Ski Fitness Tip #3 – Ball Squats

Get strong and build endurance in preparation for ski season! Try our ski tips video # 3 exercise, ball squats. A good way to avoid knee injuries and pain from skiing!

Hello, I’m Taylor McCabe, physiotherapist here at Body Works Sports Physiotherapy in North Vancouver. This is the 4th video in a series of exercises to get your body ready for ski season. If you’ve been following along then you’re already working on the endurance of your thigh and glute muscles as well as your hip abductors so this week we’re going to put that all together and work on the dynamic wall squat.

  • I’m going to demonstrate this with a ball, but it can just as easily be done without
  • The technique points are going to be very much the same as for the wall sit. so choose your floor surface and your footwear combination to make sure you’re not going to slip.
  • Start with your feet hip width apart and far enough away from you, so that as you lower down you create 90 degree angles at your hips, knees and ankles.
  • Now instead of hanging out here like we did in the wall sit, right away you’re going to drive with your glutes to get your hips back up in the starting position.
  • Make sure that your knees are tracking over your second toes.
  • This is the job of your hip abductors; really focus there if you’re having trouble keeping that alignment.

Repetitions & Progressions

A sample program to start might be 3 sets of 20 repetitions taking 2 minutes to rest in between sets. If you want to up the difficulty, you can increase the number of reps, increase the number of sets or decrease the rest time. You also can experiment with the pace of the exercise, taking lots of time to do the movement especially the downward phase to really challenge your muscles. You also want to practice at a pace that mimics your skiing rhythm.

Now skiing is a two legged activity, but we know that we have most of our weight on one ski at a time as we’re carving. So when you feel like you’ve mastered the two legged wall squat, challenge yourself to do it on one side.

Some of the ways you might do this could be putting one foot further in front, or like we talked about in the wall sit, taking some or all of your other foot off the ground. Now you’re going to have to shift your weight to allow this but it shouldn’t involve any tilt of the trunk or pelvis – try to keep all that level.

And those are our ball squats. Get to work.

See our other ski training exercise videos here.