Six PT-approved exercises for stretching and strengthening Nordic skiers

Posted by Ella Hall, Emily Hyde on Jul 21st 2023

Six PT-approved exercises for stretching and strengthening Nordic skiers

PT Advice on Stretching & Strengthening for Nordic Skiers

You’re probably familiar with the saying, skiers are made in the summer. It’s the season to push big hours and build the base that will enable you to ski at your best come winter. In order to clock those big hours, your body needs to be able to adapt and absorb the training. Being proactive about stretching and strengthening to prevent injury can help you be ready to chase big training hours.

Emily Hyde, a third-year physical therapy student and former Division I cross-country ski racer, says some of the most common issues Nordic skiers might experience during summer training are: low-back pain, achilles tightness and elbow tendinitis. To help you stay injury-free, Emily recommends integrating the following stretches and strength exercises to your repertoire.

For low-back strength: abdominal bracing exercises like dead bugs, or other exercises that engage your core like bear crawls.

For low-back stretch: happy baby pose, or child's pose will help loosen up your lower back. Glute stretches like pigeon pose will also help ease tension.

For achilles strength: lots of single-leg calf raises (~25 each side), as well as glute strength exercises like single-leg squats.

For achilles stretch: a classic calf-stretch will help loosen up your achilles, this can be done using an elevated surface or doing something like downward-dog pose.

For elbow strength: tricep press, using a heavier weight and doing low reps. Lat pull downs, pronation-supination with weight

For elbow stretch: elbow behind your head stretch

Looking for a super high quality set of training bands? These bands are great for a home gym or for athletes on the road. Check out the Abilica X Klaebo training band set here.

This is evidently not an exhaustive list, and unfortunately Nordic skiers are susceptible to more than just these three injuries but these exercises and stretches are a good place to start.