Training for Skiing: How to Prepare For Your Next Ski Trip

two people stretching for ski trainingSkiing is a recreational activity and competitive sport that involves using skis to travel through the snow. If you’re new to skiing, it can be difficult to get fit enough for your first season. Skiing requires balance, cardio, and strength training to improve your chances of optimal performance and to reduce your chances of injury. Before you can even think of buying skiing gear and fun extras like ski boot driers, you need to prepare yourself. Read this guide to learn how to properly train for skiing.

Why You Need to Train

While it may not seem like it, skiing is a physically demanding sport that can blindside you if you aren’t prepared. Training is important because it prepares your body and makes it easier for you to get the hang of skiing. It also provides other benefits.

Builds Endurance

Skiing is comparable to a marathon. Many skiers end up spending hours outside skiing to the bottom of the mountain or riding lifts. As stated above, skiing requires a significant amount of endurance. The more endurance you have, the more enjoyable skiing will be for you. Before a skiing trip, it is a good idea to work on improving your endurance for at least a few months. Otherwise, you might end up extremely fatigued or even injured just a few days into your trip. According to various studies, most injuries happen on the third day of a skiing holiday. The reason is that skiers are most fatigued a few days into the trip.

a woman sittin in the snow and clutching her knee after a fallMany skiers mistakenly believe that endurance is not necessary because you’re traveling down the mountain at your own pace. However, the truth is that your muscles are hard at work while you’re skiing. Your muscles are working hard to maintain coordination and balance as well as to support your weight. There are also other types of skiing that require a lot more effort than downhill skiing, and even the type of skis you use can influence how hard you’ll need to work while skiing.

Whether you intend to ski from the top to the bottom of the mountain without stopping or you intend to stop and take several breaks, you should prepare for skiing through interval training. Interval training refers to a form of training that involves both high-intensity workouts and relief periods. The high-intensity workouts are similar to anaerobic exercise. On the other hand, recovery periods involve lower intensity activity. Cardio in any form, such as swimming or running, can help you build your endurance. You can also build your endurance during your ski trip by avoiding the ski lift and walking up the slope each time.

Improves Cardio

Cardiovascular training is essential when it comes to training for skiing. As a sport, skiing often requires sudden bursts of energy. Cardio is important to ensure you don’t tire too quickly while skiing. You can end up suffering severe injuries if you tire too quickly.

Skiing also often involves high altitudes, which increases the need for cardio even more. The higher you climb, the more thin the air becomes. As the air thins, oxygen becomes less and less available, and this can have a major impact on energy levels and your overall well-being.

Boosts Muscle

The unpredictable terrain is one of the main challenges that you will encounter when skiing. Therefore, it is important that you strengthen your muscles to make sure you’re ready to dodge all potential obstacles.

You should train on different surfaces to make sure you’re ready to ski on variable terrain. For example, you can train on a trail or the sand dunes of a beach. Change up your environment often to make sure your ankles and legs are able to adapt to different conditions.

You can also build up eccentric leg strength. Eccentric leg strength refers to the type of strength that is used to hike downhill or get into the position of a bottom squat. Eccentric leg strength is importance when it comes to the strength and endurance needed for skiing.

Teaches Balance

someone on skis warming up after ski trainingTraining to improve your balance is incredibly important if you want to get good at skiing. Good balance and stability is essential for ski form and overall performance. This is particularly true on moguls and steeps. If you lack balance, you won’t be able to stand on your skis and remain upright. Of all the skills, balance is the most important one to develop as a new skier. A good sense of balance will also help you choose the right skis for your needs.

You can improve your balance by focusing your training on the abductor and adductor muscles. Not only will stronger abductor and adductor muscles improve your balance, but they will also improve your leg stability and strength. If you achieve excellent balance as a beginner, you will have a strong foundation for improving your other ski skills, such as endurance.

Starting Training

When it comes to training for skiing, when you start is essential. You can’t complete an entire training regimen in the weekend before your trip, so you need to know when to start and how often you should be doing it.

When Should You Start?

The ideal time to start training depends on a number of factors. Some factors include your experience level and how often you plan to train. You should start training about two months prior to your ski trip. It takes about two months for you to start seeing improvements in terms of your performance from training.

How Often Should You Train?

You should train at least two or three times a week. The most important thing is consistency. It is better to train twice a week for two months than to train every day for just one week and then stop.

Training Exercises

If you want your training to be the most effective it can be, you need to do the proper exercises. While your normal exercise regimen can be helpful for building endurance and improving cardio, it won’t help you get the feel for movements and positions you’ll need to ski.

Warm Up

Skiing is an activity that can put a significant amount of strain on the body, and this is true even for individuals who ski on the regular. Skiers often spend hours upon hours on the slopes. Before you start a long day of skiing, it is important that you warm yourself up. The warm-up is considered the most important step when it comes to prepping for skiing. A warm-up will help your circulation and flexibility even on the coldest of winter days.

Warming up is also essential to activate your muscles. It will prepare your muscles for any strain you experience while skiing. It is important to warm up correctly to reduce the chance of injuries. Warming up will also reduce the chances that your muscles will feel sore the next day. Finally, warming up will help optimize your performance and efficiency. During your warm-up, you should take the time to do exercises that involve all the muscle groups commonly used during skiing.

Some exercises that you should do during your warm-up include jumping jacks, squats, arm circles, leg circles, hip circles (torso rotations), and walking on the spot.

two women doing lunges to train for skiingLunges

The purpose of the ski lunge, which is also referred to as the skater lunge, is to improve the lower body’s lateral range of motion. This exercise can help relieve muscular tension in the lower back and the hips.

Hip Rolls

There is a relationship between control of the knees and hip strength. If you don’t have sufficient hip strength, your knees will have a tendency to dive inward. Hip rolls are an excellent exercise to engage in during your training to strengthen the muscles of the hips and to prevent pain in the knee.

Squat Reverse Lunges

The purpose of squat reverse lunges is to improve your ski stance and work your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. The goal is to strengthen your legs. To do this exercise, you should follow these steps:

  1. Stand so that your feet are about a shoulder-width apart.
  2. Squat as if you’re sitting in a chair.
  3. Stand up and get into the position of a reverse lunge. Make sure that your knees do not go inward. Your knees should remain in line with the feet.
  4. Go back to the squat position and repeat with the other leg.
  5. Do 10 reps per leg.

Lateral Ski Jumps

The lateral ski jump is an excellent exercise for strengthening your hamstrings, quads, and glutes. These power exercises are excellent for energy bursts and ski movements needed for a descent down a mountain. If you are a beginner, you may find this exercise too challenging, and you can make this exercise easier by making smaller jumps, moving slower, and allowing your toe to make contact with the ground.

Chops

The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen the core and to prevent lower back pain. That way, you will be able to use your core to turn while skiing instead of your shoulders or arms. You will need a resistance band to perform this exercise. You can shorten the band resistance level to increase resistance, and to lower the resistance, you can lengthen the resistance band. You should feel fatigued towards the end of the reps, but you should still have energy left to finish them without struggling.

Lifts

The purpose of this exercise is to improve your rotation and to focus on your core and obliques. If you have a strong core, you will have an easier time remaining balanced as you ski. This exercise will help you strengthen your calves, glutes, and quads. You will also need a resistance band for this exercise. Just as before, you can lengthen or shorten the resistance band to adjust the resistance level. You should adjust the resistance level to suit the amount of core strength that you have.

Hip Clocks

The purpose of hip clocks is to help you improve the coordination of your hips. To ski at optimal performance, you need to be able to stay balanced on your skis no matter what. Lack of balance and control of your skis can lead to serious injuries. This exercise will improve the strength of your hamstrings and glutes so your body will be prepared for balancing on a single ski or for uneven terrain.

a man in a red coat and yellow pants skiing down a mountainsideConclusion

Skiing is a popular competitive sport and recreational activity that involves using skis to travel in the snow. If you’re a beginner when it comes to skiing, it is important that you engage in training to make sure you are fit enough for your first trip. To be successful at skiing, you need to have a number of skills, such as balance, cardio, and strength training. Successful skiing does not just mean having optimal performance—it also means minimizing your chances of injury.