How To

Easy Steps to Get Fit for Ski Season

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Get in shape to make this your best ski season yet.

The snow is finally falling and as it begins to accumulate on the ground, winter sport lovers are hearing the call to action. Though it may be tempting to grab your skis and hit the slopes right away, without the proper preparation, your body may pay for those decisions later. Seasonal skiers sometimes forget just how much of a workout those downhill rides can be. Follow these few pre-season workout ideas to avoid aches and pains, and make your ski season truly enjoyable.

Work your rear

Skiing is a glute-intensive sport. The muscles along your back, especially the glutes, hamstrings, lower back, and lats are mainly what keep you steady when your body is pointed down the hill. They also give you stability when tackling uneven terrain and moguls. Squats, deadlifts, and lunges are great tools for building these muscles. For female ski bunnies, it is especially important to build the hamstrings and knee muscles because women are more prone to injury in these areas. Riding a bike frequently is one effective way to do this.

Don’t ignore your core

It is easy to wrongly assume that skiing is mostly focused on the leg muscles. Those who build up only their quads and hamstrings may be missing a vital part of preparation. A strong core is vital for skiers, similarly to the way glutes are. A strong core will offer stability and will support and protect the muscles in your back, preventing injury. The best way to work your core is a combination of crunches and plank movements, but make sure to work your oblique muscles with side crunches as well.

Learn to love cardio

Skiing is highly aerobic. It is important to condition your body for short, high-intensity intervals so that you don’t get tired and have to head back early. Short sprints are a good way to elevate your heart rate and prepare yourself. But don’t neglect longer runs and more basic, time-consuming cardio routines. The obvious reason for building your long distance stamina is because, though individual runs may be short, if you want to be able to ski all day, endurance is important.

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons user Shizhao

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