Are you Fit to Ski?

The ski season has been here since November, have you been on the slopes yet?  What about the rainy days – are you making the best of these days in order to stay Fit to Ski? You could consider medicine ball training for an awesome core strength and stability workout.

The following is an exert from an article published in the Winter edition of ProView magazine, written by our very own, Carl Petersen, and put out by the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance.


For skiers the medicine ball can be a very useful and enjoyable piece of training equipment. It is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used in athletic preparation and ski specific drills and exercises. At City Sports & Physiotherapy clinic we use medicine balls to bridge the gap from treatment to training to on hill performance doing rehabilitation of upper core and arms and lower core and legs. It gives skiers the ability to perform multi-core and multi-planar exercises from slow to higher speeds and is a great tool to augment training. Medicine balls provide the athletes and therapists a low-cost and portable training tool available in a wide range of weights and sizes. Europeans have an expression that “one who uses the medicine ball does not need medicine!”


Medicine balls have a variety of uses in preparing skiers and developing general fitness for people of all ages and abilities and can be used in challenging ways to accomplish this. It is important to consider the age and stage of development of the athletes involved when selecting the size and weight of the medicine balls – ideally they should range from 1lb (1/2 kg) to 12 lb (5kg).


Exercise Rules

  • Always warm up first
  • Start slow and progress gradually
  • When doing squats don’t allow your knees to go past your toes (this increases pressure to the under surface of the knee cap)
  • Focus on proper technique (ask a knowledgeable fitness or health professional if you are unsure)
  • When bending and rotating remember to use as many joints as possible.
  • Perform exercises in a controlled manner.
  • Start doing 1-2 sets of 10-15 repetitions and as strength and stability improves increase to 2-3 sets of 15-20 repetitions.


Choose a medicine ball that is appropriate for you. A medicine ball weighing 2-3 kilos (4-7 lbs.) is appropriate for most adults. Adolescents should be supervised and use a volleyball or basketball before progressing to a medicine ball.


Here are a couple good exercises to try – check out the whole article for a variety of others.

Split squat with arm raise

Split squat with arm raise

Training Tips:

-Stand tall in a split squat position with one foot on a ½ foam roll or other unstable base

-Hold a medicine ball in your hands

-Switch on your core muscles

-Do a split squat keeping knee aligned over toes as you raise the medicine ball overhead

-Return to start position


Step up with rotation

Training Tips:

-Start standing behind a step stool or stair

-Switch on your core muscles

-Do a front step up and drive knee up to waist height while rotating your torso by taking the medicine ball from hip height to above shoulders

-Return to start position


Variety is one key to success in setting up a good ski training program. Try changing the exercises each few weeks to stop from becoming bored with the routine. 

This selection of exercises using a medicine ball will promote the development of proper knee alignment, improve balance and work on the core stability and deceleration strength needed throughout all the phases of a powerful ski turn.

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