Preparing for Safe Skiing

Conditioning for optimal results and fitness.

Before you know it winter will be upon us and, hopefully this year, with an abundance of snow.  So, it's time to turn our attention to getting our bodies in better shape for the coming ski season.  Whether you've let your conditioning slide over the summer months or you're looking to up your game, whole body conditioning is the key to more time on the snow with more enjoyment and little or no downtime from injuries.

Alpine, Telemark, Nordic (Classical and Skate), Snowboarding, Snowshoeing and now, fat tire biking, all require us to use our bodies in different ways.  We all have our favorites, but many of us like to do more than one winter sport.  Whatever your favorites are, building a good foundation of support in the hips and legs and boosting aerobic capacity is essential and can be accomplished by biking the Great Allegheny Passage or hiking and running the ski slopes and trails in the Roaring Run Natural Area.  You can get maps at and

For whole body conditioning, try using Hidden Valley’s newly installed fitness trail.  It has twenty exercise and stretching stations that begin at the HV Homeowners’ South Ridge Center, on South Ridge Drive.  Just shy of two miles, the trail winds its way along the walkway on Hightop Drive, continues onto Highland Drive and then along Gardner Road, finishing just short of Summit Drive. 

It's best to run between stations to boost your heart rate and get the full aerobic benefit.   The first four stations guide you through stretching that targets calfs, hamstrings, side and back lines and quadriceps.  

Stations five through ten focus on strengthening calfs, hip flexors, abs, quads and glutes, arms, chest and back.

Station eleven gives you a breather with a shoulder stretch and then it's on to station twelve for some balance and coordination jumping over raised bars.  Make sure you pick up your knees.

Stations thirteen through sixteen challenge you with body raises and reverse pull-ups on a horizontal bar, incline knee tucks, hamstring stretch, overhead parallel bar hand walk and finish with a balance beam walk. Don't forget to walk backward after you've finished going forward.  The last four stations take you through warm down stretching with a standing arms overhead stretch, hamstring stretch, seated back stretch, side stretch and finally a neck and shoulder stretch.

It's a nicely designed course.  You'll feel good while you're doing it and even better when you've completed it.  If you keep track of your heart rate, overall time and number of repetitions for each station you'll be able to chart your progress.  You may find some stations to be more difficult or that are beyond your ability.  These are the ones you need the most. It's important not to skip them.  With a little creativity you will find ways to modify the exercises to create building blocks that will eventually give you the strength to complete them.  

On the other hand, some of you may go on to find that you can do a greater variety and more challenging exercises at many of the stations.  Feel free to experiment and create and then write about what you've discovered so that we can all benefit.

For more intense training, consider the two linked videos.  The first is by Fitness Blender and is an excellent cardio, strength and agility program.  Borrow from it and build at a pace your body allows.

The second video is Marmot and elite athlete Pip Hunt performing Rob Shaul's LegBlaster routine.  This one is not for the faint of heart but it’s included because of Pip's excellent form.

Good luck and good skiing!

What do you think?

Send us feedback!

Connect With Us

1900 South Ridge Drive, PO Box 4180

Hidden Valley, PA 15502

  • dummy+1 (814) 443 3001

  • dummy+1 (814) 443 3736

  • dummy



Hidden Valley

Humidity: 92%
Wind: E at 18 mph
Mostly cloudy
27°F / 38°F
Partly cloudy
25°F / 30°F
Partly cloudy
25°F / 44°F
32°F / 41°F
38°F / 46°F
31°F / 38°F
Mostly cloudy
29°F / 31°F