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Fitness Friday: Five Exercises You Can Do Right Now for Ski Season

Five Exercises You Can Do Right Now for Ski Season Squat now to ski pow. Photo by Dustin Schaefer, Loveland Ski Area

by Rachel Walker Sure, the local gyms got ski fitness classes on the calendar, and chances are theyve got better weights, mats, and music than you do in your living room. But making it to the gym doesnt always happendespite your best intentions. Not to worry. There are plenty of exercises you can do anywhere that will start priming your body for your not-so-distant slope time. Here are a few good ones to beginwith:

1. Alternate Lunge

Stand with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart, toes facing ahead. Bend your right knee and lean into it while straightening the left leg. Touch your left hand to your right foot, then stand up, bring your feet together, and step left. Repeat the sequence. Do this 10 times on each side.

Up the burn: Once youve warmed up, do two more sets of 10, but speed up the transition from leg to leg.

2. One-legged balance

Balance on one leg while lifting the other knee to your chest. Flex your feet and hold for two counts. Then, without touching your elevated foot to the floor, lower your knee and raise your foot behind you, reaching for it with your hand. Raise your other hand above your head. Do both legs five times.

Up the burn: Stand on your toes.

3. Frog jumps

Assume an athletic position: knees flexed, chest up, butt down, hands hanging at your legs. Squat down and then leap into the air, using your arms to propel you. Land quietly on your heels, hinging at the knees and hips to absorb the impact. Do this 20 times, rest, then do 20 more.

Up the burn: Build a stack of books or magazines as an obstacle to jump over.

4. Standing lunges

Stand tall with feet together, then step back with one foot. Raise your hands over your head and lower the back knee to the floor. While in the lunge position, lean forward and touch your hands to the ground in front of you. Lift up and bring feet back together. Do 10 on each leg.

Up the burn: Do these walking, and concentrate on slowly lowering into and rising out of the lunge.

5. Bicyclecrunches

Lie on your back with your feet extended in front of you, put your hands behind your head and slightly raise both feet off the floor. Bring one knee to your chest and bring the opposite elbow to that knee. Then slowly extend the leg and repeat the sequence with the opposite arm and leg. Here’sa useful guide to doing bicycle crunches with the correct form; doone set of this complete core exercise until you can’t continue with good form.

Up the burn:Build up to doing sets of 100+ repetitions with controlled movement and good form.

Obviously this is just a start. But spending your days on the slopes requires a strong core and solid leg muscles. Priming them now means more endurance on that first powder day.