Ski Strength & Conditioning

To maximise your time on the slopes and minimise your chance of injury it is imperative you prepare your body for the rigors of skiing. Skiing places a unique demand on the body, challenging both the muscular and cardiovascular systems. Good ski technique requires power, muscular endurance and core strength along with mobility and proprioception. The forces that are placed on the body are typically not experienced in everyday life so a ski specific structured strength & conditioning plan is vital.

The areas requiring attention can be easily identified:


Increasing the muscles ability to apply force will lift the ceiling on your ski performance and make your body more robust helping you avoid injury. Your ski strength & conditioning program should include concentric, isometric and eccentric strength and control.

Muscle groups: glutes, trunk, upper / lower legs.
Rep ranges: 1-6 reps
Sets: 5-10
Intensity: 75-100%
Tempo: 2-1-4


Muscle power is the body’s ability to produce force quickly. Force production is important as skiing is dynamic and fluid.

Muscle groups to focus on for skiing– glutes , quadriceps, hamstrings, lower leg
Rep ranges: 3-8
Sets: 4-10
Intensity: 40-80%
Tempo: 1-0-2

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Muscular Endurance

Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle group to perform repetitive contractions against a force for an extended period of time.

Muscle groups to focus on for skiing: glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, adductors, lower leg
Rep ranges: 10-15 reps
Sets: 3-4
Intensity: 60-75% 1rm
Tempo: 2-0-4

Core Strength

Think of your core as a box around your spine. Its important you can flex, extend and rotate your trunk with lumbo pelvic control. You also need to be strong isometrically so you can hold your structure whilst experiencing external forces and when performing dynamic movements.

Muscle groups: glutes, obliques, abdominals, back, hip flexors.


Proprioception is the awareness of the position and movement of the body. When improving ski technique its crucial you have awareness your body position and joint angles while preforming movements. The helps you avoid injury and improve the efficiency and function of the muscular skeletal system. Proprioception can be improved by doing asymmetric compound exercises.

Joints: ankle, knee, hip, spine, shoulder


Mobility refers to the joints ability to move through a given range of motion. Requires a large range of motion and control in your ankles and hips. The good news is mobility can be improved significantly in a short period of time with minimal effort. Its vital whever you increase your range of motion that you then gain strength in that range.

Joints: Hips / Ankles
Reps: 3x30s stretch holds
Frequency: 2x daily
Duration: 6 weeks

Cardiovascular fitness

From 3-6 months prior to skiing it would be advisable to do aerobic exercise. This is steady exercise that takes your pulse to a target level, and maintains it there for an absolute minimum of 20 minutes. To work out your target pulse: 220-your age, and take 70% of this. This should be performed ideally 3 times per week. This will help get your body used to regular exercise and is also a good way to shed a few excess pounds.

Get in touch!

Thank you to Douglas Flockhart (Strength & Conditioning expert) for his research and input into the above information on strength conditioning for Skiing for the Warren Smith Ski Academy. If you want further advice or training from Dougie he is available and we can put you in touch with him via WhatsApp or email.

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