Going skiing or snowboarding isn’t just a fun winter activity—it’s also a high-intensity workout. And whether you go for the bunny slopes or the black diamonds, your legs are sure to feel the burn afterward.
It’s always a good idea to prepare your muscles for the beating they’re about to get. We asked Angel Stone, fitness consultant and personal trainer at Eshe Body Center, to recommend some leg-strengthening exercises for anyone about to head for the hills. These five moves will help you strengthen key muscles to ensure you’re shredding the slopes, not your legs.
Perform the entire circuit two to three times.
Exercise One: Lateral hops with a towel
Purpose: Develops lateral quickness and leg power
Keeping your feet directly underneath you, quickly hop sideways over a towel without pausing during the landed phase. Keep your chest up, maintain good posture throughout, and land softly. Each time you land is one rep.
To increase intensity, jump over a taller or wider object.
Exercise Two: One-legged squat
Purpose: Strengthens legs and glutes while improving balance
Reps: 8 to 10 per leg
Stand on one foot. Lower yourself onto a chair, bench, or box. Return to standing position without putting your foot down. Keep your chest lifted and your knee in line with your big toe. After one set, switch legs and repeat.
To increase intensity, use a shorter platform.
Exercise Three: Squat thrust with a jump
Purpose: This full-body exercise develops explosive power and strengthens lungs, legs, and core.
With your feet shoulder-width apart, squat down and place your hands on the ground. Kick your feet back into a pushup position in one fluid motion. Bring your feet back toward your hands. Jump up as high as you can then land in the starting position and repeat, in one fluid motion.
Exercise Four: Glute march
Purpose: Develops hip stability and strengthens core and hamstrings
Lie on your back with arms at your sides. Keep your knees bent. Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold this position.
Raise your left knee up to your chest as far as you can. Pause, lower knee back down, and raise left knee. Continue alternating knees.
Exercise Five: Standing hip abduction with resistance band
Purpose: Strengthens lower body, particularly the glutes
Reps: 15 per leg
Place a resistance band around your ankles. Lift one foot off the floor while balancing on your standing leg. Hold on to a stable surface for balance as needed. Continue raising your cuffed leg until you reach about 45 degrees or the limits of your comfort level.
Increase the intensity of this exercise by increasing your range of motion or by increasing the resistance of the band.
Angel Stone is a fitness consultant and personal trainer at Eshe Body Center and a competitive triathlete. For more information, visit her blog, Fit & Hungry. All photographs are courtesy of Angel Stone.