6 Essential Moves to Get In Shape

Trying to stay fit in the off-season? Learn the moves that Hannah Teter and Hannah Kearney do to prepare for snow.

by Peggy Shinn

In Killington, iSport works with some of the top skiers, riders and NFL athletes in the world to help make them stronger. The beauty of the iSport training program is that once you learn to do the movements correctly, you can do many of them in a home gym with some simple resistance bands. Here are five movements that will strengthen the muscles you use skiing or riding. Doing these for five weeks pre-season will not only make you ski better (and reduce that early-season burn), but will also help prevent injuries.

Courtesy Peggy Shinn
Bent knee sidestep with miniband

1) Bent Knee Side Step with a Mini Band Skiers and other athletes use this movement to strengthen their hips (gluteals) and quadriceps. To do this correctly, you should push down through your feet with each step. This will fire the quads, glutes and hamstrings and increase stability. Keep your toes pointed forward. Use arm action, as if you are walking sideways, to coordinate the move. Do two side steps to the right, then two to the left and repeat three times. Do 1-2 sets.

Courtesy Peggy Shinn
Single Leg Multi Touch

2) Single Leg, Multi-Touch
We often have one leg or side that’s weaker and when you ski or ride, you can favor that side. A better approach is to strengthen your legs individually. This movement will help you develop balance and strengthen each of your legs. The key is to stand on one leg, with your other stretched back behind you, and then simultaneously flex at the ankle, knee and hip as you lower your body and touch the floor with your hand. Use your quads, hamstrings, and glutes throughout the movement. One rep involves dipping three times and touching the floor in three places: on the left side, in front and then the right side. Do 4 reps for each leg, 2-4 sets.

Courtesy Peggy Shinn
Bulgarian Split Squat

3) Bulgarian Split Squat
This movement can also help overcome any favored side and can be used to strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteals. Squat on one leg, with the other leg resting on a bench. Performing the exercise on a single leg increases stability by firing your quads, hamstrings and glutes. Do 6-12 reps for each leg and 2-4 sets.

4) Side Lunge
This movement is used to strengthen the glutes, hamstrings and the quadriceps. It also trains your body to handle lateral movements, like the quick turns you might make in trees. Step directly to the side, step on your mid-foot, then quickly transfer weight to your heel as you lunge. Do 8-12 reps each leg, 2-4 sets.

Courtesy Peggy Shinn
Side lunge

5) Resistance Cord Side Rotations This movement uses a ski specific position to develop strength in the legs, abdomen, back and shoulders while connecting the lower and upper halves of the body.

Courtesy Peggy Shinn
Resistance Cord Side Rotations

Stand sideways to the cord. Take a “ski stance.” Push into the ground with your feet, anchoring your legs as you pull the cord across your body. Return to the start position with control. Do 5-12 reps per side, and 2-4 sets.


Courtesy Peggy Shinn
Side plank

6) Side Plank
This movement strengthens your abdominals and gluteals, while also strengthening the muscles in your shoulders. Rest your body weight on your elbow and the side of your foot. Keep your side up and your body in a straight line. Hold for 20-90 seconds each side. Do 2-4 sets.


A private iSport session costs $125, with discounts for multiple sessions. Contact Tyler White at twhite@rrmc.org.

Lisa Lynn

Editor of VT SKI + RIDE and Vermont Sports.

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