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How to Get in Shape for Skiing & Snowboarding Vail Mountain

Hopefully, you have been doing something to keep in shape during the summer and fall months, so that when winter hits you’re not starting at ground zero.  Whether that is the case or you need to jump start your work out routines to prepare for ski season, we have some recommendations to prepare you to ski and ride fantastic (long) days on Vail mountain doing what you love!

Ski Training Workouts

Ideally, your workouts should incorporate both strength training and cardio to fully prepare for skiing or snowboarding Vail mountain. If you don’t already have a workout routine, then these workouts may be  challenging at first – try to stick with it and they will get easier.

There are a few key muscle groups to focus on when training for skiing. Toning your leg muscles and core is important, as well as boosting your overall endurance and balance. Thankfully doing fundamental strength and cardio exercises at home or in the gym will translate to better performance on the mountain.

Always to listen to your body and adjust your routine accordingly. And, consult a doctor if this is your first time starting an exercise routine.

Recommended Cardio Routine

Including cardio into your weekly routine is critical for boosting your lung capacity and getting your heart rate up. Some common cardio workouts to get in shape for skiing include running, biking, the stair climber, and the elliptical.  Ideally, these cardio work outs should be done for at least 30 minutes two to three times per week.  Be sure to pick forms of cardio that you enjoy the most and mix it up if you can. Any exercise is going to feel hard at first, so choose things you’re most likely to stick with. Form a plan where you do this cardio routine on the same days at the same time each week and start building a habit. After getting through the first few weeks, you’ll feel accomplished and start to notice the difference in your fitness level.

Recommended Strength Routines

Strength routines should exercises that target all of the main muscle groups used while skiing and snowboarding – your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core. To get the best results, you should do a strength workout two to three times per week. You can mix and match these routines to diversify your workouts each week, or choose just one based on your exercise preferences.  If this is all new to you, we recommend using your bodyweight for each of these exercises. Once you’re comfortable and have built up some muscle, then add dumbbell weights or trying more challenging variations. The best part about these ski exercises is that most of them can be done right at home without any equipment.  If you are unfamiliar with these exercises, be sure to enlist the assistance of a trainer and/or you can easily find instructions online.  Be sure you are performing these correctly to avoid injury.

Lower Body Strength Exercises
Squats, Wall Sits, Step Ups, Lunges, Dead lifts, lateral lunges, hip bridges, drop pop squats, curtsey lunges

Balance & Core Strength Exercises
Plank, flutter kicks, bird dogs, Russian twists, side planks, bicycle crunches

Endurance/Plyometric Exercises
Jump squats, jump lunges, lateral hops


How long does it take to get in shape for skiing?

Ideally, you should kick off your training routine 8 – 12 weeks before you heading out to ski and snowboard. However, even a few weeks of exercise can make a difference if you are consistent and include conditioning that will specifically help your skiing. If you’ve only got a few weeks before your trip, focus on exercises that will help increase your stabilization, such as lunges, planks and lateral hops. Not only will this start to boost your stamina, but it will also help you mentally prepare for being out on the slopes all day.


Most of the exercises outlined hit multiple muscle groups to help increase your overall power and strength. By incorporating a variety of exercises into your routine, you engage your muscles in different ways, which benefits your on-mountain performance.   All the hard work you put into training will pay off when you’re doing laps around your family and friends on the next powder day.

Good luck and we can’t wait to see you shredding it on the slopes of Vail!


*Content courtesy of The Ski Source