Ask The Trainer: Ski Season Prep

Believe it or not, ski season is right around the corner. Anyone who hits the slopes knows that the first couple runs can be painful if you’re not prepared.

Whether you cross-country or downhill ski or snowboard, it’s all about the legs. Fitness trainer Doug Quinlivan at Ascent Fitness said, “Our goal is to get it to where on that first couple of runs, you feel like you’re already in mid-season.”

That means some serious thigh work, starting with an isometric hold.  “We’re going to start off with a 30 second wall sit, then we’re going to come out of the wall sit and go right into squat hops.”

Jumping as high as you can, landing softly with bent knees for a plyometric move that Doug said you’ll definitely feel. Do 15 of those, then go back to the wall sit.

Next, a move that will really get you ready for the slopes. “This is a great way to build up some good lateral explosiveness and it’s great for the butt.”

Doug said jump as high and as far as you can in skater motion, crossing a leg behind you as you bend the standing leg. If you want to take it up a notch, jump over something like a foam roller.

Next, grab a BOSU. “So this is a great ski simulator,” he said. Start with 30 seconds, standing on the BOSU with bent knees shift your weight from one side to the other.

“You’ve got a whole lot happening here. You’ve got balance, you’ve got stability, you’ve got leg strength,” Doug said.

Flip the BOSU over for another great leg toner.  “We’re going to do mogul hops over the top of the BOSU.” Stay in the squat positon while you hop over, again starting with 30 seconds and building your way up.

Finally, add in some walking lunges.

“Lunges are great for anybody, but especially great for telemark skiers because essentially telemark skiers are lunging all the way down the mountain.”

You can increase the difficulty by adding dumbbells.

Doug said the benefit to prepping before you ski will also help safeguard your knees.  “Usually if you strengthen the quads, then it takes a lot of strain off that.”

If you have any fitness questions for Doug, email