Downhill skiing can result in both serious and minor injuries if you’re not prepared. While some athletes participate in other sports during the off-season to stay in shape, many skiers are weekend warriors and return to the slopes after months of waiting for snow.\nStrength, flexibility, endurance, and agility drills are essential for both recreational and expert skiers to:\n\nPrevent fatigue\nImprove performance\nReduce the risk of injury\n\nNo matter what type of a skier you are, you could wind up with minor aches, muscle pain, or a serious injury if you don’t spend a little time preparing for the demands of your sport.\nWorkout Specifics for Skiers\nTo get ready for ski season, a good rule of thumb is to work out three to five times a week for one to two hours. Workout programs should focus on:\n\nFlexibility\nJump training\nCore and balance\nCardiovascular endurance\nUpper and lower extremity exercises\n\nIntensity of strength: two sets of 15 repetitions that create fatigue between the eighth and 12th repetition.\nPreventing Knee Injuries\nMore than 60 percent of all skiing injuries occur in the lower extremities. Because the most common injury is ligament damage in the knee, it may help to participate in a program that reduces the risk of non-contact ACL injuries, such as the ACL Injury Prevention Program at UPMC.\nTo help promote leg strength, this program includes:\n\nWarm-up\nStretching\nStrengthening\nPlyometric training\nSport-specific agility training\n\nTo prevent injury, it’s also important to use proper technique during jumping moves. Jump straight up and down without excessive side-to-side movement, and aim for soft landings.\nTips for Staying Safe on the Slopes\nAccording to the National Ski Patrol Responsibility Code, the following tips can help you enjoy your time and stay safe on the slopes:\n\nStay in control at all times\nAllow the right-of-way to skiers ahead of you\nLook uphill to merge on a trail\nDo not obstruct trails or remain in a blind spot\nDo not congregate in a group in the middle of the hill\nUse devices to prevent runaway skis\n\nDepending on your age and fitness level, some exercises are not recommended. Consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.