Working Hard to Stay in Shape
For a lot of winter athletes, skiing is one of the best (or only) ways to stay in shape through the winter months. However, preparing for ski season—even if you have limited access to the mountains themselves—is just as important as preparing for any other sport. The best part? You can prepare from the comfort of your apartment living room or your neighborhood gym. Below are a few muscles you should target when preparing for the season ahead.
- Quadriceps—These are likely the most-used muscle group in skiing. They allow you to hold a position while going down the mountain, and they provide protection for your knees. Target these muscles with squats and lunges.
- Hamstrings and Glutes—If you’re skiing downhill, you probably hold your body in a flexed position—leaning forward from the hips. This puts a lot of strain on your hamstrings and glutes as they help to stabilize your body. Target these muscles with deadlifts, one-legged deadlifts, step-ups, and hamstring rolls on an exercise ball.
- Calves—When skiing, your knees are almost always bent. Your calves, along with some help from those rigid ski boots, help you stay upright. Target this muscle by doing seated or standing calf raises.
- Thighs—Your outer thighs keep your body stable and able to steer, while your inner thighs work hard to keep your skis together. This strain is amplified if you prefer powdery conditions. Target these muscles by doing side lunges, inner and outer pushes on abductor and adductor machines, thigh squeezes with an exercise ball, or sliding side lunges with disks.
- Arms—Though you may not realize it, your arms are working overtime to stabilize the rest of your body. They also help push off with your poles. Working your biceps and triceps alongside the rest of your body is essential to a well-conditioned start to the season.