Every day is leg day for skiers. We know we need strong legs if we want to ski bell to bell all season long. But there are two components of having strong legs: there’s endurance, and then there’s power.
Power refers to your ability to exert force quickly, or explosively. Think any kind of jumping activity or hop turns while skiing. Endurance refers to your ability to exert less force over a sustained amount of time. This type of strength is the foundation of skiing, because skiing requires the the same group of muscles to fire over and over again as we make our turns down the mountain.
“Skiing is a sport of power endurance,” explains Connie Sciolino, owner and head coach of the Alpine Training Center in Boulder, Colo., “because you have to make multiple power moves over time.”
If you want to increase your stamina on the slopes, the first step is to build strength with moves like squats, lunges, leg presses, etc. Then it’s time to incorporate more powerful movements into your workouts. If you have access to a gym, add power cleans, squat cleans, and loaded squat jumps into your workout routine. If you don’t have access to a gym, plyometric training that incorporates bodyweight moves such as squat jumps, box jumps, or jumping lunges get the job done, too.
On that topic: Plyometric training moves for skiers
“Lining up strength and power moves into a single series will give you the power and power endurance needed for skiing,” says Sciolino.
To get started, try Sciolino’s “Legs of Steel” series, which progresses from simple strength moves to more powerful and dynamic exercises to target both muscle strength and endurance.
Watch: “Legs of Steel” Power Endurance Series for Skiers
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