Whether you’ve visited a ski resort or watched the HomeLight-sponsored US Ski Team at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, you’re probably aware that skiing works a lot of different muscle groups throughout your body.
So, exactly what muscle groups does skiing work? How does it help improve your overall health? And if you want to take up skiing as a hobby or exercise regimen, how do you start?
What Muscle Groups Does Skiing Work?
Skiing is generally known as a lower body workout. Here are a few of the muscle groups that skiing works, and why those muscles are important:
- Abdominal muscles – Stabilize your core, help you stay balanced, and protect internal organs
- Gluteus maximus – Help support your pelvis and hips
- Quadriceps – Aid in daily activities like standing, walking, and running
- Hamstring – Support your hips and knees
In addition, skiing with poles will give you a great arm workout. Many skiers use poles for balance and support. Ski poles require upper arm strength, so plan on beefing up those biceps and triceps!
How Does Skiing Help Improve Your Overall Health?
As a proud sponsor of the US Ski Team, HomeLight knows that skiing works more than muscles. In fact, skiing can improve your overall health—both physical and mental.
In general, we all need to exercise. Physical activity helps us stay at a healthy weight and lower the risk of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. As a calorie-burning cardio workout, skiing can really help improve your physical health.
And here’s the kicker: skiing can even help improve your mental health. Because it provides a full body exercise, skiing can lower stress hormones, which boosts your mood and helps you sleep. Because it’s an outdoor activity, you get to breathe fresh air and enjoy nature. All of these factors add up to skiing helping improve your overall health—both mental and physical.
How Do You Start Skiing for Exercise?
The first step to starting to ski for exercise is to see your doctor. Although skiing is a fantastic way to stay fit for many people, it’s still a strenuous workout—and you need to make sure you’re healthy enough to ski.
Next, get yourself some fun gear! Pick out your favorite ski jacket, pants, hat, and gloves. Don’t forget the goggles and the skis themselves! If you’re not quite ready to invest in purchasing skiwear, many resorts will be happy to rent you their equipment.
Finally, remember: ease into your new workout routine. You won’t be an Olympic-caliber skier your first few times out on the snow. If you’re interested in downhill skiing, start on the smallest hills. If you’re more of a cross-country fan, take the shortest trail. You might even consider taking a class or hiring a private instructor. Start slow and work your way up. It’ll help you enjoy your newfound exercise regiment for years to come!