You’ve bought a ski season pass and waiting for the snow season to start. As of this article’s publication, July 15, 2019 we’re looking at about 18 more weeks until the Thanksgiving holiday weekend when most Tahoe resorts open their doors. While waiting for the lifts to turn, make the most of this window of time to get in shape for the ski season.
Have you felt your legs become like jelly only half way down the ski slopes or feeling out of breathe? Implement the following ski and snowboard fitness conditioning program to get in top shape for the ski season.
Here’s how: get fit by adding these key ski and snowboard functional conditioning components to your workouts:
(1) Interval cardio training exercise aka High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
(2) Lower body base strength exercises
(3) Core exercises: abs and back
(4) Stretching and yoga flexibility exercises
and lastly an optional..
5th component: five minutes of mindfulness meditation for grounding 😉
Implementing the above ski/ride conditioning workout will:
✔ Get you in top shape to ski and snowboard
✔ Develop muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance to enjoy a full day of skiing and riding
✔ Develop strong and toned muscles to prevent common ski and snowboarding injuries
*Remember to consult your doctor before engaging in any strenuous exercise program.
Are you in shape to last the entire day of skiing / riding? Ever felt out of breathe while skiing and riding? Have you had to stop only 1/5 of the way down the mountain because your leg muscles were exhausted? For sports specific conditioning, it’s best to perform functional exercises that mimics the movements you’ll perform skiing/riding.
It’s easy to gauge your fitness by doing a set of the exercises below and assess how you performed.
For lower body, the following ski conditioning exercises is from a Backcountry article:
Aptly named “Leg Blaster” – a complex of bodyweight leg exercises for dryland ski training. “Eccentric training causes more muscle damage than concentric training. More muscle damage = more muscle soreness the next day. Basically, it’s not the hike up the mountain that will make you sore tomorrow, it’s the hike back down.
The best thing about Leg Blasters is, no equipment is needed. We deploy two versions of the Leg Blaster workout: the “Full” and the “Mini.”
Mini Leg Blaster
10x Air Squats
5x In-Place Lunges (5x each leg, 10x total)
5x Jumping Lunges (5x each leg, 10x total)
5x Jump Squats
Full Leg Blaster
20x Air Squats
10x In-Place Lunges (10x each leg, 20x total)
10x Jumping Lunges (10x each leg, 20x total)
10x Jump Squats
Work up to 5x Full Leg Blasters, with 30 seconds rest between each effort for your dry land ski training. Be careful. Leg Blasters train eccentric leg strength and can make you terribly sore, so don’t start at the end.
Instead, perform Leg Blasters 3x/week, with at least a day’s rest between training sessions, for the 4 weeks before the season starts. This means 12 total training sessions.
Here’s the progression:
10x Mini Leg Blasters, 30 seconds rest between efforts
2x Full Leg Blasters, then 6x Mini Leg Blasters, 30 seconds rest between efforts
3x Full Leg Blasters, 4x Mini Leg Blasters, 30 seconds between efforts
4x Full Leg Blasters, 2x Mini Leg Blasters, 30 seconds rest between efforts
5x Full Leg Blasters, 30 seconds rest between efforts
Here’s how to perform these exercises: watch the video below
Only have three weeks to train? Don’t jump ahead. Start at the beginning of this progression and get as far as you can before the ski hill opens. This isn’t a gentle progression. It’s going to make you sore.
Train hard, and earn your early-season turns!” – “Preseason Ski Conditioning; Train Eccentric Leg Strength“.
Interval Cardio Exercise aka High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) YouTube Videos
+ 20 minute High Intensity Interval Training Workout For Beginners Home Workout No Equipment Required
+ SKI Fitness and Conditioning HIIT FAT BURN Home Workout 45 minute
“HIIT stands for High-intensity interval training and describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest.
During this 45-minute ski fitness and fat burning workout, we will be alternating between 30 seconds of activity followed by 30 seconds of rest.
Get ready to condition those legs for skiing/riding, build your fitness and burn fat fast!
Science has shown that HIIT style interval training produces 4 times more gains in fitness performance than traditional steady state endurance cardio training.
The scientists say HIIT workouts are not only better at improving fitness but also better at burning fat and building lean muscle than traditional steady state endurance cardio training. So you will burn fat and build muscle at the same time during this workout while conditioning for skiing!
You’re not only going to be burning more calories during the workout you will also burn more after the workout due to something called ‘the after-burn effect’.
The after burn effect is simply the calories you burn after exercise. The more intense the exercise, the greater the after burn effect. HIIT does a great job of shocking the body’s natural repair systems into overdrive which burns more fat, more calories and builds more lean body muscle than traditional steady state endurance cardio training.
This workout doesn’t require use any equipment but you have the option of using an exercise mat, step, and choice of weights.
This HIIT cardio home workout includes loads belly fat burning exercise for women and for men.” – Joe Creek
Full Body Conditioning Exercises for Snowboarders
Fitness Blender created an excellent 28 Minute Snowboard Workout – Conditioning Workout Routine:
“This snowboard workout routine focuses on building base strength and endurance necessary for hitting the slopes hard. Not only is this a great preseason conditioning routine, it also is great for improving strength and endurance throughout the season.
You will want to do this snowboard conditioning workout 2 to 4 times a week. If you have not been training at all during the off season then start with just one set of each of these exercises for the first week, then build up, adding one set each week until you are up to all three.
After that you may want to do two rounds a day if you like to stay on the mountain all day, in order to help build up the extra endurance needed for prolonged physical activity. Though this routine does work to improve cardiovascular activity it is primarily anaerobic, so adding light to moderate cardio will be needed to improve your aerobic cardio endurance, which is also utilized when on the mountain.
You will be going through three sets of ten different exercises in groups of two at a time. The number of repetitions will vary depending on the motion but are generally around 12 to 16.
Each one of these motions directly relates to a specific action while snowboarding to help gain the most functional benefit without wasting time or effort.
Isolation Jump Squats: These are meant to help train your legs to quickly adapt and recover from rapid changes in terrain such as sudden raises or drop-offs or when covering tracked-out areas off of the groomed trails.
Russian Twists: This rotational movement helps build strength in the abdominals, transverse abdominals (obliques), and lower back, which is heavily utilized when in the terrain park but is equally important for basic down hill and back country.
Agility Dots: This exercise is a must-have for almost any sport as it not only builds endurance and coordination throughout the leg but also does wonders for building lateral stability in the knee. This move is best when done with a single leg, but you should always start with both legs if you have never attempted it before.
Tricep Dips: Being able to get up off the ground is just as important as staying up. This motion will help build arm endurance and strength, making it easier for you to get back on your feet.
Single Leg Lateral Hops: These build lateral strength in the knees as well, but develop more lateral power than the agility dots.
Squat Calf Raises: This helps build endurance in those calves and legs to keep you on your toe edge.
Single Leg Ventral Hops: Similar to the lateral hops, this helps build knee support and more strength through the hip than the agility dots.
Squat Toe Raises: This helps build endurance in the shins and legs to keep you on your toe edge as well as improve balance and control.
Jump Turns: These not only help build overall leg strength, body control, and balance, but they will help you power through back country trees or do a quick 180 hop to change your leading leg.
Plank to Side Stars: This exercise is primarily meant for core control but it is also excellent for building balance when your body orientation, inner ear, and visual intake are all changing simultaneously.” – Fitness Blender.
Core Conditioning Exercises for Abs, Obliques and Lower Back
Fitness Blender’s core exercises is a great way to develop core strength:
“This routine can be done any time of day though if done first thing in the morning you may want to take the time to warm your body up a bit extra before you start. Other than that there are no suggested restrictions as long as you have built up your endurance to be able to do it in conjunction with any other physical activity. With these workouts and a healthy diet, you can definitely see drops in body fat and scale weight as a side benefit of getting fit for hitting the slopes.” – Fitness Blender.
Stretching and Yoga Flexibility Exercises
“Stretching is a very important and often overlooked component of training for the winter sports season. Skiing and snowboarding both use a wide range of movements that are sporadic, sudden, and potentially stressful for muscles and ligaments. Make this stretching routine a priority while you are training for the sport, and before and after a day on the mountain, and you will significantly reduce the likelihood of soreness and injury.” – Fitness Blender.
Yoga for Riders | Yoga for Skiers | Yoga for Snowboarders 10-minute pre-ride sequence
* Common question: if the ski season ends up bringing record low snowfall levels for the Lake Tahoe area, which season pass is a best value buy so I can have the option to ski other destinations blessed with fresh powder?
Check out THE MOUNTAIN COLLECTIVE PASS which includes 17 DREAM SKI RESORT DESTINATIONS. TWO DAYS AT EACH with no blackout dates. That’s a total of 34 lift tickets included with the pass. Unlimited 50% off single day lift tickets after the 2 days of lift tickets per resort, plus exclusive lodging deals at each resort destination.
* Join us for upcoming preseason parties/meetups to expand your circle of ski and snowboarding buddies for trips to Tahoe and beyond.
* Had a tough work day? We’d like to end on a fun note; can you dance like this? 😉
Watch MAROON 5 – “Girls Like You” ft Cardi B Dance | Matt Steffanina & Kaycee Rice Dance Choreography YouTube Video