3 Strength Training Exercises to Prepare for Ski Season

It is that time of year: the winter chill sets in and the mountains don their snow. Although your head and heart might say it’s turn time, your body likely needs more movements to prepare for ski season. Training your muscles from head to toe is essential — it not only enhances your strength but also helps prevent injuries. In order to maximize your season, prioritize a comprehensive muscle training regimen that is fundamental for both performance and longevity.

At Revolution Power Yoga in Avon, I teach classes in both power vinyasa and yoga sculpt. My passion for the outdoors and the synchronization of breath with movement drives me to equip students for the demands of our seasonal sports. With 250 hours of yoga teacher training and my upcoming role as a ski instructor at Beaver Creek, I’m committed to helping individuals be in their bodies and enjoy a balanced lifestyle. Therefore, I have carefully curated a set of three strength training exercises for you to add into your fitness routine. To optimize your workout, it is crucial to begin with a warmup of your preference, whether that is your custom gym regime, a brisk run or a yoga flow. After the warmup, integrate these strength building exercises. I recommend following this order and begin anew three to five times to maintain the integrity of your muscles and avoid burning out. Conclude with a generous cool down that calms your nervous system and refreshes your muscles.

Weighted One Leg Romanian Deadlift with a Shoulder Press

Weighted one leg Romanian deadlift demo

Photos by Chloe Wasserstrom at Revolution Power Yoga


One leg Romanian deadlift promotes balance, core stability and recruits your calves, quads and glutes. Begin with your weights (heavier the better as long you are not straining your neck) at heart center, balance on one foot while your other leg is lifted to 90-degrees. Flex or point your toes of your lifted leg to recruit your calves.

Purposefully engage your standing calf, quad and glute as you use your core to lower your torso, maintaining a straight backline. When your chest is parallel to the ground, extend your levitated leg out behind you and use your glute to lift your heel two inches higher. Use your 360-core to hold this shape for two breaths.

Weighted shoulder press demo

Then, use your next exhalation to press into the ball of your standing leg to lift your elevated leg so your hamstring facing the ground. Once you are there, bring your weights from heart center to a cactus-arm position and extend your weights above your head. This will help keep your torse straight and facing downhill when you turn. With control, bring your hands back to a cactus position and then to heart center.

The key to this exercise is to send your weight to the ball of your standing foot, just how you send your weight to the front your boot when you are on the slopes. Micro-bend your standing knee to avoid hyperextension and knee injuries. Repeat 12-20 times consecutively on each leg.

Ice Skaters with a Dumbbell

Ice skaters with a dumbbell demo

This cardio boost will bring your heart rate up while invigorating your muscles, reminding your body it can do both at the same time on the mountain. Use your hands to press your weight together at your chest. Avoid dumping into your wrists. Use your biceps and shoulders to lift your weight a few inches in front of you, like you use your arms to align your poles downhill.

Begin by distancing your feet shoulder width distance apart. Chose a foot to kickstand and send 98% of your weight to the opposite foot. Stack your knee directly over this stabilizing ankle. Use your core to keep your torso still. Send your bottom back, rather than down, and tuck your tailbone to protect your lumbar spine. Once you feel set, use muscle rather than momentum to send your balanced foot behind your kickstand foot. Your kickstand foot will release to neutral and the foot that just moved will be in a calf raise. Avoid moving your upper body. Continue to reach the crown of your head skyward to lengthen your spine. Bend your knees slightly more than you think you should to facilitate your upper legs. Specifically, your femur will help conduct your turns and weight transfers. Use mind over matter to breathe through the cardio. Repeat 20-25 times on each leg.

Calf Raise with Bicep Curl

Calf raise with bicep curl demo

Everything in the body is connected. That is why it is wildly important to strengthen the muscles above and below your knees. We all know we need as much protection for these impressionable joints as possible. The two previous exercises were upper-leg heavy, with a hint of lower-leg engagement. So, you guessed it, this final suggestion will stimulate and strengthen the muscles below your knee.

Spread your feet hips-width distance apart. Equalize your weight in all three corners of each foot. Tuck your tailbone down and melt your shoulder blades down your spine. Slightly bend your knees and recruit your core. Grip your weights lightly and extend your arms to your sides. When you are ready, exhale as you shift your weight to your toes. Balance here to hold the calf raise, and inhale to a bicep curl. Exhale as you release back to a neutral stance. Inhale here and exhale to echo. This full-body exercise will awaken the muscles needed to protect you from your wipeouts on the slopes. Repeat 25-30 times.