Fit for winter #5: Shoulder muscles

Well-trained shoulders are essential in skiing when using the pole or stopping yourself from falling. Experienced ski instructors and SportboXX have put together eight sets of effective exercises that are specifically designed to train the most important muscle groups.

The programme:

With Thomas Vau

State certified ski instructor, Arlberg

State certified ski instructor Thomas Vau.
Thomas Vau

“Body stabilisation strengthens not only the core and stomach muscles, it also hinders backache after a long skiing day.”

How it works:

Each of the workouts trains a specific group of muscles. Those who want to see noticeable fitness improvement should not miss out any exercises. All you need to exercise: a thermal mat, motivation and a love of winter.

    • Warm up before every workout
    • Choose the number of exercises you want to practice, according to your abilities and the desired intensity
    • Ideally start training about 3 months before your ski holiday and do 2 to 3 sessions a week
The colour-coded levels give an overview of the three stages of difficulty.
Use the colours to define the number of times you need to repeat the exercise according to your level of fitness

Arm changes

The arm changes exercise.
The arm changes exercise trains both the shoulders and the back
    • Lie on your stomach
    • Stretch one arm directly ahead of you, stretching the other towards your feet. Then alternate the direction of the arms
    • Alternative: Instead of alternating arms, stretch both arms simultaneously in front or behind you
    • Relax
    • Repeat the exercise as recommended according to the 3 levels of difficulty

Arm circles

The arm circles exercise.
The arm circles exercise strengthens the shoulder muscles
    • Lie on your stomach
    • Stretch your arms out to the side and lift them slightly
    • Make small, circular movements with your arms, both forwards and backwards
    • Relax
    • Repeat the exercise as recommended according to the 3 levels of difficulty

Arm lifts

The arm lifts exercise.
The arm lift exercise works on the shoulder muscles
    • Stretch one arm out in front of you, the other behind you
    • Quickly lift and sink your arms whilst holding this position
    • Repeat with the arms alternated
    • Relax
    • Repeat the exercise as recommended according to the 3 levels of difficulty

Well done – your shoulders are ready for the piste!

SportboXX founder Günther Matzinger tells you why toning each of your muscle groups before your skiing trip can make a world of difference.


I have always loved snow but winter in England was usually more grey than white. Now living in Austria, my kids have inherited my passion for skiing and we make most of every winter, getting out in the snow whenever we can!


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