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Exercises To Get In Shape For Ski/Snowboard Season

Tom Malone/Adventure Tribune
Ski/Snowboard season will be here soon enough, and now is the time to start training for it.


Even though the mountains won’t open for a little while, it’s time to start training for ski/snowboard season. Even if you’ve been running and hiking all summer long, the muscle groups and movements used on the ski slopes are different and require attention before you descend the mountain.

We’re not suggesting you get in shape for the X-Games or the Winter Olympics, but there’s nothing worse than having to cut your day at the mountain short because your muscles are too fatigued. That’s why the fall season is the best time to start training for the upcoming snow.

Here are a few exercises to ease you into ski/snowboard shape before you catch your first run of the winter.

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1. Wall-Sits
Skiing and snowboarding take leg muscle stamina, especially if you want to get your full day’s worth on the slopes. Sit against the wall like you’re sitting in an invisible chair. Time yourself, and continue to improve your stamina by increasing your time each week.

2. Squats On Bosu Ball
By doing standard squats, you’ll improve your leg strength. By doing squats on an unbalanced Bosu Ball, you’ll improve your leg strength while training your muscles to adjust to balancing by simulating the unbalanced movements on skis or a snowboard.

3. Calf Raises
Whether you use free weights or body weight, standard calf raises will train your calves to get used to the movements of a snowboard. Shift the angle of your toes to work different areas of your calves. You’ll thank yourself when you encounter your first toeside catwalk.

4. Oblique Twists
Turning on the mountain is all about core strength. Using a medicine ball or body weight, sit on the ground, elevate your legs, and twist to touch both sides of the ground. This will enhance your core strength ability to turn.

5. Triceps Dips
Even if you’re the best snowboarder in the world, you still spend time pushing yourself off the ground, and you use your triceps to do it. Using simple body weight and gravity, complete a series of triceps dips to get your arms used to this motion.

6. One-Legged Russian Dead Lifts
Stand on one leg and touch your toe while your other leg stretches backward. Then, return to a standing position. If you want to increase your hamstring strength further, add a light weight to your toe-touch hand.

7. Stretching
Though people know stretching is important, they rarely do it. Stretch now in order to decrease recovery time and increase injury prevention before you hit slopes. Stretch all sections of your legs, core, and upper body.

8. Stair Climber
By spending some time on the stair-stepper, you’ll strengthen your legs, build muscle endurance, and - most importantly - you’ll build cardiovascular endurance necessary to keep you breathing light on the mountain.

9. Stationary Bike
Cruise on a stationary bike three times per week for at least 20 minutes to build up your cardiovascular endurance. A stationary bike reduces impact on your knees (unlike running), so you’re gaining endurance while preventing potential injury.

10. Pull-Ups
People often ignore their upper body strength when it comes to snowboarding and skiing, even though your back muscles keep you upright and balanced while cruising down the mountain. Don’t ignore it!

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Tom Malone is the Editor-In-Chief of The Adventure Tribune and author of adventure novels, like Across Americana. He is based in Denver, Colorado, where he adventures through the Rocky Mountains while not traveling abroad.
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