You should aim to begin a programme 8-12 weeks before you hit the snow, but anything you can do before you go will be helpful. Aerobic exercise such as running or cycling will build your general fitness, and yoga or pilates are good for flexibility and core strength, but you also need some specific exercises.
Squats – Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out. Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Sit back and down like you’re sitting into an imaginary chair, keeping your back straight. You can add weight in the form of a bar across your shoulders. Aim to do 8-12 squats 3 times.
Wall sits – A classic ski preparation exercise. Stand with your back pressing against a wall, slide downward into a squat position by moving your feet forward until your knees make a 90-degree angle and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds and perform 3 to 4 sets.
Lunge – You can do this with or without a dumbbell weight. Standing straight, step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Push through your forward heel to return to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the other leg. Aim to complete three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.