Functional fitness is the goal when you're strengthening your quadriceps for skiing. Skiing requires leg strength, flexibility and endurance so you can spend the day on the slopes. Target your upper thighs with exercises that also challenge your core, balance and endurance. The ski-focused quadriceps exercises are easily added into your weekly workout routine and can be performed every other day.
The wall sit position should become a familiar and comfortable stance. You'll spend a lot of time in this squatting position as you ski down the slopes, so you need strength in your quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings. Stand with your back against a wall and place your feet approximately 12 inches from the wall. Bend both knees and lower yourself into a squat. Keep your knees over your toes and keep your back in contact with the wall. Try to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel with the floor, but stop short if you experience any knee discomfort. Breathe normally as you maintain the squat for at least 10 to 15 seconds. Release and repeat as needed. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend in the wall sit.
If you have access to a health club, the leg press machine improves quadriceps strength. Lie face up on the machine and place your feet in the middle of the foot rest, hip-distance apart. Select a weight that allows you to complete 10 to 12 repetitions. Release the brake with your hands and inhale as you bend your knees and lower into a squatted position. Exhale, straighten your legs and press against the sled. Keep a slight bend in your knees when your legs are extended, but use a full range of motion. Perform one to three sets with a minute of rest between.
Stand with your back facing a weight bench, with the bench approximately 12 inches behind you. Bend your right knee and place the top of your right foot on the bench. Look forward and stand with your back straight. Inhale, bend your left knee and lower into a squat. Aim to keep your weight centered over your heel and your left knee in line with your heel. Lower to a comfortable squat, then exhale and return to a straight-leg standing position. Complete one to three sets of 10 to 12 balance squats on each leg to strengthen your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings.
Lunges help improve your balance as well as the strength in your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward approximately 2 or 3 feet with your right foot. Bend both knees and lower into a lunge, keeping your right knee in line with your right heel. Sink as low as you comfortably can, then exhale, push off the floor with your right foot and return to the starting position. You can alternate performing a lunge on each leg, or complete all 10 to 12 reps on your right leg before you switch to your left.
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.