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Injury Prevention: Preseason Ski Conditioning Tips

Preconditioning your body for balance, flexibility, agility, strength, endurance and power will enhance your enjoyment — and help prevent injury — on the slopes. We encourage you to work with a professional to design a program that's right for you and your current fitness level and goals. Below are a few tips to keep in mind.

Without conditioning, skiers tend to:

  • Tire quickly
  • Get sore more easily
  • Increases risk of injury

Include all the elements of a good fitness program:

  • Strength — your muscles to a lot of work to get you down the slopes and protect your joints along the way.
  • Flexibility — loose muscles are less likely to get injured, and more likely to give you a smooth ride.
  • Power — include exercises that build your ability to burst like you do when you need to turn quickly.  
  • Bilateral comparison — are you strong on both sides?                          
  • Fun! — if you enjoy your workouts you're more likely to do 'em! Fat tire biking, trail running, walking the dog, playing tag or basketball...they all count!

Keep ALL your muscles in mind.

Skiing involves more than your quads. Your preseason conditioning should, too, so strength all your major muscle groups: back, hip, core, shoulder, leg, knee and ankle.

Exercise core values.

Strengthening core muscles is the core of success on the slopes. Consider...

  • Planks
  • Crunches
  • V-sits
  • Reverse Curls
  • Flutter Kicks

Get a leg up on the season.

Doing exercises that improve leg strength before the season starts will help make it a great one.

  • Burpees
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Calf Raises
  • Russian Hamstring
  • Glute Bridge

Be an armchair athlete.

Your arms and shoulders need attention, too. Tricep dips, using chair arms or from a bench, are a great ski conditioning drill for the upper body.


Stretch like the animal you are. 

It's no wonder your dog and cat (and all animals) stretch so much. Stretching before and after your workout (and your ski) will help you:

  • Improve joint range of motion.
  • Increase blood flow.
  • Decrease risk of injury.
  • Feel good!
...It's always a good idea to warm up a bit (walking, jogging, moving a little) before deep stretching so you don't tear muscles.


What's in your workout?

Here are a few more ideas; be sure to consult with a professional before incorporating new elements into your fitness routine.

  • Lateral lunges
  • Jump rope
  • Adding weights
  • Wall sits
  • Forward jumps
  • Lateral jumps
  • Scissor kicks
  • Push Ups
  • Tricep One-arm push ups
  • Holding Air

Drink water - the magic potion for motion.

What skiers need to know about drinking water:

  • Helps you keep warm.
  • Lubricates your joints.
  • Transports nutrients (= energy!)
  • Helps keep muscles from cramping.
  • Helps prevent injuries due to fatigue.
  • Cold suppresses thirst — so keep drinking if you’re not thirsty.

Most ski & snowboarding injuries happen at the end of the day.

Listen when your body tells you to get off the hill. Tired muscles can lead to trouble.

When ski conditions worsen, injuries rise.

When trail conditions are poor, injuries happen. If things are deteriorating on the slope, best to get off and go enjoy some hot chocolate.