Thursday, January 5, 2012

Time to hit the slopes!

Whether you ski or snowboard, it's important to get in good shape before your first run of the season. Here is some advice from Men's Fitness for building a solid base and avoiding first time back faceplants or that day-after pain.

Build strength. To become a better skier or snowboarder, you need to be a strong, fit, powerful athlete.

Improve your balance. Try a dumbbell rear-foot elevated split squat: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and place your back foot up on a bench or short plyo box. Stand tall, then bend your front knee and drop straight down. Keep your front foot flat and press hard to stand back up. Try three or four sets of five to eight reps for each leg.

Boost agility. To boost agility try both forward/backward and lateral single-leg hops. Stand on one leg and hop back and forth over a line on the floor.

Maximize your endurance. Because typical runs down the hill are pretty quick and then you get a break on the chairlift, high-intensity intervals are a great way to get in shape. Try a cardio workout such as a spinning session, treadmill run or hill run. Sprint, recover and repeat!

First day back. Make sure your skis or snowboard are tuned and waxed so that they are primed for their best performance. After you hit the mountain, it is important to stretch. Using a foam roller will also help relax your muscles and return them to their resting length.

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