Best Exercises for Skiing: Train Like a Nordic Pro

Best Exercises for Skiing: Train Like a Nordic Pro

It may still be summer, but around the corner, the ski season will arrive. Whether you are pursuing alpine or cross-country skiing, it’s, therefore, a good time to start thinking about pre-season fitness.  To maximize both performance and enjoyment on the snow, it is essential to incorporate specific exercises into your fitness routine

The best exercises for skiing ensure you're well-prepared to carve the slopes with power, control, and endurance. Preparing your body with targeted workouts not only enhances your skiing abilities but also reduces the risk of injury during the season. In this blog, we'll shed light on the key muscles to focus on, introduce you to the Nordic Trainer, and suggest essential exercises to gear you up for your skiing adventure.

Why it's Essential to Get in Shape for Skiing

Getting into ski shape isn't just about improving performance on the slopes; it's also a matter of safety. Skiing is a sport that demands strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance. A well-conditioned body is less prone to injuries and fatigue, ensuring you can enjoy longer ski sessions and recover faster between runs. By incorporating skiing exercises into your fitness routine, you'll glide down the slopes with confidence and finesse.

Preparation and Warm-Up

When preparing for skiing, it is essential to engage in an effective warm-up regimen. This section will discuss the importance of dynamic stretching and cardio exercises in getting ski-ready.

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching should be incorporated into a skier's warm-up routine to improve flexibility and mobility. Some beneficial dynamic stretches include:

  • Leg swings: Stand next to a wall or tree for support, and swing one leg back and forth 10-15 times, then switch to the other leg.
  • Walking lunges: Take a step forward with the right foot, dipping the left knee towards the ground, then alternate legs for 10-15 reps per side.
  • Arm circles: Extend arms out to the sides, and make 10-15 small circles in each direction.

Regular practice of these exercises can help reduce the risk of injury while skiing.

The Key Muscles in Skiing: What Should You Focus On?

A successful skiing session is a full-body workout, but some muscles bear the brunt of the effort. Here are the key muscle groups you should focus on while performing skiing exercises:

  • Quadriceps: These are your primary downhill muscles that control your ability to flex and extend your knees during skiing.
  • Hamstrings and Glutes: They work in unison with your quadriceps to support your joints and control your skiing movements.
  • Core: Your abs and back muscles are crucial for balance and stability.
  • Hip muscles: Your hips control your skis, so keeping them strong is important.
  • Arms and Shoulders: They’re used for poling and stability.

Nordic Trainer: Your Skiing Fitness Companion

If you're searching for a machine that helps you simulate skiing movements and works all the essential skiing muscles, look no further than the Nordic Trainer. It's a unique piece of fitness equipment that offers a full-body workout by mimicking the cross-country skiing motion. It targets your legs, core, and upper body, giving you a resistance and cardiovascular workout that mirrors the demands of skiing. 

Best Exercises for Skiing: Squats, Lunges, and Double Poling

Squats: The Quad Burner

Squats are one of the most effective exercises for skiing. They work your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, helping you build strength and endurance for those long descents.

Here are three ways to do squats on the Nordic Trainer, each targeting different muscle groups for activation:

  1. Deep Double Poling Squat: Stand at the front of the machine and grab both poles. Instead of just hinging back, lower yourself into a deep squat, utilizing your core to push the poles backward. This exercise particularly activates the muscles on the front side of your body.
  2. Squat to Pull: Position yourself at the back of the machine, facing the front. Perform a regular squat and as you drive your hips forward and rise from the squat, pull the poles back. You can adjust the resistance to increase the difficulty of the squat.
  3. Squat to Bicep Curl: Stand at the back of the machine, facing the back. Initiate a squat, engage your glutes and core, and rise to a standing position, allowing the poles to move into a bicep curl motion. This exercise activates the entire backside of your body.

By incorporating these different squat variations on the Nordic Trainer, you can target various muscle groups and enhance your overall workout experience.

Lunges: Boosting Power and Balance

Another excellent exercise for skiing is the lunge. Lunges work the same muscles as squats but with an added emphasis on balance and coordination, which are key for maneuvering the slopes.

When doing lunges on the Nordic Trainer, you have the option to face the front of the machine or stand in the opposite direction. Each position offers various alternatives, with the primary distinction lying in the muscles utilized for the front and back.

During lunges facing the front of the machine, you can focus on engaging the muscles at the front of your body, including the quadriceps and lower abdominal muscles. This position allows for various lunge variations that emphasize the front muscle groups, providing an effective workout for the legs and core.

On the other hand, lunges in the opposite direction engage the muscles at the back of your body, such as the glutes and hamstrings. This position also offers a range of alternatives to target the back muscle groups, leading to improved strength and stability in the posterior chain.

By alternating between the two positions and exploring the different lunge variations, you can ensure a well-rounded workout that targets both the front and back muscle groups, contributing to a balanced and comprehensive training session on the Nordic Trainer.

Double Poling: Core Activation and Endurance Training

Double poling is a Nordic skiing technique that is fantastic for building core and upper body strength. It’s also a fantastic way to improve your cardiovascular fitness and endurance. You can practice double poling on the Nordic Trainer for a full-body endurance workout that's tailored to the demands of skiing.

How to perform double poling on the Nordic Trainer:

  1. Setup: Stand on a stable surface with the Nordic Trainer. Hold the handles firmly with both hands.
  2. Start: Push the poles forward and slightly lean your upper body forward.
  3. Action: Simultaneously pull the poles back, engaging your arms, core, hips, and legs.
  4. Repeat: Maintain a steady and rhythmic motion throughout the exercise.
  5. Breathing: Exhale as you push forward, inhale as you pull back.
  6. Duration: Perform for a set time or repetitions, taking short breaks between sets.

Double poling on the Nordic Trainer is an effective full-body workout, ideal for cross-country skiing training or overall strength and cardio exercise.

Harness the Power of Nordic Strong App for Home Workouts

To help you get the most out of your Nordic Trainer workouts, we recommend downloading the Nordic Strong App. This application offers an extensive range of workout programs designed specifically for the Nordic Trainer. Train from the comfort of your home while preparing for your next skiing adventure. 

The Takeaway: Be Prepared, Be Strong

In conclusion, prepping your body for skiing is not just beneficial—it's essential. Focus on the key muscles used in skiing and incorporate exercises for skiing like squats, lunges, and double poling into your routine. The Nordic Trainer and Nordic Strong App are excellent resources to get you in top shape for the slopes. So why wait? Embrace these exercises and get ready for a stronger, safer, and more enjoyable skiing experience. Ski you on the slopes!