powder skiing in Japan

What’s the best way to train for ski season? 

16 November 2023

Training for ski season is easy, right?  Do a bunch of squats, lunges, wall sits, and you’ll be good to go? Right?  Ummm, not quite.  The best way to train for ski season is to start with your foundation.

Skiing is a full body sport. And many traditional ski training programs make the mistake (in my opinion) of primarily focusing on legs, dabbling in a little upper body and core, and you are good to go.  Then your first, second and third day on the hill are spent unsteady, and VERY sore.  Don’t get me wrong, the legs are definitely important but from my experience strong legs only work if they are connected to a strong core or as I think of it, foundation.  

Building a strong foundation helps you absorb the bumps of icy terrain, helps you stay upright  as someone gently knocks into you, helps you push yourself along a painfully long cat track and best of all, keeps your knees healthy and happy to smash pow day after day. 

What does building your foundation for ski season look like?

It starts with small, slow, controlled movements, which is a little frustrating to someone who is used to throwing around heavy weights and calling it a day.  

What kind of small movements help me feel strong for ski season?

My favourite way to start building your foundation to train for ski season is with are pelvic tilts and bridges. Pelvic tilts are not glamorous, but they do allow you to take away most of the distractions and focus on moving your pelvis in a controlled way, and connecting that movement to your breathing.   Bridging is a great way to check in with your spine, see if you have sticky spots that need a little extra love. A great way to give some extra love is, articulate the spine slowly, with control so you can move through any kinks or tightness and use your breath to help facilitate movement.  Bridges are also a great way to give the hips the opportunity to stabilize in the lifted position. Add in some single leg movement and you get to engage the glutes and challenge the pelvis stability even more.  Boom, happy hips and spine.

Why are the pelvis and spine important?

I think of the pelvis as the keystone of the body, the spine, arms, head, etc move above it. And the legs move below it.  If the pelvis is off or stuck, things up and down the chain can get out of whack, causing imbalances and injury.  With that in mind, the spine is the center of the body, and we want to it to curl, bend and extend with ease so everything from the spine out moves as efficient at possible.  


One of the other essential components in building your foundation for a great ski season by focusing on your breathing.  Now this may sound a little strange but I think our breathing is one of the most under utilized tool in our movement tool box. Our breath is something we always have with us, and it can be used as a tool to help us facilitate movement as we play in the mountains, or life in general.  Breathing can control so many things.  The neurological system, and our response to stressful moments; the engagement of the muscle system through the torso; and of course getting oxygen to the muscles when your pushing yourself.

What’s a good way to keep my knees healthy?

Do you know knee injury is one of the most common injuries for skier’s? Its true (link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6299353/), especially for women.  Many are under the assumption that strong legs translate into strong knees, unfortunately that is not always the case.  Strong legs are great, but knee stability correlates with hip and glute strength. One of my favourite ways to build stability and movement in the hips is from the quadruped position.  The support of the hands and knees on the floor is great because it allows you to focus on what is happening through the hips, glutes, pelvis and spine as you move. The combo below is a great way to build your foundation while training for ski season.

Here’s movement video from my daily snack section – core & hips

Like the idea of feeling strong, stable and confident on the slopes this year???? Want to up your game this year and avoid injury??? Check out the best way to train for ski season with my favorite foundation moves here


Adventures, Form, Movement

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