Can CrossFit Make You a Better Skier?

Brent Thomas | | BrainsBrains
CrossFit has been around since 2001. Credit:

Skiing and snowboarding are strenuous activities. Your physical fitness needs to be dialed in to get the most enjoyment from them. Any form of exercise will be beneficial, but we will specifically look at CrossFit here.

What is CrossFit?

If you are not in the know, CrossFit is a highly varied fitness regimen. It focuses on functional movements performed at high intensity. Some of the elements include interval training, aerobic exercise, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, calisthenics (bodyweight exercises), and powerlifting.

CrossFit strives to develop fitness in ten components of physical fitness: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. Some of the foundational exercises include squats, deadlifts, burpees, push-ups, pull-ups, box jumps, and many more.

How fit do you need to be for skiing?

The answer to this question that typically comes to mind is strong legs, but skiing is so much more than that. Just doing some squats and lunges isn’t going to cut it. Both upper and lower body strength is important, as well as having a strong core. You need to have balance, agility, flexibility, endurance, and explosive power.

You have to be fit to perform your best. Credit:

Your body also needs to be ready to handle many different situations. Snow conditions change constantly. On any given day you could be skiing groomers, powder, ice, crud, glades, steeps, and moguls. You might even be hiking to get fresh powder. The terrain can change from steep to mellow and you never know when an unexpected obstacle will come up. In short, you need to be ready for anything.

Does CrossFit prepare you for the slopes?

After reading the above, it should come as no surprise that CrossFit may be a perfect way to train for skiing and snowboarding.

The foundational exercises cover many of the elements that make a good rider. Strength, balance, agility, and endurance are all needed for skiing and they all fall into CrossFit’s components of physical fitness.

CrossFit prepares you well for skiing. Credit: Pexels

It’s not just good for skiing. CrossFit develops a strong base of general physical preparedness to prepare you to take on any sport or any task in life. If you mountain bike, surf, play basketball or participate in any other sport it will help as well. There is also a mental part to it because of how challenging it can be. Your mind tells your body to stop, but if you can push through, it will also develop mental strength.

Is it safe?

As with any physical activity, there is always a risk of injury. CrossFit has come under scrutiny in the past for having unsafe exercises and too high of intensity levels. However, with proper precautions, these can be mitigated or even eliminated.

When performed with good technique, CrossFit is relatively safe. A good coach can help tremendously with this. The workouts can also be scaled to match the participant’s skill and fitness. Scaling is modifying a workout to match your ability level. You can do this by using less weight, doing fewer reps, or modifying a move. For this reason, CrossFit can be done by anyone, whether you are a beginner or advanced.

Proper technique and scaling are important. Credit:

Bottom line

CrossFit will make you an all-around better athlete. It is a great way to get in shape and stay in shape for ski season. Combined with a healthy diet it can be incredibly effective in helping you reach your physical performance and nutrition goals.

You don’t want to be the buddy who ends their ski day early or who isn’t up for a boot pack to get the goods. So, find a box (CrossFit gym), do the WODs (workout of the day), and forge some elite fitness.

boot pack
You never know what a ski day might bring. Be prepared for anything with a functional training program. Credit:

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