Five Exercises to Help You Run in the Snow

snow runFor the casu­al run­ner, mounds of snow pil­ing up on the ground is a cue to pack up the shoes and take the sea­son off—but real ath­letes see this time a year as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to up their game. If you’re not sure how to man­age the extra resis­tance that comes with run­ning in snow here are a few exer­cis­es that’ll help you con­quer the white stuff.

Stair­mas­ter
It sounds sil­ly, but one of the gym’s most basic machines is a great tool to help you build endurance and strength in your legs. If you can tack­le the end­less upward ascent of the Stair­mas­ter, then you’ll eas­i­ly be able to sur­mount the snow. Spend at least 30 min­utes a day on one of these beasts before win­ter tru­ly sets in and you’ll find your­self primed and ready to run through a bliz­zard.

Lunges
Ham­strings are one of the runner’s biggest assets and they need to be pumped reg­u­lar­ly if you’re going to learn how to run in the tough­est of cir­cum­stances. The slow, for­ward motion of the lunge actu­al­ly mim­ics mov­ing in snow some­what. If you can pro­pel your­self for­ward from such a low posi­tion with­out tir­ing quick­ly than you’ll be apt to do the same in a few inch­es of snow.

Moun­tain Climbers
This one might sound too obvi­ous, but to up your game and help you run in the snow, incor­po­rate moun­tain climbers into your dai­ly exer­cise regime. These nifty moves help blast your quads and pre­pare you for the resis­tance you’ll face run­ning both uphill and in win­try con­di­tions. The burst of ener­gy required to com­plete each move­ment is sim­i­lar to what it takes to force your body for­ward when run­ning in deep snow, so use it to help you fight back against obsta­cles.

Floor Glute-Ham Raise
Glute-ham rais­es are one of the most effec­tive exer­cis­es when it comes to cre­at­ing seri­ous pow­er in your ham­strings and butt. You’ll need that strength to run against the extra resis­tance of snow, so try adding some into your next work­out. The ben­e­fit of the floor glute-ham raise is that it doesn’t require equip­ment and can be done at home.

How to: Start on your knees with your tor­so straight up, then slow­ly low­er your upper body down onto your hands with­out bend­ing your hips. Then push back up. Most peo­ple need help with these the first few tries.

Bul­gar­i­an Split Squats
Bul­gar­i­an Split Squats are a pow­er­house move that works sim­i­lar­ly to a lunge but require much more effort and strength. Adding them to your exer­cise rou­tine can help you build not only epic leg mus­cles but also upper body strength.

How to: They’re basi­cal­ly lunges that occur while you’re stand­ing in one spot, with one foot placed behind you on a bench and the oth­er in front. Slow­ly bend your leg for­ward like you would with a squat, stretch, then return to the start­ing posi­tion. Adding weights can help anni­hi­late your legs and back mus­cles.