Getting ready for the slopes

November 10, 2013 

  • Cycling: Hit the trail, or a stationary bike, for a cardio workout that strengthens leg muscles you'll need on the slopes, and do quick intervals to condition for the sudden burst of energy that is skiing.

    Squatting: Squat and walk sideways, placing weight on the inside of your legs, to mimic skiing movements.

    Balance: Stand on your toes, bend one leg back and hold it. Stand on your toes, lean to the left and right and hold it. Try a Pilates class.

    Jumping: Hop from side to side over an object, with knees bent, landing and springing on one foot at a time.

    Stretching: Stretch for 10 minutes before exercising and hitting the slopes. Yoga is great for improving flexibility for skiing.

    Rollerblading or skating: You will use many of the same muscles as skiing, and, more importantly, work on staying upright with your feet strapped into foreign objects. Just remember, pavement is a lot less forgiving than snow.

This column originally ran on Nov. 9, 2009.

For many of us, that winter chill in the air can only mean one thing - ski and snowboard season is right around the corner.

While we eagerly wait for the first snowflake to hit, there is no better time to get ready physically.

Whether you're a novice or an experienced rider, the first day on the mountain can often be a humbling experience, leaving your body sore and exhausted. In our haste for fresh powder, it's easy to forget the vigorous demands a day on the slopes brings. Why not make this the year you prepare for it?

While a traditional strength and cardio conditioning program is important for any sport, a solid ski-conditioning program should focus on improving core strength, power, balance and reactive components as well.

In conjunction with your current fitness routine, add the exercises shown on this page into the mix two to three times a week, and you'll feel more like master of the mountain this season.

Jason Wanlass, the owner of Champion Fitness Training in Meridian, has more than 15 years experience in the fitness industry. Contact him at or

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