Categorized | Workouts & Routines

Why Most Ski Workout Programs Don’t Strengthen Your Legs Or Endurance and Invite Injuries

Whenever you pick a skiing magazine… you are going to see articles written by so called ski fitness “expert” recommending that you do his specific ski workout… and to be honest with you… most of those ski workouts are what I would call bogus. Let’s just define exactly what you SHOULD get out of an excellent and well-designed ski workout — the ability to train your body to get stronger legs and core that can endure long skiing times without feeling fatigue. Without feeling like “jelly legs!” Or much worst, getting injured.

And I don’t know about you… but when I finally show up at the slopes and it is a GREAT powder day… the last thing I want to do is call it quits after 2 to 3 hours. Or even get some nagging injuries that cut our skiing season short.

Now let me tell you what is the problem that I see with the traditional workout routines for skiers… most if not all the recommended skiing exercises are inefficient and quite frankly, have little to do with the actual movement while you ski. And to make things worst… you may be setting yourself up for a potential injury.

For instance, any workouts that involve the use of machines — leg presses, leg extensions and leg curls. Not only those machine exercises are incredibly boring… they are so dangerous that you should run… not walk away from them. In my opinion… using the machine workouts can only set you up for injuries. It won’t help make your legs stronger. And it won’t increase your leg’s endurance on the downhill slopes.

And I say this because the machine workouts have absolutely nothing to do with the actual movements your legs make when skiing. They usually follow unnatural patterns that are not biomechanically correct. Doing so would create excessive stress on your back and possible injuries in the knees. Yikes! Avoid them…

Another ski exercise that is pretty common for skiers is the wall squats. In every skiing fitness program I’ve seen on the Internet or the skiing magazines incorporate wall squats or wall sits in the workouts. Although this exercise is OK… it isn’t the best or optimal for skiers! But much better than those machine exercises by far… As I said before, wall squats are not optimal exercises that improve your legs strength and endurance over the full range of motion that you will be using when downhill or crosscountry skiing. But there are a dozen exercises that I know of that are much, much better than locking your joints over a period of time as an isometric exercises (wall squats).

Another big red flag for the typical ski workouts is they mostly ignore the right joint strength balance. To make it more simple… when you are skiing… you are putting a lot of work on your quads, hamstrings and glutes… and they must all work together. So what you want to do is find some exercises that strengthens the major muscle groups as opposed to individually working out each muscle.

And this is why most ski programs fail to strengthen and protect your legs from injuries!


Finding the right ski workout program is critical to your skiing success and shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought. You want a program that is fun and challenging… one that incorporates effective ski workouts that makes sense… so you can rule the powder on your ski vacation!

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