Winter is here and if you're planning to hit the slopes this ski season, getting started on this bodyweight series can save your back, knees, and shoulders—maybe even your neck.
Do this short workout three times a week to build the strength, power, and stamina you'll need to stay healthy and safe on the slopes all day long. Use it to supplement your regular strength-training routine, and you'll be skiing with grace and control like never before!
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Line-Drill Foot Work
This exercise helps develop speed and agility, preparing your body to make quick shifts in direction. Start with your feet about hip-width apart and your weight on the balls of your feet. Staying low to the ground, hop your feet forward and backward over an imaginary line, then do the same from side to side for the full 20 seconds.
Plank Hydrant Rotation
These rotations are about stability and core strength. Starting in a plank position, drive your right knee toward your right elbow and lift your right leg laterally. Keeping the shape, rotate out to the fire hydrant position, then back under your trunk. Repeat for the full 20 seconds and feel the burn.
Reverse Diagonal Skaters
Develop your balance and single-leg power and stability with this move. Starting with your weight centered on your left leg, jump backward, turning over your right shoulder to the 9 o'clock position and landing on your right leg. Now, jump forward, back to the starting position, and land on your left leg. Repeat for the full 20 seconds.
This exercise will build your midline flexibility and help you adjust to maintain position. Start in a seated position, with your legs bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Put your arms directly under your shoulders with your fingers externally rotated to face away from your feet. This is the starting position.
Now, reach your right arm up and above your head and parallel to the floor as you simultaneously extend your hips into a three-point bridge. Keep your hips fully open and your glutes fully flexed. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Continue for 20 seconds to give all the muscles along the front of your body a major stretch, while flexing your hamstrings, glutes, and back.
Low Squat Hop to Tuck Jump
Improve your power and reaction time with this exercise combo. Start in a 90-degree squat with your weight on the balls of your feet. Staying low, hop both feet just off the ground for 3 reps, then explode up into a tuck jump. Control the decent so you land on both feet in the low squat position. Repeat for the full 20 seconds.
It'll Be Cold, So Warm Up!
Even though you hit the slopes to have fun and earn that beer in the bar afterward, skiing is still very physically demanding. As such, you need to prepare your body for the activity. Before you get too many ski clothes on—and definitely before you put on your boots—do a few sets of jumping jacks and bodyweight squats. If there are stairs at the lodge, take a few trips up and down them, moving both forward, laterally, and backward to wake up your balance and coordination.
Also perform dynamic stretches such as high knee hugs, toy soldiers, tiptoe and heel walks, and ankle rolls. And a few push-ups to side planks will prepare your core and upper body for any unexpected falls. Finally, be sure to stay hydrated between runs. That's what chair lift rides are for.
This entire workout will challenge you—big time—but stick to it and you'll see the benefits with each turn you carve and every run you crush!