Strength Training for Cross Country Skiing – Week 3

When I first started training for the ski season a few weeks ago, a friend said she didn’t like to workout at the gym. Boo! The above video of David Lawerence’s obstacle course is for her. (I’d love to say that I watched this all the way through to get ideas for training, but … um … those abs … ’nuff said.) If anyone builds this awesome obstacle course nearby, I’ll come work out with you!

In the mean time, here is my plan for week three. A couple notes:

First, you’ll notice that we are switching back to the same exercises we did in week one, but increasing the reps from 15 to 20. Most people would say that’s too many, but cross country skiing is an endurance sport, so we need to balance strength with endurance.  With the increased reps, you only have to do 2 sets. We’ll work back up to three in the next cycle, but for now we’ll do just two.

Second, if the glute bridge is too easy for you, try doing them one leg at a time or while balancing your feet on a Swiss ball. For the side plank, if you did them on your knees the first week, do it with straight legs this week.

I also added box jumps to the beginning of the workout to help develop explosive power. It is really easy to injure yourself doing box jumps, so please take some time to review how to do them properly. Toni Gentilcore put together an excellent tutorial (with videos) on proper technique and how to avoid common mistakes that could lead to torn Achilles tendons and ACLs. Ouch!

Finally, I changed up the hip hinges to full dead lifts. This is another exercise where form is king. Continue doing hip hinges from week one, if you don’t feel strong enough to do the full lift with good form.

Weight Reps Sets
Warm Up
Bird Dog BW 20 2
Glute Bridge BW 20 2
Side Plank BW 40 sec. 2
Rest – 45 seconds between sets
Box Jumps BW 8 2
Dead lifts  * 20 2
Step Ups  * 20 2
Dumbell pull-overs  * 20 2
Pushups BW 20 2
Seated Rows  * 20 2
Shoulder Press  * 20 2
Rest – 45 seconds between sets
Cool Down
Cat-camel 30 sec.
Downward Dog 30 sec.
Cobra 30 sec.
Kneeling Hip Flexor 30 sec.


BW = body weight

* = Use enough weight so the last two repetitions are difficult–to-challenging. If the last repetition is not difficult, the muscles will not be sufficiently challenged.

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