We recently had the honour of participating in a Learn to Curl event at the Burlington Curling Club and we had a blast! What surprised me was the fitness required to even pretend to curl for an hour, I couldn’t imaging how much you would need for a full game, or a multi day bonspiel.

As I tried to throw my first rock I realized not only was it important to be able to aim (which I couldn’t), but also to be able to do it while balancing on a sheet of ice. The throw required stability, mobility (to get so low) and leg strength.

Then it was time to sweep, and a whole other set of muscles were called upon. Rotational core strength was essential I realized, as was an ability to push with your upper body, but also to pull back with force.

And since we have so many curlers at our studio, and from this experience I have come up with a set of exercises that I think every curler would benefit from. And don’t worry, there are modifications and adjustments for all fitness levels.

From what I’ve learned, the more force you are able to put on the ice with your broom, the faster and straighter your rock will go. And so I have chosen exercises that not only work your PUSH muscles, but also maximize your PULL muscles. I have also chosen a lower body exercise that maximizes weight on your front leg let to help with your throw and your sweeping and of course, something to help with cardiovascular conditioning so you are not out of breath and still recovering when it comes time to sweep again.

Without further ado, here are my top 4 exercises to be fit to curl.

Pushups (Elevated)

This is an excellent exercise to strengthen not only your PUSH muscles but also your core while you are pushing. You can modify this easily to be higher up, such as on a kitchen counter or a bench like I’m doing, or lower down right on the floor. If you have access to one, I like to use a BOSU or a TRX to mimic the instability the ice creates.

Bentover Row

As I said above, there are two parts to a sweeping action, the PUSH and the PULL. It is much easier to push as you have the added bonus of your body weight and the natural pull of gravity helping you out. Once you go to pull backwards you decrease the amount of pressure you are able to put on the broom and therefore the effectiveness of your sweep goes down. With the Bentover Row you make your PULL more powerful and as an added bonus you strengthen and stabilize your lower back and core, reducing your risk of injury.


From sweeping to throwing the rock, your upper body is only as strong as your foundation, your legs. And so, a strong lower body assists immensely in your curling game. Step ups and lunges are excellent exercises for unilaterally strengthening your legs an. As a bonus, these single leg exercises help you improve on your balance and your stability.

Interval Training

Any exercise that elevates your heart rate and then lets you recover is great for the game of curling that does just that. Try skipping or jumping for thirty seconds and giving yourself up to a minute to recover. Repeat 5 – 10 times.

And even if your goal is to not to play better, these exercises will along with a balanced training plan will get you stronger and help prevent injuries both on and off the ice.

Interested in a customized training plan that will help YOU move and feel better? Give us a call or email today!


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