Performance Exercises for Ski Season

Our goal at The Stone Clinic is that all of the athletes we work with become fitter, faster, stronger than they were before. Skiers, in particular, can benefit from the exercises we suggest, as those who ski challenge their joints with both repeated motion and dynamic impacts from the demands of the sport. 

Ski Performance Training Exercises

The exercises included in this program specifically target and strengthen the muscle groups utilized during skiing to both heighten your performance potential and better protect your joints from injury. Performing these exercises three times a week will increase your core and lower body strength, providing more stability, agility, proprioception (balance), and endurance every time you hit the slopes. 

Decline Squat Holds | 3 sets of 20-second hold and 20-second pulse

  • The Muscles It Works - Quadriceps, Glutes.
  • The Purpose - Building quadricep strength and endurance in ski-specific positions.
  • Performance Instructions: 
    • Stand with feet and toes inline, feet hip-width apart. Heels should be elevated. on a stable surface (dumbbell handles, yoga mat).
    • Bend knees and hips to lower yourself towards the ground.
    • Hold this starting position for 20 seconds.
    • Next, perform small range of motion pulses for 20 seconds.
Squat Holds


Side Lunge | 2 sets of 10 reps

  • The Muscles It Works - Quadriceps, Glutes, Hip Adductors, and Hip Abductors. 
  • The Purpose - Increases lower extremity strength in lateral motions to prepare for similar loads while turning skis. 
  • Performance Instructions
    • Stand with toes inline, feet hip-width apart. 
    • Step one foot to the left or right, loading your weight into your heel. Bend at the hip and knee, keeping the knee straight forward. 
    • Return to standing and repeat with the opposite foot. 
Side Lunge


Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats | 2 sets of 15 reps

  • The Muscles It Works - Glutes, Quadriceps, Hamstring. 
  • The Purpose - Single leg strength, balance, and power. 
  • Performance Instructions
    • Start with one foot elevated on a chair behind you. Plant front foot firmly in line with hips and shoulders. 
    • Bend at knee, counting with a slow tempo to five, until thigh is parallel to ground. Push up through your foot at normal pace to return to starting position. 
Elevated Split Squats


Single-Leg Romanian DeadLifts | 2 sets of 12 reps

  • The Muscles It Works - Hamstring, Gluteus Maximus. 
  • The Purpose - Posterior chain strength and stability. 
  • Performance Instructions: 
    • Start with one foot planted on the ground, and the other elevated in a 90/90 position in front of you. 
    • Slowly bend at the hip until your torso is parallel with the ground and the other foot is elevated behind you. 
    • Return to the starting position. Repeat. 
Romanian Deadlifts


Single-Leg Balance | 3 sets of 30 seconds 

  • The Muscles It Works - Gastrocnemius, Soleus. 
  • The Purpose - Ankle, knee, and hip proprioception to assist in overall balance. 
  • Performance Instructions: 
    • Stand on one leg. 
    • Hold this position without using your other foot or hands for balance. 
    • Aim to maintain this position for 30 seconds initially, progressing to 60 seconds as you gain confidence.
    • For safety, please perform this exercise near a stable surface should you lose your balance. 
Single Leg Balance


Skater Hops | 3 sets of 10

  • The Muscles It Works - Quadriceps, Hip Abductors, Gastroc, Soleus, Glutes. 
  • The Purpose - Strength and power development of the lower extremity as well as improving stability and control in lateral motions.
  • Performance Instructions: 
    • Start on one foot in an athletic position. 
    • Hop laterally, landing in a controlled fashion on one leg. 
    • Repeat this motion hopping in the other direction.
    • Focus on controlling the motion and landing softly to optimize the benefit from this exercise. 
Skater Hops Exercises


Planks | 3 sets of 30 seconds

  • The Muscles It Works - Your entire Core! 
  • The Purpose - Core stability and endurance. 
  • Performance Instructions: 
    • Start in a plank position with palms on the ground.
    • Hold for 30 seconds, then rest. 
    • Repeat.
Plank Exercise


Adductor Planks | 2 sets of 1 minute

  • The Muscles It Works - Core, Obliques, Adductors. 
  • The Purpose - Core stability and endurance. 
  • Performance Instructions: 
    • Start in a side plank position, the top knee will be supported on a chair and the bottom elbow on the ground.  
    • Raise hips so the bottom leg raises off the ground, and hips and shoulders are all in line. And hold this position for 30 seconds. 
    • Rest and Repeat for 3 sets.
Adductor Planks


If you are looking for more personal support to meet your fitness goals, be sure to schedule some time with the Stone Clinic Rehab Team. Our trained providers can tailor our SkiFit program to get you pain-free and ready for ski season—as well as help with any of your other personal or sporting goals. Remember: Our mission is to help you become fitter, faster, and stronger than you were before!

Book an Appointment for our SkiFit Program Here

In-person and virtual training sessions available 


For more on how skiers can play for a lifetime and avoid knee pain after skiing, be sure to check out all Dr. Stone's blogs on skiing injury prevention and recovery

Dr. Stone's New Book, Play Forever, is Available Now

Play Forever book by Kevin R. Stone, MD
Dr. Stone's Book, Play Forever, is Available Now
What is Play Forever? Dr. Stone wrote Play Forever to help injured athletes and those with arthritis discover how to stay active for a lifetime.