5 Moves a Pro Skier Swears By for Strength, Endurance, and a Super-Strong Core

If you've ever spent time on the slopes, you know that skiing is a killer workout. (Hey, you're basically in a squat for the entire ride down the mountain.) When Well+Good catches up with Lexi DuPont, a big mountain shredder who's been wearing ski boots since she was two years old, she's just wrapped up pre-season fitness training trip to Hawaii where she readied her body to take on all the challenges this seasons's powder has to offer. So if you're wondering what strength training you need to crush this year's ski season, you're in luck: DuPont told us the five exercises she always prioritizes pre-ski.

"This off-season, in particular, I went really hard [on strength training] because I got the wildcard for the Freeride World Tour. My partner lives in Kauai, so we went out there and trained at Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reese's garage. So we were on their program, but there are also some moves that I use throughout the season," says DuPont.

When I ask her what muscle groups she spends the most time working on, she tells me that while exercising the quads and hamstring is super important, glutes have been her number one priority in recent years. "What we're really learning with skiing is a lot of knee injuries come from weak glutes muscles. So it's important to really strengthen the posterior chain—from our glutes to our hamstrings to our quads," she says.

Experts In This Article
  • Lexi DuPont, Lexi DuPont is a professional big mountain skier and pilot.

Below, DuPont runs you through the top five strength training moves you need to feel stable, safe, and strong as you take on the slopes. So what are you waiting for? That fresh powder won't last forever.

The top 5 moves strength training for skiing moves you need to crush the slopes

DuPont recommends mixing and matching these exercises into three-minute intervals with rest in between. So, for example, maybe one interval is one minute of alternating fire hydrants, one minute of jumping lunges, and one minute of wall sits with one minute of rest. Then, the next interval could be two minutes of air squats followed by one minute of bicycles and then rest. Be creative with it! 

1. Fire hydrants

Talk about a glutes workout! Unroll your yoga mat or find a soft surface. If you have a resistance band, grab that, too, and place it right over your knees. Start on your hands and knees. Without moving your left hip, keep your right knee at a 90-degree angle and bring it parallel to your torso. Bring it back down to the ground while keeping your core engaged the entire time. Repeat, again and again, doing your best to keep your body completely still beside your right leg. Repeat on the opposite side.

2. Jumping lunges

To challenge your quads, hamstrings, and glutes at once, try jumping lunges. Start in a lunging position with your right foot forward and your left foot back. (Your right knee should be directly over your right ankle.) When you're at the bottom of the lunge, explode up into a jump and switch your legs so that your left leg is forward and your right foot is back. Repeat again and again. If you're looking for a low-impact version of this move, simply stand in place and alternate lunging one foot behind you, then the other.

3. Air squats

Start in a squatting position with your feet slightly wider than your knees. Keep your torso as upright as possible and engage your belly to protect your back. When you reach the bottom of your squat, explode off the tops of your toes into a jump. Then, come right back down into squat. Keep going like that. For a lower impact version, simply squat in place and skip the jump.

Here's how to do a jump squat the right way:

4. Wall sits

Find a blank wall and sit down so that your back is flat against it and your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Engage your glutes and hold this position for the entire interval.

5. Bicycle

Don't forget your abs! Sit on the floor and lift your feet to hover just off the ground. Clasp your hands behind your head and engage your core to bring your right elbow to your left knee, then your left elbow to your right knee. Keep alternating, doing your best to let your abdominal muscles control the movement.

Here's how to do a bicycle crunch the right way:

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