How to Train for Cross-Country Skiing

If you are wondering how to train for cross-country skiing, keep one thing in mind: “cross country.” Cross-country skiing is a test in endurance and strength. Think of it in terms of cross-country running in track and field. Setting out for long distances and skiing over various terrain obstacles makes it even more difficult. Considering this, you would have to possess cardiovascular endurance, upper body strength and leg strength. To train, you need to target these areas.

What you will need to help you prepare:

  • Classic roller blades or roller skis
  • All terrain ski poles
  • The open road
  1. Find a safe strip of road or sidewalk where you will be able to inline skate or roller ski. Take a few minutes to stretch and ensure you are hydrated.
  2. Put on your roller skis and begin a leisurely skate. Keep your all terrain ski poles in your hand and not in contact with the ground.
  3. Once you are warmed up, place the all terrain ski poles in your hands and use them to push off as if you were skiing. Use both at first and then alternate using only one at a time.
  4. Skate for about fifteen minutes in this manner (or for long as you can). Lift the poles and skate again in a leisurely fashion, allowing yourself to cool down.
  5. Repeat this process for as long as you can or want your workout to last. The use of the all terrain poles will work the specific muscle groups in your arms and the inline skiing will work your legs.
  6. Make this a part of your daily or weekly routine during the off-season. This will keep you in shape and train your muscle groups for the cross-county skiing during the ski season.


  • Find somewhere that has a variable path (perhaps a bike trail). This will better assist in your training as the uphill movement challenges the muscles in a greater fashion and will help with the shock of meeting such obstacles.
  • This workout is basic and will fine tune the necessary muscles for cross-country skiing. As with any type of exercise program, please consult a doctor.
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