You don’t need to hit the slopes regularly to add some ski-inspired exercises to your workout routine. Ski abs is an abdominal exercise that will have you moving like a slalom racer (without the snow).
When it comes to full-body workouts with mounds of physical benefits, skiing ranks high on the list, so give this ski-inspired abdominal workout a go.
Ski Abs Exercise: Step-by-Step Instructions
We’ve cultivated a short but sweet step-by-step list on how to do this exercise.
- Begin in a high plank with your shoulders stacked over your hands. Keep your shoulder, hips, and heels aligned.
- Press through your shoulders and lengthen your back. Tuck your hips under to draw your belly in. Avoid dropping your hips to the floor.
- Keep your hands still. Jump both feet forward, drawing your knees towards your chest and landing with your feet together on the floor to the right of your right hand. Align your left knee to the outside of your right elbow.
- Spring back to plank to reset. Then do the same thing on the left side.
- Exhale when you jump forward.
What Muscles Do Ski Abs Work?
Ski abs challenge your ab muscles and require zero equipment to do so.
1. Rectus abdominis
To keep your spine from hyperextending, your rectus abdominis (the six-pack ab muscle) kicks into gear during high plank.
2. Transverse abdominis
While your six pack stabilizes your spine, your transverse abdominis (your deepest abs that work to encircle your waist) contract to protect your spine. This protection is especially important since this exercise involves jumping and twisting.
Each time you twist, your obliques spring into action. Your oblique muscles are located on the sides of your body, and are responsible for rotating your torso. Two sets of obliques work when you do ski abs — your internal and external obliques.
4. Supporting cast
Your hip flexors work to draw your knees in toward your chest. The calves work to spring you off the floor. And the pecs, triceps, and shoulder muscles work to keep you in safe upper body alignment during high plank.
Benefits of Ski Abs
Ski abs take a classic high plank and combines it with plyometrics (explosive, jumping movements) and heavy rotation. The combination of these movements really tones your midsection.
Stabilizing the spine during jumping and rotating is one of the core’s most important jobs. When you strengthen your core, you’re less likely to injure yourself outside the gym.
“The great thing about a move like this is that you’re really increasing the intensity while still focusing on controlled movement,” says Aaron Leventhal, C.S.C.S., former professional soccer player and owner of Minneapolis-based Fit Studio. “Challenging yourself to maintain good form with ski abs causes you to focus on your core, and that engages it more.”
Much like other plyometric moves that build strength from explosive movements, you will gain the most strength when you can achieve your landing with control. Not only does a steady landing give you killer abs, but it will also help when you do other exercises like jump squats or box jumps with intensified athletic performance.