Try These 5 Skiing Exercises for Seniors to Mitigate Injury

Properly preparing for a ski trip as a senior can really help you enjoy the experience of skiing. With more confidence and less chance of injury a pre holiday regime is a must, especially as we age and need to be more conscious of injuries and their impacts on our health. Here I have provided 5 potential exercises you can use to reinforce your body for the extreme sport that is skiing.

7 min read
Sean Klein
Written by
Sean Klein
Published on
28/06/23
Last updated
10/03/24

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In This Resource
  • Benefits of Resistance Exercises for Seniors Who Ski
  • Mitigate Injury
  • Improve Balance
  • Improve Recovery
  • How to Use These Resistance Training Exercises
  • Full Body Resistance Training
  • Stand Alone Circuits
  • The Logic Behind These Exercises
  • The 5 Skiing Exercises for Seniors
  • Sample Circuit for Seniors

Properly preparing for a ski trip as a senior can really help you enjoy the experience of skiing. With more confidence and less chance of injury a pre holiday regime is a must, especially as we age and need to be more conscious of injuries and their impacts on our health. Here I have provided 5 potential exercises you can use to reinforce your body for the extreme sport that is skiing.

Benefits of Resistance Exercises for Seniors Who Ski

Mitigate Injury

Injury can never be fully prevented, but through proper training we can mitigate potential issues. As we age, injury mitigation becomes more and more important because the recovery process can get more complex. These exercises and resistance training in general will not only help mitigate injury while skiing but also in day to day life. Resistance training can truly be a life changing intervention, muscle mass decreases as we age so maintaining it and even increasing it can be highly beneficial to a variety of health markers.

Improve Balance

Using exercises that emphasis lower body strength and balance will create adaptation that improve your balance and stability, this is essential before you go on your ski trip as it can prevent you from falling and improve your control on the slopes.

Improve Recovery

Skiing can be a very intense activity, so recovery from one day to the next is an important factor of enjoying your vacation. If you have done a consistent resistance training protocol prior to going away your muscles will be much more prepared to deal with the challenges that skiing posses and therefore you are likely to have a lot less muscle pain during your holiday, making for a more enjoyable experience in general.

How to Use These Resistance Training Exercises

Full Body Resistance Training

Is the practice of doing training sessions with multiple movement patterns within them, this just means that the sessions aims to target multiple parts of the body rather than isolating specific muscle groups. This training style allows us to see progress from 1-2 sessions a week done on a consistent basis, building a strong and resilient body. These exercise specific for skiing can easily be built into full body resistance training programmes. If this is something you’re interested in then consider trying out our application “Programme” for building full body resistance.

Stand Alone Circuits

These exercises can also be done as stand alone circuits to specifically prepare for your skiing trip. If your short on time then adding these 10-15 minute circuits into your schedule can be great way to ensure your success. We have provided a sample circuit you can try out below to prepare for your ski trip.

The Logic Behind These Exercises

These exercises are selected from key movement patterns that will help with skiing. When we think about exercises that will specific help with the demands of skiing we think of balance, hinge, squat and core. These are just a sample of exercises that are within these movement categories that will be suitable for beginner to intermediate seniors. If you would like to find more exercises in a specific movement pattern have a look through our movement library to find exercises that you feel suit your needs better.

Although training for a specific goal is great, and when we think of skiing we predominately think about lower body development, having a strong body in general will be highly beneficial. When you fall and put out your hand to support yourself, but you have high bone density so you don’t break your wrist and your shoulder has been reinforced so it stays it its socket. Yes specificity is important, but do not underestimate the importance of developing the whole body as one unit.

The 5 Skiing Exercises for Seniors

The 90 degree hold to diagonal reach is a great exercise for seniors to use to improve both their balance and stability, which can be an essential part of skiing. This exercise needs to be done with a lot of control. If it is rushed you will be getting no adaptation at all. An important part of this exercise is the knee shifting forward as you try and reach further with the foot, this forced flexion will enable you build strength in the knee as well as stability and balance.

Donkey kicks are a great bodyweight exercise to build strength and muscle in the glutes and lumbar spine for elderly individuals. This exercise will enable you to really isolate a lot of the important muscles in the posterior chain. If you’re already very active and have done resistance training previously then this exercise will likely be too easy, but if your new to resistance training and are looking to prepare for your ski trip this can be a great exercise for you.

The plank is a classic core exercise for a reason, because it is great at developing the anterior core muscles. The importance of the pelvic tilt position when performing this exercise cannot be understated, if the pelvis is in a anterior tilt (belly button towards the floor) then there will be very little to no adaptation in the abdominals, whereas if the pelvis is in the posterior pelvic tilt then the exercise will be very effective and challenging.

The single leg straight leg deadlift with wall support is a great way for seniors to both learn how to hinge and build strength in the hip musculature using the hinge movement pattern. This exercise is challenging for complete beginners who have no concept of hinge technique, single leg hinge variations even with no weight can be very difficult to do correctly. So make sure that you are focusing on your technique here, keeping the hips square and the lower back straight.

The adductor stretch with extension-rotation is a great way to build more movement into the hips through general movement. It is also a great exercise to use prior to going skiing as a general warm up exercise if you’re still from the previous days skiing.

Sample Circuit for Seniors

Complete 3 rounds

1. Banded Pull Ups

Complete 4 repetitions

2. Plank

Hold for 45 seconds

3. Adductor Stretch with Extension-Rotation

Complete 8 repetitions

If you enjoyed this resource you can find more below or try Programme, a fitness app that plans every workout for you – based on your progress, equipment and lifestyle.

This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.

Sean Klein

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Programme is a workout app that plans every workout for you

Programme learns from your past workouts, training experience and available equipment to create your optimal workout plan that adapts to your progress.