Your Pre-Season Ski Workout to Rip this Winter

©istockphoto/VisualCommunicationsYes, we’re halfway to win­ter. Per­haps more than half way in some places, and it’s time to get seri­ous about work­ing out. No doubt, you’ve prob­a­bly been moun­tain bik­ing, hik­ing, and maybe some climb­ing mixed in there, but there’s always more that can be done to ensure you’re strong and injury-free this sea­son. Read on.

Bands and Foam Rollers
Elas­tic bands and foam rollers are used reli­gious­ly by phys­i­cal ther­a­pists to turn tight ten­dons and mus­cles into sup­ple pow­er­hous­es while also rolling out any knots or aches. These items are inex­pen­sive and can typ­i­cal­ly be found at your gym, so there’s no excuse for not uti­liz­ing their heal­ing abilities.

Try to incor­po­rate stretch­ing and rolling into your dai­ly work­out rou­tine and pay close atten­tion to your IT bands, glutes, quads, and the areas around your knees.

Bosu Balls
Bal­ance, core strength, and sta­bil­i­ty are extreme­ly impor­tant for skiers (and board­ers). A nifty lit­tle device, the Bosu Ball (also found at most gyms) is an excel­lent way to train for the slopes.

Try rou­tines con­sist­ing of two-legged squats, one-legged squats, and lunges.

Trail Run­ning and Hiking 
To gain sta­bil­i­ty and sta­mi­na, hik­ing and train run­ning are excel­lent activ­i­ties for skiers. Par­tic­u­lar­ly, the down­hill hik­ing or run­ning sim­u­lates some of the same move­ments and stances found in ski­ing and help to build ankle, quad, and glute strength. Just be sure to take care of those knees, as they can take a major beat­ing on the downhill.

Yoga and Swimming
These two exer­cis­es are par­tic­u­lar­ly amaz­ing if you are com­ing back from an injury. Both are low-impact, regen­er­a­tive, and, sim­ply put, they just feel good.

Ski­ing requires con­sid­er­able car­dio, which is where swim­ming can help. Yoga strength­ens, sta­bi­lizes, and helps work out any per­sis­tent kinks in your body: all impor­tant for float­ing in pow­der. Not to men­tion, your body can real­ly take a beat­ing dur­ing the win­ter months, so par­tic­i­pat­ing in restora­tive exer­cise is a must.

Many out­door enthu­si­asts scoff when you men­tion weight-train­ing. Their log­ic? The wilder­ness pro­vides them with all of the exer­cise they need. Fair enough, but don’t be too quick to dis­miss hit­ting the indoor gym. There are plen­ty of machines that can dra­mat­i­cal­ly enhance your strength, includ­ing the seat­ed leg-press which is excel­lent for your quads, glutes, and can help build knee strength and stability.

The Rou­tine
Alright, so here’s some­thing to try. Instead of moun­tain bik­ing or run­ning every day, why not incor­po­rate all of the above into your rou­tine for two weeks and see how it feels: Yoga and swim­ming one day, weight train­ing and the Bosu Ball the next, a good hike or trail run mid-week, then rip it up with your favorite sport(s) through­out the week­end. Be sure to foam roll and use elas­tic bands throughout.

If you incor­po­rate all of these exer­cis­es, there’s no doubt you’ll be health­i­er and stronger come sea­son ski.