Skiing is a mixture of resistance and endurance training, with positive effects on circulation and the heart. All varieties of downhill and cross-country skiing offer cardio-metabolic benefits which include improved insulin resistance, glucose metabolism, and drops in blood lipids, blood pressure, and heart rate. There also seems to be a reinvigoration of cell health and blood vessels with skiing. One cannot simply spring from a largely sedentary couch life, or even from spin classes, yoga, or running, and then ski without injury, however. Preparation is necessary, and strength training will make ski vacations more enjoyable.

Glutes and Core
Every part of the skiing process involves core strength. Try bridges and planks before advancing into rotational components involved in the movements. In skiing, the core is subjected to plenty of rotational forces, so there lies the area that should be strengthened. Rotational core exercises can include movements that are as simple as holding the ski pole up with both hands over the head, followed by twisting in the hips while holding the feet in place. Another option is a snow angel on the floor with the arms and legs held a couple of inches from the floor.

For legs, the quads should not receive all the attention. Hamstring strength is necessary lest the knee be yanked out of its proper alignment. 32% of all injuries in skiing involve the knee. Other leg muscles to work on are the gluteus medius and the gluteus maximus. The latter is more commonly known as the butt. The former is located on the hip’s outside and is often overlooked despite its importance for skiers. It serves to turn the knee out and hold it in place.

Work up Heart Rate and Impact Exercises
As an interval sport, skiing requires the heart rate to be raised for short intervals of time. The exercise used is not important so long as the would-be skier elevates it. Impact exercises also need working up. Jumping helps the agility to develop, but a skier can suffer injuries when unused to the impact of the exercise. First, develop a base strength level. Then start with front to back and side to side jumps with both legs, and work up to one-legged.