I love skiing! It has been my one constant sport since I was 7!

My experience first as a junior ski racer in Nancy Greene programs and then racing with my University club, taught me that preseason training is the key to having a great ski season, and to saving my knees! Yep, dry-land training time.

What do you need to focus on for skiing? Glad you asked!

#1) Your Quads! 

Yes, those front of the thigh muscles will be screaming loudly on the first (and sometimes the last) day on the slopes. I strongly suggest you focus on building strength and endurance with exercises that target the legs. My favorites for their effectiveness and efficiency are 1. squats 2. wall-sits 3. lunges. 

Start with just your body weight, 3 sets of 30 second cycles. Then add light to heavier dumbbells, (5-8-10-20 lbs.). Finally, build up to 3 sets of 1 minute with dumbbells with 1-2 minute rest in between.  FORM is critical. Remember to maintain good posture, a tight core, and breath well.

#2) Your heart and lungs!  

Oh ya... the heart pumping, leg pounding, lungs screaming runs that always show up at the beginning of ski season. It really erks me when I have to stop because my legs are on fire and my chest is heaving! Well its my own darn fault.  

Instead of my regular daily walk, its time to add in some interval training and kick my cardio vascular system in the butt. If you haven't done interval training before, go slow, and if you aren't sure speak to your doctor. Aim for a 30 minute walk, 2-3 x a week that you inject short intense bursts of exercise into and then a recovery period. Just by adding in 2-5 short bursts (10-30 seconds) of walking as fast as you can, (or jumping jacks, or skipping, or burpees, etc.) followed by 1-2 minutes of walking at your regular pace, will see your system improve dramatically over the next 90 days. Interval training is one of the fastest ways to get fit, train your heart and lungs and lose weight. 

#3) Your core! (You knew it was coming.) 

Without a strong core your low back and knees can take a beating when skiing. All that up and down movement has to be controlled, with massive energy travelling up through your legs and into your pelvis and core. A strong core will stabilize your spine on top of your pelvis, help safely transfer energy efficiently from the bottom up, keep your spine more upright and your center of gravity balanced over your feet, where you want it. Skiing, after all, is all about balance.

Ready to do some? Here is a short Beginner Core routine that you can start with. 

I recommend 3 sets, starting with 30-60 second per exercise and building up to 2 minute planks (from your toes when you are ready). 

Here's to big mountain, winter ski fun and to living your best active life no matter the season!