Back to Basics

Whip your body back into ski shape with this pre-season full-body workout. No gym membership or equipment required.
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The secret to getting into ski shape? Buckling down and getting started before there's snow on the ground.

The secret to getting into ski shape? Buckling down and getting started before there's snow on the ground. 

There may not be snow on the ground yet, but if you wait until there is to start thinking about getting into ski shape, you’ll be late to the party. Come September, trainer Connie Sciolino is already shifting the focus of the workout sessions she coaches at the Alpine Training Center in Boulder, Colo., from maintaining a basic level of fitness to building full-body strength. Want to hit the ground running once lifts start spinning? Start now, not the week before your first ski trip of the season, advises Sciolino. Begin by building up aerobic fitness with three 30-minute cardio sessions per week, then focus on mobility and strength with this simple yet effective full-body workout. 

On that topic: 5 Fitness Tools for Skiers

The Workout

Directions: Warm up with 5 minutes of cardio of your choice (jog, jump rope, or mix moves like jumping jacks and mountain climbers). Then move right into the following workout.

Exercise 1: Inchworms with Pushup

Perform 3 sets of 5 reps with 30-second rest between sets.

Step 1: Stand with feet hip-width apart, bend at waist and touch palms to the ground.
Step 2: Walk hands forward until body is extended in plank position. 
Step 3: Perform pushup, then raise hips and walk feet forward towards hands. 
Step 4: Stand, repeat.

Exercise 2: Leg Blaster Series

The squat: one of the best leg strengthening moves you can add to your ski fitness routine.

Squats engage and strengthen the glutes, quads, and hamstrings and are one of the best moves you can add to your ski workout routine. 

Perform moves a) through e) back to back to complete 1 round. Perform 3 rounds with 1-minute rest between rounds.

a) 10x Squats: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Keeping back flat and chest forward, bend knees to lower into 90-degree squat; return to standing by driving through heels and squeezing glutes.

b) 10x Alternating Lunges: Take a big step forward with right foot; shift weight into right heel, bend knees to lower until right knee is bent to 90 degrees; step right foot back to left to return to standing. Repeat with left leg forward and continue to alternate.

c) 10x Jumping Lunges: Stand in lunge position with right leg forward. Keeping chest forward, bend knees and jump into the air, switching legs midair to land with left leg forward in lunge position. Continue to alternate legs.

The lunge: this exercise engages core, glutes, hamstrings, and quads, i.e. all the big skiing muscles.

Lunges target the core, glutes, quads, and hamstrings, i.e. all the big skiing muscles. 

d) 5x Jumping Squats: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Keeping black flat and chest forward, bend knees to lower into 90-degree squat, then explode into the air and land softly back in squat position. Repeat without rest between jumps.

e) 1-Minute Plank: Get into forearm plank position with feet shoulder-width apart, elbows directly under shoulders. Engage core, quads, hamstrings, and glutes to keep backside flat and hold for 1 minute. 

Exercise 3: Wall Sit

Hold for 2 minutes. 

Step 1: Stand with back against wall, feet hip-width apart.
Step 2: Bend knees to sink down into 90- degree squat, keeping back flat against wall.
Step 3: Hold for 2 minutes. Work towards adding time with each workout.

About the Instructor

Connie Sciolino, owner and head coach at the Alpine Training Center in Boulder, Colo., is a certified strength and conditioning coach with a master’s degree in exercise science. She specializes in helping everyone from professional mountain guides to recreational skiers build functional fitness to take on the slopes and beyond.

Originally published in the October 2019 print edition of SKI Magazine. Want more fitness inspo and instruction? Read more on SKIMag.com's Fitness channel

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