Skiing is just plain awesome. Where else can you fly down a 45-degree slope strapped to a couple chunks of wood and plastic at 30 or 40 mph? The skier's high is on another level of thrilling. It doesn't matter whether you're a weathered ski guide or a recreational novice, the first day on the slopes is always brutal though. The legs burning, the next-day walking funny, not too mention the increased risk of injury. Most people feel their quads sore after a day of skiing. Typically, this means their hamstrings are weak, the technique is a little off, they just plain weren't ready, or a combination of 'em all.

There's loads of evidence out there that fatigue and lack of knee stability cause the most injuries in skiing. Muscle fatigue alters the skiing stance. It modifies the way the legs, back, and arms are supposed to work in unison to create that smooth, euphoric turn. Once the hamstrings get exhausted, we tend to stand up in our skis and veer away from the ideal, athletic, leaned forward stance. That's when you really start feeling that fire in the front of your legs.

This workout will focus on building equal and stronger knee stability. The best approach to ski training is unilateral moves focusing on the eccentric, or negative, a portion of the move. Being on the slopes can feel like a marathon for your legs. So, we'll keep the sets a slow, controlled, tempo with high reps to imitate the real deal. Each set should last at least a minute. If not, then slow that negative down.

Warm-up- As with any workout, we have to get the body warm and some blood in those joints and muscles. Get in 10 minutes on the stair-master or bike. Something that requires the legs to start getting prepped is ideal. Once your starting to feel your shirt getting a little wet, let's roll!

Exercise 1 - Front And Back Lunges

Primary muscles: Gultes, quads, hamstring

Secondary muscles: Core

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, take step forward and then slowly bend both knees until your back knee is just above the floor.
  2. Stand back up, take a step back with the same leg, and bend both knees until your back knee is just above the floor.
  3. Repeat this back and forth movement for the entire duration of the set, and then switch legs.


Exercise 2 - Pistol Squat 

Primary muscles: Quads, glutes

Secondary muscles: Hamstrings, hips, calves, core

  1. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart and lift your left leg in front of you.
  2. Start bending your right knee and slowly lower your hips back.
  3. Push through the right heel to return to the starting position.
  4. Switch to the left side and repeat.

Exercise 3 - Wall Plie Calf Raise

Primary muscles: Thighs, calves

Secondary muscles: Glutes, hip flexors

  1. Start in a sumo squat position, with your feet in a wide stance, your toes pointing out to the sides, your thighs parallel to the floor and press your back against a wall.
  2. Raise your heels off the floor and squeeze the calves.
  3. Lower your heels and return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat until the set is complete.

Stretch, Foam Roll 

The best way to finish every leg workout is with some foam rolling or stretching for 10 minutes. There is scientific evidence that rolling your legs out post-exercise reduces delayed onset muscle soreness and enhances recovery. Yes, it feels like someone is stabbing your legs, but it hurts so good! Enjoy the workout! Even getting this in once or twice before ski season will greatly enhance your shred time and more importantly lower injury risk.

Share this article