Skiers and Snowboarders, Do These Exercises Before You Hit the Slopes


Snow is here and the masses are heading to Tahoe! To make the most of your lift ticket, we asked three San Francisco trainers the best exercises to prep for the slopes.

Avid skiers Stephanie Dale from Pilates ProWorks and Vanessa Ouellette and Brian Tschida from Barry's Bootcamp shared their best routines to get strong for this season. We combined their sage advice for the ultimate skier's circuit. Check out the below moves to improve your time on the powder and help justify those après ski drinks!

Goblet Squat

Stand with your feet approximately shoulder width apart while holding a dumbbell at chest height with palms up. (You can use a dumbbell or a kettle bell or another weight source depending on what you have available.)

Put 60% of the weight into your heels. Sit down into an imaginary chair while keeping your knees tracking over your shoelaces, chest up, and core engaged.

Once reaching 90 degrees exhale and stand back up squeezing your glutes. Make sure to keep back flat, chest open, and core tight.

Reverse Lunge & Power Knee Drive

Focusing on one leg at a time, plant your front foot, driving through the heel, and step back with the other foot in a reverse lunge. Keep your chest open, shoulders back, and core engaged.

Lunge down until each knee reaches a 90 degree bend. Drive off the front heel, using your arms to propel you upward, as you bring the back knee up toward your chest.

Land in a reverse lunge, same as you started.

Weighted Single Leg Step Up

You can use a bench, chair, box, or any equipment as long as it's something stable and approximately knee height. You can also use kettle bells, barbell, body bar, or any other weights available.

Start by placing dumbbells in each hand. Make sure to engage your core and keep your shoulders back and chest open. Place one foot on top of the riser making sure that your heel is firmly on top. Drive through the foot on the riser as you exhale and stand up on the bench. Bring the opposite knee up to chest using your core and return to the floor.

KEEP one foot on the bench the entire time completing all reps on one leg before moving on to the other

Resistance Band Step Backs

Step into the resistance band keeping it around your ankles/lower calf. Start with feet hip width apart, weight in the heels, chest up and open.

Driving through the glute, step back at a diagonal angle with your right foot (think 5 o'clock) and keep weight in the heels. Your left foot moves to meet the right. Step back with the left heel driving through the glute (think 7 o'clock) keeping weight into your left heel.

Each right step is one repetition, take eight steps back with the right then return completing another eight.

TRX Front Squat With Hop

With straps lengthened in “low" mode, face away from your anchor point. Put TRX straps under your arms, completely bent and lean forward as you walk feet back. Lift heels off the floor and split feet into a squat-distance position.

Bend your knees, sending your butt back in a squat on your toes, and propel yourself forward, landing in another squat two or three feet from where you started. Immediately hop back to your start position. Focuses on recruiting quadriceps and glutes- the same muscles that support you as you're skiing.


Stand on your left leg in a single leg squat with your right foot behind you off the floor, using the momentum of your right leg, jump to your right and land in a single leg squat on your right, repeat immediately to the left, then the right for 15 reps.

Strengthens IT band, utilizes the muscle groups responsible (glues, hamstrings and quads) for maintaining your ski position.

Lateral Hurdles

Set up 8-10 low hurdles. Facing side, lift the leg closest to the hurdle to hip height, then hop over handing on that leg with the opposite bent at hip height. Repeat without stopping in between. This agility and reactive drill teaches stable foot placement and appropriate shock absorption landing on a slightly bent leg.

Lateral Band Walks

Place a resistance band above your knees, and walk sideways in a squat, controlling the direction of your knees, keeping them in the same direction as your toes.

Strengthens IT band, utilizes the muscle groups responsible (glues, hamstrings and quads) for maintaining your ski position.

FitFormer Skater

Standing on the front platform in a squat, press one leg out on the carriage, controlling the momentum in a smooth fashion. Strengthens IT band, utilizes the muscle groups responsible (glues, hamstrings and quads) for maintaining your ski position.

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