Ski Fit: How to Prep for the Slopes

Need help preparing for your next ski trip? Like any big event, you need the right training to maximise your time on the slopes and remain injury-free. Here are Nike trainer Alex Hipwell’s five ways to get ski-ready, as told to Sophie from

1. Build your leg strength

A week of snow-ploughing down slopes can take a toll on the legs. Alex recommends focusing on three key movements:

© Julia Nitzschke

© Julia Nitzschke

  • Squats: this classic leg strengthener is the fastest way to build quad muscles, and is used in most HIIT classes. Stronger quads will mean more stability when bending and straightening the knee during skiing. Try doing three sets of fifteen air squats. For an extra cardio burn make them jumping squats, but make sure not to let your knees roll inwards.

  • Banded crab walks: the glutes are often one of the weaker leg muscles as a result of desk jobs, meaning the quads and hamstrings can override them. Strong glutes are essential for hip stability to avoid injuries on the slopes. Place a resistance band just above the knees, bend into a squat position and walk ten steps to the right and then ten to the left. Repeat this a further two times.

  • Isolated wall holds: this will really fire up the legs and increase isometric strength (when your muscle length and joint angle stay the same in the exercise). Try holding it for three sets of one minute.

2. Hone your core

Strong core stability is essential to keeping you balanced on the slopes. The fastest way to do this is through planks in every form!

© Julia Nitzschke

© Julia Nitzschke

  • Plank holds: come on to the hands or on the elbows and hold a plank position. Start with thirty seconds and build up to three sets of one minute. Keep your shoulders over wrists and make sure not to let your hips drop.

  • Plank walks: start in a plank on the elbows and push up onto the hands, aiming for ten each side.

  • Side plank rotations: build your obliques and side core muscles to help you with turning left and right down the slope. Again aim for ten each side, repeating two to three times.

3. Work on cardio fitness

Research has shown that skiing has positive effects (and demands) on the heart, so before your trip think about upping your cardio exercise. Spinning is a great way to raise and lower the heart-rate without putting strain on your knees, so try getting to a spin class twice a week.

4. StretcH

Practising yoga and stretching after every workout will keep muscles supple and strong, and will lessen the chances of injury on the slopes. Fit in a few stretches during your trip and you’re much more likely to wake-up feeling ready-to-go rather than sore.

5. Get a deep tissue massage

It’s worth investing in a deep tissue massage just before you go away - and even during your trip. This will help to release tension, promote recovery, boost circulation and get rid of any lactic acid build-up in the muscles. Practising self-care is always a good thing!

Article written by Sophie from