Core Exercises for Skiing

Watch any World Cup race and you’ll see athletes employing incredible core strength as they hurtle downhill. Let’s look at exercises to strengthen your core musculature.

Many of you have likely done sit-ups and crunches at some point. Fifteen years ago, I was that guy doing sit-ups on a decline bench while holding a 25- or 35-pound plate. New research has shown that sit-ups stress the lumbar vertebrae at a level near National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [NIOSH] safety limit.

core exercises for skiing

Shirley Sahrmann notes that crunches train the rectus abdominis and internal obliques, but not the external obliques. Even a twisting crunch — say bicycles or Russian twists — don’t adequately train external obliques.

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Climbing Mount Mansfield

On Friday 2 August, I set out on a long-anticipated trip to Vermont. Saturday was the App Gap Challenge, a 7.2 kilometer roller ski race heading west on Vermont Route 17, past Mad River Glen to, you guessed it, Appalachian Gap. Sunday, I planned to climb Mount Mansfield.

Notch view Mount Mansfield trail

For many years my wife and I had gone in on a February house share in Waitsfield. The group that organized it gradually drifted apart. Age, work, kids, you get the idea. Two years ago, I’d raced App Gap, but immediately following the race, I had to get our daughter to sleep away camp in Massachusetts. This would be my first opportunity to hang out in this part of the world in a long time.

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Upper Body Workout for Skiing

In addition to leg strength, you need upper body strength to get down the mountain. Developing your upper half will help you master your turns, dodge trees and other skiers, and reduce the risk of injuries — shoulders, back, arms — that result from falling. This piece goes through a simple upper body workout for skiing.

A wise man once said: “You’ll look a whole lot better coming down the slopes if your arms aren’t flailing and your skis aren’t controlling you.”

And for cross-country skiers, upper body strength is calculated to be half of what gets you up a hill.

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