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Ski Workouts for Busy People

Fitness tips for the overwhelmed skier from Olympic medalist and World Cup moguls champ Shannon Bahrke.

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It’s that time of year where skiers everywhere start making excuses to miss their pre-season workouts. Don’t be that person. World Cup mogul champion, Olympic Medalist, and fitness guru Shannon Bahrke offers some tips and tricks to squeeze workouts into your busy schedule, so when the lifts start spinning, you’ll be in proper form to make the days last longer.

SKI: The stats are everywhere—people today are the busiest they’ve ever been. How do you fit a consistent workout into most people’s train wreck of a daily schedule?

Shannon Bahrke: I totally get it. Everybody’s busy and they’re trying to get in the 10-minute workout, and I wish that it worked that way but it doesn’t. If you have to stick to a shorter workout, you gotta hit it hard and you really have to put all of your energy into it. I like to do Tabata style, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. It’s a great way to get strong—those high intensity workouts give you the biggest bang for your buck.

AIM Adventure U fitness for skiers promo photo
This girl put in the time and goes bell-to-bell everyday. No more excuses, time for you to keep up.

SKI: Any advice on when to work out?

SB: Getting up in the morning and making it a priority before your busy day even starts is really the best way to do it. I’m not a morning person, so I like to workout in the evenings, but a lot of people are too tired then, so I just advise getting up and getting it done, before kids and emails and work start distracting you. For most people, once you miss your morning window, it’s really hard to find the time later in the day. And you’ll feel, and work, better if you get it done in the morning!

Shannon Bahrke headshot ski fitness course
Shannon has medals to prove her ski fitness skills. She knows how to get you into podium-shape too.Courtesy of AIM Adventure U

SKI: How about what we’ll call an anti-workout skier, who loves to ski but hates to work out? Can skiing be your workout?

SB: That’s a bad way to go about it. Too many people do that and they open themselves up to getting injured. I want to see everybody really happy out there having great vacations instead of being sore and getting injured because they’re in lousy shape. Nine out of ten times, your vacation will be fine, but to have an unbelievable vacation, you gotta put in some time and effort to get your money’s worth out of the hill.

SKI: What are your favorite short workouts?

SB: I like to change it up! Maybe 5 minutes of warming up and then hitting your upper body and then your core, maybe some cardio or weights in between and finishing it with a cool-down. But whenever I write a program I make sure it includes legs, arms, buns, core, and back exercises for stability, and then cardio. I like to put all of those into a workout because those are our muscle groups, and we need to hit them at least once or twice a week if we don’t want to get sore.

For more on how to get into the best ski shape of your life and crush the mountain, check out SKI’s Ultimate Fitness Workout. In this 8-week online course, fitness guru and Olympic skier Shannon Bahrke, yoga instructor and freestyle competitor Ashley Battersby, and U.S. Ski Team nutritionist and dietician Allen Tran will teach you everything you need to know to get into—and stay in—ski shape. Whether your goal is to improve your cardio or muscle endurance, be more flexible, prevent injuries, or learn how to make easy, nutritious meals, this course has you covered. We value your time, so we’ve created each class to be completed in less than an hour. And you can take the course anywhere you have an internet or cellular connection—whether that’s at a park, in your backyard or living room, or even at your favorite gym. So join us here to make this the best ski season ever!