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If you live in Denver then chances are you have heard me talk  or attended one of my classes about ski conditioning and movement specific patterns.  

When getting ready for ski season how we workout can be an important decision that either helps or hurts our skiing ability and endurance.

Here’s why you want to squat differently than everyone else in the gym:

Squat with Ski specificity for specific results

When you squat on regular flat ground, your body shares its load between the front and back foot.  When you are on the mountain with your skis pointed down, your body instinctively wants to lean back and stay vertical.  However, when skiing you must lean into the skis to get best control etc.

Lift it up

By placing a small wedge or lift under the forefoot (it can be as small as a yoga mat or as thick as you can maintain balance with) you effectively stimulate all the muscles that would ‘pull’ your body forward.  The result?  Your body learns to lean forward while going through movement.

If you were to try to lean forward while squatting on a flat surface the results would be… well, let’s just say that if you leaned too far forward it would be potentially counterproductive (as well asquite painful)

Here’s the video of a quick ski spefic workout I put together.  It is for ski conditioning – you will burn some fat and tone some muscle as you do it just as you would if you were to actually go skiing – this is a great way to get a quick workout in while getting yourself in shape for skiing:


Here’s the video that specifically explains why you want to ski with a toe lift as opposed to the conventional (read ‘bodybuilding’) reasoning of having a heel lift when you squat.


Have fun with it!  try different loads and speeds to see what feels like it will suit your individual skiing style and you will be carving it up with the best of them in no time!

See you on the mountain,

Jamie Atlas

PS Ski conditioning clinic happening at Bonza Bodies studio Saturday November 6th – see for details

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