Whether you’re a pro athlete trying to maintain peak fitness off-season or just trying to keep yourself active, it can be tricky to find ways to maintain key muscles used in the mountains. Luckily, our friends at GB Snowsport have done the legwork for us – literally. Looking for some workout inspiration, motivation or a few tips to help keep you fit and ready for when we can head for the mountains once again? Look no further.


Why is fitness so important?

Skiing not only requires a good general level of fitness, but it also asks a lot of muscles that you may not use every day. When prepping for your time on the mountains, you should focus on building endurance, strength and flexibility.




Improving your endurance is all about enhancing your cardiovascular fitness, and the best way to do that is to try and get at three aerobic sessions of 20 minutes to 1 hour per week. Aerobic exercise is anything that gets your heart rate going. Cycling is a good substitute for skiing as it gets your heart pumping but also requires a lot of work from your legs, running is great for building up endurance but can take its toll on your knees, especially if you already have any injuries and while swimming is a great aerobic exercise it tends to focus more on your upper body. However, the most important thing is to choose an exercise you enjoy because this will help you stick to your routine. 




Strength is important as you’ll quickly feel the strain in your legs and core if you don’t put the work in beforehand. Keeping your muscles toned and in shape will help reduce fatigue. Squats, lunges and jumps are all exercises that will help boost your strength so you can tear up the powder.




Skiing also requires flexibility, particularly in the hips and lower body, so you should incorporate stretches into your fitness routine. Hip flexors tend to be tight, especially if you spend most of your day sitting down, so try and focus on stretches that loosen up your hips and pelvis, and you’ll reap the benefits on the slopes.


To help you put this into practice, we've got some top training tips from some leading GB Snowsports athletes.

Meet the athletes

Jamie Nicholls – Park and Pipe Snowboard

Charlie Guest – Alpine Ski

Mani Cooper – Combined Nordic 

Leonie Gerken-Schofield – Freestyle Ski

Makayla Gerken-Schofield – Freestyle Ski

Train like a pro

If you’re keen to get training but need some ready-made workouts to get you started, why not give these athlete workouts a try? 



“First thing of the workout is the warm-up, that’s one of the most important things to get your heart really pumping.”


Warm up ideas:


• Bike or turbo trainer

• Skipping

• Step jumps

“After getting your heart really working you feel ready for the workout. The second most important thing is mobilisation and making sure you have been stretching all the muscles before and after your workout.”


Mani’s favourite stretches: 


• Ankle rotations

• Standing wall calf stretch

• Standing quad stretch

• Standing knee to chest stretch

• Downward-facing dog hamstring stretch

• Standing figure-four stretch

• Pigeon pose

• Bent over thoracic extension and rotation

• Front-to-back leg swings

• Side-to-side leg swings

• Standing knee circles

• Standing single knee circles

• Hip circles

• Standing single hip circles

• Standing torso twists

• Standing wide leg forward bend

Mani's Expert Tip:


“After I’ve got my heart really pumping and I feel really ready, I start on my workout. I do the workout exercises for three minutes. If that’s too hard, reduce them, start off with one minute then week-by-week just keep upping the time."


“Another important thing for the workout is make sure you’ve got something to drink. Quite a helpful thing is a bit of music for a bit of motivation .”

Mani’s go-to workout exercises:


• Sit ups

• Side to sides

• Planks

• Hip thrusters

• Lunges

• 1-leg lift

• Double leg lift

• Wall sit

• The cutter

• The hip twist 

Follow Mani's workout:




You can do this workout with things you can normally find in a house or garden. Charlie uses:


• A wheelie bin

• Some milk or juice bottles filled with water and placed in a heavy-duty shopping bag

• A chair

• An exercise mat (or a towel)

• A medicine ball (you could use any heavy object here, like a full milk bottle)

• A Swiss ball (this is not essential)




• Squat press

• Weighted rear-foot elevated split squat

• Weighted single leg deadlift

• Weighted jump squat

• Weighted step up knee raise

• Single leg glute bridge on Swiss ball (if you don’t have a Swiss ball you can do a single leg glute bridge)

• Supine alternating arm and leg extension (with or without a Swiss ball)

• Flutter kicks

Follow Charlie's workout:

Further inspiration

Exercise and training is all about finding a system that works for you. If the above training routines haven't motivated you, why take a look at these fun and alternative workout ideas from Jamie, Leonie and Makayla. Re-create Jamie’s parkour-style garden obstacle course or take inspiration from Leonie and Makayla’s ultimate workout compilation. 






Let us know you agree to cookies

We use marketing, analytical and functional cookies as well as similar technologies to give you the best experience. Third parties, including social media platforms, often place tracking cookies on our site to show you personalised adverts outside of our website.


We store your cookie preferences for two years and you can edit your preferences via ‘manage cookies’ or through the cookie policy at the bottom of every page. For more information, please see our cookie policy.