Build Your Strength
What makes skiing such a great exercise is that is uses all of your muscle groups. However, some muscles are used more than others. Those are the ones you want to concentrate on when it comes to your strength workouts. Skiing involves:
- Quadriceps. Probably the most used muscle in skiing are the muscles of the quads. These muscles hold you in position as you ski and they also provide protection for your knees. Great exercises for the quads include squats and lunges.
- Hamstrings and Glutes. When skiing downhill, you typically hold your body in a flexed position -- meaning you're leaning forward from the hips. This requires great strength from your hamstrings and glutes as they help stabilize your body. Work your hams and glutes with deadlifts or hamstring rolls.
- Inner and Outer Thighs. Your inner thighs work like crazy to keep your skis together. Your outer thighs keep your body stable and help you steer. Work these muscles with side lunges, inner thigh squeezes and leg lifts.
- Calves. Because your knees are bent as you ski, your calves (specifically the soleus) help you stay upright so you don't fall over (your ski boots help too). You can work this muscle by doing calf raises.
- Abs and Back. Because you're in a flexed position, bent over, your back has to work like a maniac to hold your body in that position. Your abs help in that endeavor while also protecting your spine. Your lats get involved as you ski on a flat surface or uphill, using your poles for leverage. Work these muscles with exercises like bicycles, woodchops, back extensions and dumbbell rows.
- Arms. Along with your back, arms help push off with your poles while stabilizing your shoulder joints. Be sure to work your biceps and triceps.