Longer Lasting Legs

Get your legs revved up for winter sports

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Philip Ndugga, performing a Bulgarian split squats
Philip Ndugga, performing a Bulgarian split squat. Photo: Peter Kaczan.

Are you one of those skiers who hits the slopes really hard the first week of ski season only to hobble around afterwards? Well, this year step up your training before the lifts open! By adding these strength training exercises to your fitness regimen you’ll be ready to take on mountains with confidence.

Here are a series of preseason exercises designed to condition and strengthen the muscle groups most commonly used for skiing by turning them into the fitness engine they are supposed to be. This will help you ski better, stay out longer and have more fun!

As with any physical activity, a warm-up is of paramount importance as it helps to gradually rev up the heart rate and circulation. This will loosen the joints and increase blood flow to the muscles, help reduce muscle soreness and lessen risk of injury.

Warm-Up

5 – 10 minutes
Skipping rope, jog in place, kickbacks, light run, stationary bike, easy stretching of lower body.

1. Isometric Leg Abduction

Isometric Leg Abduction
Isometric Leg Abduction. Left: Beginner/Intermediate – Lean against wall. Right: Advanced – Lean against ball. Photo: Peter Kaczan.

20-30 Count hold

Beginner/Intermediate: Lean against wall
Advanced: Lean against ball

Stand sideways against a wall with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend the leg closest to the wall 90 degrees at the knee. Press leg against the wall while maintaining a neutral spine and make sure the standing-leg knee is in alignment with the second toe.

2. Single-Leg Deadlift

Single-Leg Deadlift
Single-Leg Deadlift. Advanced – Two dumbbells. Photo: Peter Kaczan.

15 reps per side

Beginner: Bodyweight, with hands on back of head
Intermediate: One dumbbell
Advanced: Two dumbbells

Stand on one leg while the other foot is slightly touching the ground for balance. Hinge forward keeping a neutral pelvis and straight back. Gently rise up while thrusting hips of straight leg forward.

3. Bulgarian Split Squats

Bulgarian Split Squats
Bulgarian Split Squats. Advanced – Two Dumbbells. Photo: Peter Kaczan.

15 reps per side

Beginner: Bodyweight, with hands on back of head
Intermediate: One dumbbell
Advanced: Two dumbbells

Stand tall with dumbbells in each hand. Slowly elevate one leg behind on the bench. Keep core tight and spine neutral. Slowly lower until rear knee is two inches off the floor or until front thigh is parallel to the floor, then rise up and repeat.

4. Lying Leg Curls with Fitball

Lying Leg Curls with Fitball
Lying Leg Curls with Fitball. Advanced – Single leg curls (15 reps per side). Photo: Peter Kaczan.

15 count hold or 15 reps

Beginner: Elevate hips and hold position for 15 counts
Intermediate: Leg curls using both legs (15 reps)
Advanced: Single leg curls (15 reps per side)

Lay on your back with heels on the ball and hands on the floor. Elevate your hips, keep neutral spine and squeeze glutes. Extend legs out and curl heels back using hamstrings.

5. Jump Squats w/ Dumbbells

Jump Squats w/ Dumbbells
Jump Squats w/ Dumbbells. Advanced – Two dumbbells. Photo: Peter Kaczan.

15 reps

Beginner: Bodyweight
Intermediate: One dumbbell
Advanced: Two dumbbells

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Hold with neutral grip. Descend into a squat while pushing glutes back until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Jump up and land on your feet. 

Location: Repsol Sport Centre


IMPACT Magazine November Issue Digital CoverIMPACT Magazine’s November Edition

RBC Olympic hopefuls Hayley Daniels, Sam Effah and Kate Wright as our inspiring cover athlete stories!⁠ Get prepared for winter running, making movement part of your workday, and exploring great hikes near Calgary and Vancouver.

Read this story in our November 2020 Digital Edition.

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