You’re already counting down the days, hours and minutes until your next ski trip, so channel that excitement into prepping your body to make the most of each moment on the mountain.

Our Director of Ski School, Greg Willis, recommends these five exercises to get you in shape for the season.

#1. Strengthen those quadriceps

Being office-bound is no excuse to skip out on training. Use your breaks and a wall to engage those quad muscles with some wall sits.

  • Stand with your feet flat and a couple of feet from a wall.
  • Keeping your back flat slide down the wall until your knees are bent almost at a right angle.
  • Now hold it!

Start with modest time goals and keep increasing the duration each day. Pretty soon you will be taking conference calls from this position and your legs will thank you come the first powder day.

#2. Engage your core

A common misconception when getting ready for the season is that strengthening your leg muscles is all it takes to be a strong skier or snowboarder. What many fail to realize is that a strong core pulls it all together and allows you to go the distance, skiing open to close.

Planks are awesome for this.

  • Start by getting in a modified push-up position with your elbows bent 90 degrees and both forearms resting on the floor.
  • Position your elbows directly underneath your shoulders and work on keeping your body in a perfectly straight line from the crown of your head to your heels.
  • Now hold it!

Gradually work up the length you can hold this pose and you will experience great gains. Try different versions like a high plank or side plank to hit your core from different angles.

#3. Don’t forget your cardio.

A run, a hike, or a bike ride are all great ways to improve your endurance on the slopes. Better yet, combine these activities with a trip through the woods and you have an experience very similar to skiing the trees. Keep your eyes up and looking ahead and this will also prepare you to make line choices once the snow flies.

#4. Agility

Being able to react quickly is key to navigating the mountain – from avoiding other skiers to trees to maneuvering moguls. Try ladder drills to improve your speed and agility.

  • Create a “ladder” by simply putting tape on the floor to create the rungs.
  • Now try to navigate the ladder as fast as you can without stepping on the lines.
  • Now mix it up: forwards, sideways, one foot, and leg scissors are all ways to improve your agility as well as your responsiveness.

Spend as little as 20 minutes every other day on these moves and you will love the results.

#5 Don’t forget your glutes

And if you do forget them, they won’t let you forget that you neglected them by the end of day one on the slopes. Ouch.

  • Get yourself a Swiss ball and while laying on your back with your heels on the ball use your hands placed to the side of your hips to stabilize your body.
  • With your legs straight extend your hips toward the ceiling with your shoulders resting on the floor.
  • Hold at the top for a 2 count and then lower your hips back down stopping just above the floor and again hold for another 2 count.
  • Try 3- 5 sets of 12 reps, then try it with bent knees. Your glutes and hamstrings will let you know when you are doing it right.

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