What can take your ski vacation from fun to really fun? Not being too sore after your first day on the slopes.
A little pre-season fitness work can go a long way towards making your ski season more enjoyable (bonus: added motivation to start exercising if you’re not already!). Get started with the following program for 3-5 weeks before moving on to Month 2.
Ski Season Fitness: Month 1
Day One: Leg Strength Day and Cardio
“Pick your favorite five to six exercises and give about one minute between sets to build endurance.”
Quads and Glutes
- Classic Squats: Three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions (reps). Determine what your single repetition (rep) maximum is and try to complete the 12 to 15 reps at 50 to 60 percent of that number.
- 666 Squats (Hell Squats): Do six sets of six reps taking six seconds to perform the squat. Rest one second at the bottom, then take six seconds to lift back to the upright position. Go LIGHT on weights.
- Leg Press: Three sets of 12 to 15 reps. Alternate between seated leg presses and standing leg presses on different days.
- Lunges: Three sets of 12 to 15 reps holding dumbbells. Make sure to use weight you can handle to complete a full set of reps.
- Kettle Bell Sumo Squats: Four sets of 10 to 16 reps.
- Calf Raises: Three sets 10 to 12 reps using HEAVY weights.
- Wall Sit: Keep your back flat against the wall, make sure your quads are parallel to floor, your knees are at a 90-degree angle, and you arms are folded across your chest. Start with one minute and build up to three minutes.
- Box Jumps: Three sets of 12 to 15 reps. The box should be slightly taller than the top of your knee caps. Jump up using both feet and land on the ground on two feet.
- Cardio: At a steady pace, do 20 minutes on the stair climber.
Day Two: Upper Body with Functional Cardio Pace Core Focus
- Four sets of 50 mountain climbers progressing into maximum number of pushups to failure, which is doing as many as you can.
- Four sets of 10 to 15 reps of burpee pushups with a vertical jump.
- Four sets of 16 to 20 reps super setting (going back to back) high lat pulls to low pully rows.
- Four sets of 25 to 50 reps of core holds (sitting with your legs off the ground and slightly leaned back) and shoulder pressing light weights using dumbbells or a medicine ball.
- Three sets of 10 to 15 reps per leg of leg side raises. Balance on one leg while doing a side raise with the other.
- Four sets of 100 boxing shadow punches while holding 5 to 10 pound dumbbells. Use your core in the twisting motion while throwing punches.
- Three sets of 20 reps of V-ups.
- Three sets of 100 bicycle crunches.
Day Three: Interval Cardio Day
- Treadmill: 20 minutes of walking or jogging on an incline
- Bike or Elliptical: 20 minutes
- Rowing Machine: 20 minutes
- Jumping Rope: 5 minutes
Day Four: Ski Specific Exercises for Endurance Day
- Four sets of 50 to 100 reps of body weight squats on a flipped over Bosu ball.
- Four sets of one minute of 90-degree wall sits.
- Four sets of 20 side slide lunges per leg, with disk.
- Four sets of 20 box jumps.
- Four sets of one and a half minute planks.
- Four sets of one minute burnouts of a 90 degree squat on elliptical. Use the stationary handles while going in the forward motion on the elliptical, extend your arms all the way back while holding on, lower yourself to a 90-degree angle while still rotating your legs forward.
- Three sets of body-weight lunges to failure.
Day 5: Full-Body Day–Circuit Style
Perform each of these exercises once for 45 seconds, getting as many repetitions as possible with a 20 second rest between each exercise. Then repeat the circuit 3 to 5 times or for 60 to 75 minutes depending on your level of fitness.
- Jump squats
- Jumping jacks
- Squats with dumbbell presses
- Step-ups with dumbbell curls
- Medicine ball twists
- Lat pulls
- Bench dips
- Jumping or walking lunges
- Side raise and then front raises with dumbbells
- Mountain climber
- Swiss ball crunches
- Spin cycle sprint
- Squats with mid row from pulley system
- 90-degree squat hold
Day 6: Core and Durational Cardio
- Three sets of 50 reps of wood chop twists.
- Three sets of burnout Swiss ball crunches going to failure.
- Three sets of burnout leg lifts to failure.
- Three sets of 20 side bends with dumbbell.
- 45 to 60 minutes of jogging, power-incline walking, elliptical, rowing machine, bike, swimming, or stair climbing.