7 Exercises to Prep for Ski and Snowboarding Season Blog Feature

By: Chris Swindell

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7 Exercises to Prep for Ski and Snowboarding Season

Training for Climbing | Climbing Tips

As Fitness Program Manager of Movement Golden and Englewood, I notice that a lot of our members are more than just avid climbers. You’re trail running, backpacking, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding and more. That’s why we’re creating a fitness training series called Mountain Prep designed to get you ready to crush your other outdoor pursuits.

It may only be October, but winter and, specifically, ski and snowboarding season is just around the corner. It may still be a while before we can get our first turns in, but now is the time to harness your upcoming ski and snowboarding excitement into exercises to get your body prepped for the season. Here’s a series of exercises you can start now so that your first ski day feels more like your 10th.


Squats are the quintessential exercise for skiing and snowboarding. They mimic the stance of skiing and snowboarding, thus using the same major muscles: the glutes and quads.  


Set feet between hip and shoulder width apart, and keep your toes pointed straight forward. Ski-Prep-Exercises-squat

While keeping your heels on the ground, drive your knees forward and sit your hips back. Your weight should be evenly distributed from your heel to the ball of your foot. 

Be sure to keep your chest up and your shoulders back (proper posture is key to performance). Your knees should stay over your second toe throughout the movement. Drive through the heel and squeeze your glutes to stand all the way up.

Squat Variations: 

Squat Pulses: Rather than standing up, the top of your rep will be at the middle of your range of motion.

Squat Jumps: 

Ski-Prep-Exercises-jump-squat (2)

From the bottom of your squat, drive through your heels then toes to propel yourself into the air.


When you land, your feet should be in the same position and location that they took off from. Your landing should be a smooth motion to the bottom of your next squat, rather than coming to a complete stop then dropping into your next squat.


Lunges, like squats, use the same major muscles as skiing and snowboarding. The two main differences between squats and lunges are range of motion and balance.  


Start with your feet hip-width apart, and your toes pointed straight forward.


Take a long step back with one leg, and lower that knee until it is just off the ground. Your lunging knee should be directly below your hip. Your rear heel should be directly above the ball of your foot, not turning in or out.  Keep your hips forward and directly below your shoulders. Your chest should be up and not collapsing at any point in your lunge. Shift your weight into your front leg and step your foot back to the original position. Repeat the motion with the opposite leg.

Lunge Variations: 

Forward Lunges: All of the movement is the same, except you step forward into the lunge rather than backward. When returning to your starting stance, drive off the front leg.

Lunge Jumps: Set up at the bottom of your lunge. Drive off of both feet to jump into the air.  While off the ground, switch your stance to the opposite leg in front. Land with control into the next lunge.

Side lunge: Side lunges are important for building strength and stability for lateral movement. 


Start with your feet hip-width apart, and your toes pointed straight forward.


Step directly to the side with one foot. The trailing leg should stay straight throughout the movement, and the majority of your weight should be on the lunging leg. Sit your hips back and drive the knee of your lunging leg forward. Your chest should be up and not collapsing at any point in your lunge. Drive off the lunging leg and return to your starting position. Repeat the motion with the opposite leg


Here is a short workout you can do to start getting ready for the season. 

Perform 3 sets of the following, completing all exercises before starting back at the top of the list. Note: One rep of lunges requires completing the movement on each side. No cheating!

  • 6 lunges
  • 6 squats
  • 6 forward lunges
  • 6 squat pulses
  • 6 lateral lunges
  • 6 squat jumps
  • 6 lunge jumps

As you find yourself improving, you can decrease the time between exercises. If you can perform all exercises in a set without stopping, start increasing the reps for each exercise. 

If you would like more information on how to perform these exercises or how to better get in shape for the ski/snowboarding season, contact one of your Movement Personal Trainers.

Read this next: Lift Your Way to a Stronger Climb