Core Exercises for Skiing

Watch any World Cup race and you’ll see athletes employing incredible core strength as they hurtle downhill. Let’s look at exercises to strengthen your core musculature.

Many of you have likely done sit-ups and crunches at some point. Fifteen years ago, I was that guy doing sit-ups on a decline bench while holding a 25- or 35-pound plate. New research has shown that sit-ups stress the lumbar vertebrae at a level near National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [NIOSH] safety limit.

core exercises for skiing

Shirley Sahrmann notes that crunches train the rectus abdominis and internal obliques, but not the external obliques. Even a twisting crunch — say bicycles or Russian twists — don’t adequately train external obliques.

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Upper Body Workout for Skiing

In addition to leg strength, you need upper body strength to get down the mountain. Developing your upper half will help you master your turns, dodge trees and other skiers, and reduce the risk of injuries — shoulders, back, arms — that result from falling. This piece goes through a simple upper body workout for skiing.

A wise man once said: “You’ll look a whole lot better coming down the slopes if your arms aren’t flailing and your skis aren’t controlling you.”

And for cross-country skiers, upper body strength is calculated to be half of what gets you up a hill.

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Leg Strength Training for Skiing

In my last article, I discussed movement prep and getting your body ready for a workout. This post will cover leg strength training exercises for skiing.

As always these articles are based on the expectation that you’re in good physical shape and that if you’ve been inactive, you’ve discussed ramping up with your physician. If you have orthopedic challenges — like an ACL tear or a joint replacement, or chronic issues like hypertension — consult your physician before hitting the gym.

Start conservatively and progress incrementally. You’re far better off performing quality movement with just your body weight or light weights. Struggling with too much weight can compromise your form and increase risk of injury.

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