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5 Ways to Ski Faster

Andre Charland / flickr

While you may have to contend with the usual obstacles—trees, turns, wayward children—that doesn’t mean that you can’t open things up. Here’s how to increase your speed when you hit an open stretch:

1. Flex your ankles.

Press your shins against the tongues of your boots. You’ll be in desired athletic position to pressure and engage the front of your skis down the fall line. Keep your arms out in front of you at chest height to further maintain your speed and balance, says Bill Reichelt, head ski coach at University of Vermont.

2. Point with your chest.

Keep your upper body facing downhill rather than over-rotating to follow your ski tips. And keep your eyes down the course to check for problems or changes in the terrain, so nothing becomes a sudden movement. Think of it like avoiding a car accident—look at where you want to go, not at where you are going, Reichelt says.

3. Try interval training.

Instead of traditional cardio in the gym, try intervals or Energy System Development. Here’s a quick routine, courtesy of Marc Digesti, performance specialist at Core Performance Center in Santa Monica, California. Do a 25-minute session on any cardio machine or outside, alternating between 40-70 seconds of heavy resistance (e.g. high incline), high intensity work (go fast and hard) and 2-3 minutes of an easy pace. The structure simulates what you’re doing on the hill and the exercise will build the leg power and endurance necessary for a fast run, Digesti says.

4. Do more split squats.

You’ll strengthen your quadriceps and glutes, while the split stance will help you improve stability throughout your hips and torso. This will help you stay controlled and tight in a tuck, says Digesti. Watch this instructional video. 

5. Take a hike.

It’s good for any type of skiing. Going up a mountain builds cardiovascular strength and engages your thighs and glutes (butt muscles). Coming down mimics what’s needed on a run—balance, agility and the need to continually scan for what’s approaching, Reichelt says.

About The Author

Steve Calechman – Steve Calechman is a contributing writer for CorePerformance.com. He has published articles for Men's Health, Natural Health, The Robb Report and Women's Health magazine.

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Tags: Speed, Outdoor Recreation, Glutes, Skiing, Hamstrings