle so you should still be able to see your toes

Progression 1 – Split squats

  • Make sure your back leg is raised (about a foot off the ground) and your stance is wide enough so when you descend into a lunge your front knee doesn’t come forwards over your ankle

Progression 2 – Jumping lunges

  • Take your lunges into a jump
  • Lung down, jump switch your legs in the air and land in a lung on the other side

Exercise 4 – Plank with leg raises

Focuses on improving your core strength which you use a lot more than you would think for skiing.

  • Get into a standard plank, wrists directly under your shoulders and your body nice and long in one straight line
  • Draw your shoulders away from your ears. You might need to slightly soften the elbows to do this
  • Make sure your belly button is pulling into your spine and your legs and glutes are all squeezing towards the midline
  • If comfortable in the plank position, start raising one leg at a time off the ground

Progression – Side planks

  • Make sure your hand is not directly under your shoulder like in the plank but a little bit out in front
  • Make sure your hips are stacked directly on top of each other
  • Raise your top leg so you are in a star shape

We recommend doing at least 15 reps each exercise, 2-3 times a week.

When doing these exercises, make sure your body is always in the right position with correct alignment. It’s a good idea to do these exercises in front of a mirror so you can correct this if needs be.

Start with the easier exercises and then when you get comfortable with them, progress to the harder ones.

Make sure you start each session with a warm up and stretch after you finish.

If you do these strengthening drills, combined with some running or swimming to help build up your cardio fitness, you’ll be surprised what a difference these exercises make to your season – while your friend’s are lagging, you’ll be raring to go!

Good luck and see you on the slopes soon!

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