The Best Exercises for Dryland Training for Skiing

Hey, WILDR folks!

Some call it winter, but we call it ski season.

If you want to be ready to make the most of the powder this year then this dryland training for skiing series is for you. We’re going to focus on our top six exercises for stability for skiing that you can use on the slopes. These exercises come from two areas. The first one is going to be injury prevention so that we don’t have an early ending to our time on the slopes. And the second is from the enjoyment or making sure you enjoy your time on the slopes the most: the performance side of training. 

Exercise #1: Wall Lean with Leg Lift

The first exercise is the wall lean with leg lift. Set yourself up a foot and a half to two feet from a wall. The taller you are, the farther you’re going to have to be from that wall.

See this Exercise in Action

Continue to lean into that wall by pressing your elbow and forearm against the wall. You’re going to shift your hips towards the wall and put your weight into your outside foot. Getting into a stacked ski-like position. 

From there, I want you to lift your bottom leg up towards your hips, the slight lean in your torso. The way that you’re leaning into the wall should mean you have to tighten your core to make that leg come off the ground. That is the focus of this exercise, making sure we develop a strong torso that we can use on the slopes. 

Exercise #2: Squat Into Seated Internal Rotation

A second exercise I recommend for building stability for skiing is a classic squat into a seated internal rotation. 

First, set up with a very wide stance. You want to feel a little bit of a stretch through your groin. This stance width is going to be different depending on who you are. 

See this Exercise in Action

From that position, you’re going to move one hipbone as close as you can to the heel on the same side. Try to do this without your heel coming off the ground and without your knee diving in towards the middle. Make sure your torso should be tall as well. 

Move as close as you can to the ground. As soon as you are seated on the ground, move your bent knee to the ground, come back up, and stand. 

If you can’t quite get to the floor, then bring the movement to a box or step or low surface so that you are unweighted when you do the internal rotation. 

You do not want to load the leg while you’re going into internal rotation. Instead, you want to move strong and stable all the way to the bottom of the movement. Bring that knee in. If that is good for you, you can then work on coming out of that movement exactly the opposite way you went into it. 

Exercise #3: Jump to Lateral Pause

The third exercise is a jump to lateral pause. Starting on two feet, jump up onto a raised surface and pause as soon as you land with a strong and stable stance. 

You can start with a low surface for this one so that you’re moving with confidence. As that confidence grows, you can raise the height of the surface.

See this Exercise in Action

Exercise #4: Anti-Rotational Walking Lunges

Our fourth stability exercise for skiing is anti-rotational walking lunges. If you have a partner around, you can do this one with a partner. If you don’t, you can mimic it with a band against something sturdy. 

See this Exercise in Action

Set up so that you have some tension pulling you away from your walking lunge from a straight direction. You are going to feel that core working to keep you going in the right direction as you step forward into that lunge.

Exercise #5: Squat to Top Hold

The next exercise is a squat to top hold. You want to start in a low squat position then you’re going to drive up onto your tippy toes and pause at the top. 

This particular exercise, along with the next one is designed to lower the risk of an ACL injury. This is one of the main injuries you see on the ski hill. 

See this Exercise in Action

With this exercise, you’re building up your calf strength and stability which is going to help you on those slopes. If you’re new to squatting, you could start at a 45-degree angle at the knee joint. But if you feel very strong and stable through the entire range of motion, you can start in your bottom squat position. 

You’re then going to drive with dedication, strength, and commitment through both your heels and toes at the first part of the movement. Then continue to press into your toes as if you’re going to jump. But as you come right up onto your tippy toes, you are going to stop that movement and pause.

Exercise #6: Drop Landings

Our final exercise for stability on the slopes is Drop Landings. 

* Caution when you’re doing this exercise. You should only jump off of items that you can comfortably jump onto. So don’t try this off the top of your house if you can’t jump onto the top of your house easily. *

See this Exercise in Action

Start with a box that you feel comfortable jumping onto. You are going to jump off of that box, starting with two feet and landing on one.

To start off, you can have your hands in front of you and as you get more confident with this exercise, hands can be on your waist. 

When you land on your one foot, you are going to pay special attention to how your knee is tracking. We want that knee to stay over the outside toes. 

If this movement pattern is difficult for you, you may benefit from having a friend cue you. They can do this by holding a band around that knee until you get used to the movement. You can also film this one, and that feedback can be hugely helpful in learning.

Putting It All Together in Your Dryland Training for skiing

When putting these ski stability movements into your program, you want to complete 10 or more reps which should take you about 30 to 60 seconds.

You want to rest an equal or smaller amount of time than the time it took you to do the exercise. 

We are focusing on strength and endurance in these muscles because they need to serve us for the entire day skiing and not just for a minute at a time. 

Stability can be worked on throughout the season in addition to pre-season. Some of these exercises work as a phenomenal warm-up before you go out on the slopes. Incorporate these movements into your training and get ready for the best season you have ever had! 

If you’re wanting to jump-start your ski routine and get ready for ski season, get started with our WILDR Ski Ready 8 Week Dumbbell Program.

As always, have a WILDR day on the slopes!

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