Exercises to Prepare Your Muscles for Winter Sports

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As fall starts to caress the country with cooler temperatures, it means only one thing for ski and snowboard enthusiasts: snow! If you live in the northeast, you already saw a ton of it this past weekend.

Action athletes can start preparing for their favorite winter sports. The main points of training focus for any rider should be overall strength and flexibility, balance and muscular endurance. Below, we offer some tips and advice to make your preparation for snow season more productive.

Bodyweight Exercises
Get ready for the pipe by performing simple bodyweight exercises, which you can do anywhere. The most basic of body movements—Push-Ups, Pull-Ups and Sit-Ups—help build major muscle groups necessary for successful skiing and snowboarding. Perform three sets of 10 reps of each exercise to create a strong base.

Lower-Body Training
For skiers and snowboarders, building lower body muscle strength and endurance is essential. Exercises like Dumbbell Lunges, Squats and balance board work can help increase strength and finesse for the slopes.

Want a super-effective exercise that works your entire lower body? Try the Balance Board Squat. You won't be writhing in pain the day after you hit the slopes for the first time.

Flexibility Exercises
Your upper and lower body can twist and turn awkwardly as you ride down a mountain. And as an action athlete, you've probably had your share of spills. Flexibility work can greatly decrease the risk of spills and injuries by helping you stay loose and maintain balance. (Learn more about staying flexible with dynamic stretching.)

For more training advice, read STACK expert Marc Digesti's blog posts on dryland training for skiers, and get an exclusive look at pro snowboarder Ellery Hollingworth's training.

Photo:  spitalamsemmering.com

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