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17 exercises to make you slope ready

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on Nov. 23, 2008 at 8:50 am with No Comments »
November 23, 2008 8:50 am

There’s only one good thing about the late arrival of ski season this winter. There’s more time to get in shape for hitting the slopes.

As promised in this morning’s fourth annual Snow Ride Guide here are more exercises for getting fit for ski season.


Squat against the wall as if you are sitting in an invisible chair. Keep your knees at a 90-degree angle. Keep your back flat against the wall and your knees together. For tougher challenges lift your toes or one foot off the ground. This will strengthen your shins, hips, glutes and abs. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds three to five times.


Keeping your body straight, do a pushup. At the top of the pushup extend your right arm out to your side then twist your body until your right hand is pointing to the ceiling. Return to the pushup position and repeat on the left side. This will strengthen your chest, arms and core. Do three sets, each time doing five extensions on each side.


Place your lower spine on a physio ball with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent at a 100-degree angle. With your head in line with your body do crunches without letting your body sit all the way up or lay all the way back. Put your arms across your chest. For a bigger challenge, put your arms behind your head, careful not to pull your head up. For the hardest variation, extend your arms over your head. If you don’t have a physio ball, do crunches on the floor. Three sets of 10 will strengthen your abs and back.


Standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your weight on your heals, bring your right knee up to a 90-degree angle. Step out as you bring your foot down and bend over at the waist. Return to the starting position and repeat. Do two sets of 10 on each side to train your quads, hips and core.


Place one leg forward, bent at the knee and the other leg straight back. Keeping your waist in the middle and your upper body upright, jump and quickly alternate your legs. This is a total leg workout and also works your hips and core. Do two or three sets of 10.


Bend at the waist and put your hands on the floor as close to your feet as possible. Then walk out with your hands until you are in a pushup position. Do a push up, then walk with your hands back to the bent over position and straighten up. This stretches your hamstrings and strengthens your chest, arms and shoulders as well as your core. Do two to three sets of five reps.


Starting with your feet shoulder width apart jump to your right landing with your body leaning forward with your left leg sliding behind and across your right leg. Jump to the other side with your other leg sliding behind you. As you jump back and forth, you’ll look like an ice skater. To intensify the workout make your jumps progressively more explosive.


Place one leg forward, bent at the knee and the other leg straight back. Keeping your waist in the middle and your upper body upright, jump and quickly alternate your legs. Dip down as you land. For a tougher workout make circular motions with your arms and jump higher.


Start low in a squatting position and explode upward as you jump to your side. When you land, immediately repeat the jump back to where you started. For the more advanced, increase the power and distance of your jumps.


Lay on your back with legs up and bent at a 90-degree angle. Put your arms at your side for stabilization. Slowly rotate your legs from one side to the other making sure not to bring your shoulders off the floor. For a tougher workout hold weight between your knees.


Starting with your feet shoulder width apart, imagine you are standing in a square. Lunge backward with your right leg toward the opposite corner of the imaginary square and dip down. Repeat with the left leg. For a bigger challenge add weight and do curls or overhead presses with the lunges.


BENEFIT: Strengthens core and arms.

HOW TO: Start by lying facedown over a physio ball. With your hands on the floor, use them to walk away from the ball, which will roll down your legs. Keep your back straight. When just your toes are on the ball, walk back until the ball is once again under your hips.

EASE UP: The farther you walk, the more challenging this exercise gets. So, go as far as you feel comfortable and gradually challenge your self to go a bit farther.

MORE CHALLENGE: Add a curl by tucking your knees toward your chest once you have walked all the way out.

DURATION: Start with three sets of 10.


BENEFIT: Helps with balance and strengthens hips, hamstrings, quadriceps as well as your knees and ankles.

HOW TO: Holding a ball with both hands next your right ear, lift your left foot off the ground. Slowly move the ball across the body toward the floor where your left foot was then slowly return to the starting position. Keep your right knee over the top of your right foot. Repeat on the opposite side.

EASE UP: Bring the ball from your right ear to your left hip.

MORE CHALLENGE: Do more reps or use a medicine ball for added weight.

DURATION: Start with two or three sets of five or 10 reps.


BENEFIT: Works your core and hamstrings.

HOW TO: Lying on the ground with heals up on a physio ball lift your hips off the floor, making sure to keep them level. Then curl your legs, rolling the ball toward you. Continue to roll the ball out and back while maintaining the bridge.

EASE UP: If the curl is too much, just hold the bridge. Then trying holding the bridge with one leg.

MORE CHALLENGE: Do the exercise with one leg at a time.

DURATION: Start with two to three sets of 10 to 20 reps.


BENEFIT: Improve your balance while strengthening your gluteus and quads.

HOW TO: Standing on a box or step, let your left leg hang over the side. Squat with your right leg until your left heal touches the floor then straighten your right leg. Then repeat with the opposite leg. Keep your squatting knee over your foot and your pelvis balanced.

EASE UP: If you struggle to keep your balance, try squatting with both legs and holding the position. You can even wear your ski boots for this exercise, Krugh says.

MORE CHALLENGE: Use a higher step or, to improve your balance, play catch with somebody during the exercise.

DURATION: Three sets of 10 to 15 on each leg.


BENEFIT: Strengthens your hips and glutes.

HOW TO: With an elastic band around your ankles squat with your knees over your feet. Step sideways taking a big step with your lead foot and a smaller step with your back foot, making sure there is always resistance on the band. After 15-20 feet, walk back leading with the opposite hip.

EASE UP: Take fewer steps.

MORE CHALLENGE: Krugh suggests trying crab walk for the same amount of time it takes you to make a ski run.

DURATION: Start with one to three sets of 15 steps in each direction.


BENEFIT: Strengthens your quads and glutes.

HOW TO: Standing in a door jam, bend your right knee 90 degrees making sure to keep your hip, knee and ankle in line. Then press your right knee against the door jam and hold the position for at least 10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

EASE UP: Hold for less time.

MORE CHALLENGE: Hold for more time.

DURATION: Hold the position for 10 seconds, 10 times on each side.

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