No matter what the weather looks like now, ski season will be here eventually. And when it arrives, you’ll want to have spent this Indian Summer prepping with the right skiing and snowboarding exercises.
About half of ski/snowboard injuries are lower body injuries, and most of those can be prevented with a little training. With that in mind, here are my “go to” movements to build bulletproof legs.
Quarter half full squats
Tired legs are injury-prone legs. This exercise will help ward off fatigue on the slopes by building strength and endurance in the quads.
Perform three sets of 10 repetitions using kettle bells or dumbells. Choose enough weight to make the final repetitions a challenge, and rest 45-60 seconds between sets.
Kettle bell deadlifts
Strong glutes don’t just look good in ski pants—they also protect the knees from injury. And nothing builds strong glutes like the deadlift.
Perform three sets of 10-12 repetitions using a barbell or heavy kettle bell. Rest 45-60 seconds between sets.
Lateral band walks
This is a key exercise to target your Gluteus Medius, the primary glute muscle that helps in preventing knee collapse. Again, strong glutes equal healthy knees.
Perform three sets of 12-15 repetitions using resistance bands or surgical tubing. Rest 30 seconds between sets.
Sooner or later you will hit an icy patch, mogul, or divot you didn’t see coming. You might crash, or you might not—but you’ll certainly twist your legs and hips in some unexpected directions.
Multi-planar lunges prepare you for these sudden movements by strengthening legs and hips in multiple angles and ranges of motion.
Perform three sets of six to eight repetitions using kettle bells or dumbbells . Rest 45-60 seconds between sets.
Flutter kicks and over-unders
These moves strengthen the hips and abdominal muscles. They’ll will come in handy when you need to hike your snowboard uphill in deep powder or ski a long catwalk.
Perform three sets of 30 each. Be sure to keep your low back firmly pressed on the floor and kick from your hips vs. your knees. Rest 30 seconds between sets.
Building good ski fitness is the surest way to avoid injury when the season comes. Incorporate these ski and snowboard exercises into your routine now, and you’ll be far less likely to waste the season nursing a sprained joint or a torn ligament.