Fitness

Plyometric Training for Skiers

Increase strength, power, and endurance for skiing with plyometric training.

Bored of your regular ski workout of lunges and squats? Kick things up a few notches with plyometric versions of these fundamental and effective ski-training moves. Try adding jumping lunges, squat jumps, or box jumps to your routine to not only build strength where skiers need it most— in the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and hip joints—but also to increase endurance and power (the ability to exert force quickly).

“Skiing requires you to make multiple power moves over time,” explains Connie Sciolino, owner and head coach of the Alpine Training Center in Boulder, Colorado. To focus on building power and endurance, Sciolino designs workouts that progress from basic strength moves like the squat and lunge to plyometric moves.

The Workout: Full-Body Plyometric Training

Instructions: Warm up with 5 minutes of cardio of your choice (jog, spin, or mix moves like jumping jacks and mountain climbers). Then move right into the following series. Perform 4 rounds with 1 minute of rest between rounds. 

1. Wall Sit – 60 seconds

Jessi Hackett performs a wall sit at the Alpine Training Center, Boulder, Colo.
A wall sit is a basic strength endurance exercise that works the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core. Photo: Keri Bascetta
  • Stand with back against wall, feet about 2 feet out in front of you, hip-width apart.
  • Bend knees and slide down the wall until knees are bent to 90 degrees; make sure knees are stacked over ankles, not extending over toes.
  • Keep back and head against wall, arms hanging loosely at sides.
  • Hold position for 60 seconds.

2. Alternating Lunges – 10 reps

Strength training move for skiers: alternating lunges

Photo: Keri Bascetta
  • From standing, step one foot forward into lunge position, front leg bent to 90 degrees and back thigh pointing straight down to ground, knee hovering just above the floor. Make sure front knee is stacked over ankle and does not extend over toes; keep chest up and head forward, not looking down.
  • Push off of front leg to move back to starting position.
Strength training move for skiers: alternating lunges
Photo: Keri Bascetta
  • Repeat with other leg lunging forward and continue to alternate for a total of 10 reps.
Strength training move for skiers: alternating lunges
Photo: Keri Bascetta

3. Jumping Lunges – 10 reps

Plyometric move for skiers: jumping lunges
Photo: Keri Bascetta
  • From lunge position, push off of feet to explode straight up into the air.
  • Switch legs mid-air so that you land in lunge position with opposite leg forward.
Plyometric move for skiers: jumping lunges
Photo: Keri Bascetta
Plyometric move for skiers: jumping lunges
Photo: Keri Bascetta
  • Focus on landing softly in lunge, using lunge to absorb power, and ensure front knee is still stacked over ankle.
  • Repeat for 10 reps.

4. Lateral Box Jumps – 10 reps

Jessi Hackett, plyometric training at Alpine Training Center in Boulder, Colo.
Photo: Keri Bascetta
  • Find a plyo box or bench that is about 14 inches to 24 inches off the ground to start.  Stand next to plyo box, feet hip-width apart.
  • Jump laterally onto the box and land in a squat.
Jessi Hackett performs a lateral box jump at the Alpine Training Center in Boulder, Colo.
Photo: Keri Bascetta
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  • Immediately jump off of box and land on the other side, opposite of starting position. That’s 1 rep. Repeat towards other side. Keep feet hip-width apart and focus on using squat to land as softly as possible on box and floor.
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