It is often determined before the snow falls. A little time conditioning now will pay big dividends on the slopes later. And there is still plenty of time to start. Now is the time to prep for your favorite winter activities with sport-specific training.
Ensure that you don’t get left behind on the slopes this season with a solid winter sports conditioning program. Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, and snowboarding are all intense terrain sports that require a high level of aerobic and anaerobic fitness, muscular endurance and strength, fast-twitch speed and agility, balance and coordination.
It doesn’t matter what level you are, to avoid injuries and prepare for the demands of the terrain, every winter athlete should prepare with 6-8 weeks of dryland training. As the name implies, dryland training, done outdoors, mimics the movements you'll be doing on the snow, ice, and everything in between.
While there are a variety of ways to set up a program, the easiest way is to simply add new exercises and drills into your current routine. For example during a strength routine, add weighted tree sits, hill squats, and hill lunges. These exercises will build lower body leg strength and power for steeps and moguls. Of course, abdominal core exercises are key for stability, however, you’ll also want to add balance movements to build proprioception and control over difficult terrain. Downhill walking and running are simple exercises you can do to prepare for skiing and snowboarding. The eccentric loading, or lengthening of the quadriceps mimics the movements of many alpine sports.