How to Be Better on the Slopes and Ice

These exercises will get you ready for your favorite winter sports.

By | Hub Health |

snowboarding guySnowboarding photo via Shutterstock

Skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey, and cross country skiing are all winter sports that take determination (why else would you brave freezing temps?), and of course skill. But you can be even better at your favorite winter sports by preparing your body for the elements. We asked Bret Whitecross, a personal trainer at FitCorp, to put together the best exercise programs for each sport. So before you hit the slopes or ice, try these exercises, and then show off your new skills to your friends.

Downhill Skiing

Cardio: High intensity intervals on the cardio machine of your choice (bike, elliptical, treadmill, or rower). Do 20 seconds of 70 to 80 percent max intensity followed by 10 seconds of 10 to 15 percent max intensity. Repeat for 10 minutes.

Exercise: Static squats - Stand with your back against the wall, and squat down, then hold for 30 seconds. “You are in a mid-squat position while downhill skiing and holding that position downhill,” Whitecross says.

Snowboarding

Cardio: High intensity intervals on the cardio machine of your choice (bike, elliptical, treadmill, or rower). Do 20 seconds of 70 to 80 percent max intensity followed by 10 seconds of 10 to 15 percent max intensity. Repeat for 10 minutes.

Exercises: Single leg bridge –  Start on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on floor. Press hips up to the sky and extend one leg out. “It is working your core and posterior leg muscles, important for snowboarding,” Whitecross says.

Switch jumps – In a runner’s stance, squat down and jump and turn around a full 180 degrees. Repeat 10 times. “If you are strapped into a board and need to switch positions while going down hill, it will help you switch directions,” Whitecross says.

Cross Country Skiing

Cardio: Steady cardio on your machine of choice for 30 to 40 minutes.

Exercises: Reverse Lunge – With feet together, step backwards with one leg, and bring that knee towards the ground with a dumbbell in the arm on the same side. Lift your arm straight up to the sky in front of your body (keep arm straight). “You are going into a reverse lunge motion while cross country skiing,” Whitecross says. “This trains the arms as well.”

Snowshoeing

Cardio: Steady cardio on your machine of choice for 30 to 40 minutes.

Exercise: In a plank position on your elbows, touch your right hip to the ground, then back up to center. Then touch your left hip to the ground. Repeat 20 times on each side.

Step Up (on a stair or multiple stair) – With a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand, place one foot on a step. Then step up wiht the other leg and raise yourself from the ground and go into a high knee, holding the weights by your side. “This increases lower leg strength, and core stability,” Whitecross says. “It mimics the action of picking your feet up out of the snow.”

Hockey

Cardio: High intensity intervals on the cardio machine of your choice (bike, elliptical, treadmill, or rower). Do 20 seconds of 70 to 80 percent max intensity followed by 10 seconds of 10 to 15 percent max intensity. Repeat for 10 minutes.

Exercises: Split Lunges – Start in a lunge and alternate each leg in a jumping motion. “This is good for muscular endurance and core endurance,” Whitecross says. “It is also great for training your muscles for short skating shifts.”

Physioball – Kneel on a physioball and use a hockey stick as balance. Tap the stick back and forth as if you are controlling a puck. “Helps with balance and hand/eye coordination,” Whitecross says.

  • http://bit.ly/VyBS5P Augustine Mcelmury

    Great article, but what about mass gain for the bigger young guys? (20% BF), they don’t have the crazy metabolisms, so what should they do? Similar routine but just go easy on the carbs? Lose the fat first? Carbs only post-workout? There’s 1000 articles on how to eat yourself huge, but very few on mass gain and fat loss for those who already have too much fat.