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How to best prepare for your ski trip

Updated: Mar 10, 2021

Physio for injury prevention in skiing

Its that time of year again… the snow is great, you might even be lucky enough to have some new ski boots and quite frankly you have had enough of the dark and drizzle in the UK.

Skiing is quite unique in that is perhaps the only sport from which we go from zero to hero in a week. A few gym sessions in preparation for back-to-back full days on the slopes is often the best we can do. So, it is important to try and get the most from these sessions, to ensure that you are as fit and ready as you can be.

We have selected here a few of our favorite exercises to help you prepare for you ski trip, and make sure these sessions are as efficient and effective as possible.

1. Squat

You cant beat the squat. This triple extension movement involves simultaneous hip, knee and ankle movement- essential for absorbing forces as you cross bumpy sections, jump or simply getting on and off the lifts. You can progress this by adding a decline, some weight, or performing the movement on one leg.

2. Balance and rotation/ arabesque

This is a great exercise for numerous reasons. It involves single leg weight transfer though the foot, as is required when you turn. It also requires the hamstrings to contract as they lengthen (eccentrically), which is important for strength, especially if you do find yourself in a compromising position. By adding trunk rotation and throwing the ball, this exercise challenges your reactions with weight over the foot, as is required in downhill skiing.

3. Hexagon jumps

This involves jumping and landing at speed in multiple directions and requires great timing and coordination. You can perform the exercise clockwise and anticlockwise. Often in our typical gym workouts we neglect these changes of direction needed for skiing.

4. Trunk rotation in high kneeling

Here we challenge upper body rotation independent of movement at the hips and knees. This is good for challenging joint position awareness

5. Glute roles

This is a lovely mobility exercise for the hips as they move through rotation, a movement we typically don’t get the opportunity to explore in our normal day-to-day lives. It involves a nice stretch of the glutes and lower back that can get quite tight skiing.

6. Cross over hops

This is a progression to the hexagon jumps, this time with single leg landing and pushing off. It is useful to measure and compare the distance that you cover on the left and right leg to highlight any difference.

7. Compass lunges trunk facing forward

One of the first things you notice when you watch the pro skiers on the slopes in the ability to keep their upper bodies facing forward as their legs move seemingly effortlessly side to side underneath. Compare this to the novice skiers who move as a single unit. This exercise challenges single leg strength in multiple directions independent of trunk rotation.

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