I hope this question doesn't feel like a get-rich-quick scheme for fitness.

I am struggling to get/stay fit for skiing. (Leisure).

I have not been able to find any coaches which focus on fitness for skiing (rather than general fitness or skiing technique). So I am thinking about buying a whole load of books on various aspects, but obviously, physical fitness is an incredibly large topic which spans many professions, so I am wondering if teaching myself what I need to know is feasible.

In short, I want to know what exercises a professional skier would embark on in a comprehensive regime. I have not found any books on this particular subject unfortunately. While I could get books on general aspects such as:

  • Joint mobility
  • Stretches
  • Stamina
  • Strength

It would be an awful lot of learning and reading. Especially if I want to know which of the above exercises would/wouldn't help with skiing, to avoid spending time working out on unnecessary exercises.

Can anyone recommend a learning path that cuts to the chase?


  • Have you checked ski websites? If you're really interested in skiing, you should be able to glean these information from ski websites. Commented May 20, 2014 at 16:48
  • Cross country or downhill skiing?
    – FredrikD
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 17:57
  • The book "Total skiing" might help you out; it has an approach that targets the kind of exercises that will help you. Commented May 26, 2014 at 4:55

2 Answers 2


Here's a good summary of muscles involved in skiing (in my experience, it is based on importance):

  • Quadriceps.
  • Hamstrings and Glutes.
  • Inner and Outer Thighs.
  • Calves.
  • Abs and Back.
  • Arms.

If you would like to get/stay fit for skiing you should target these muscles.

Based on personal experience, the following exercises prepare me the best for the skiing season and build the aforementioned muscles:

  1. Cycling, roller-blading - fun, similar to skiing experience. Also perfect exercises for improving joint mobility and stamina. If you do some uphill cycling, you could also work on your muscle strength.
  2. Squats, deadlifts - I'm personally following Starting Strength program. Very good exercises for developing your legs and your body overall.
  3. Abs - any abs exercise will do.
  4. Pull-ups, bench presses - for developing your arms.
  5. Jogging - just to stay fit and develop your stamina.

From get-rich-quick perspective, I picked up skiing very quickly thanks to two exercises: roller-blading and squats.

Few more useful links: Building up your skiing muscles and The Best Stretches And Exercices For Skiing And Snowboarding.

  • Good lists - I would add stair-climbing - actual stairs and not just a stair-climbing machine.
    – john3103
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 18:18
  • Your answer recommended Starting Strength, which is what I was going to reply with. 99.99% of people looking for sport specific fitness should start with comprehensive well rounded strength training.
    – Eric
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 2:00

I ski in Austria and Italy with quite a bit of off piste / black run fun. I generally keep pretty fit, but in the 6 to 8 weeks before I go skiing I shift a couple of my workouts to favour squats, dead lifts and box jumps (with ankle weights when possible).

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