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Wilderness Sports > Skiing, Snowboarding and Snowshoeing Training & Conditioning

Skiing, Snowboarding and Snowshoeing Training & Conditioning

Cross-Country Skiing

Skiing, Snowboarding and Snowshoeing

Whether your snow sport of choice involves skis (downhill, telemark, cross-country or Randonee), snowshoes, a snowboard, a sled, or you simply prefer glissading on your butt, you will find conditioning tips that will help you prepare for a safe, healthy and fun season enjoying your favorite sport.

Snowshoeing is a low-impact winter hiking activity that requires little more than snowshoes strapped onto your feet and adjustable trekking poles that can be helpful in deep snow. Hip flexors and uphill propulsion muscles in the glutes and hamstrings play a large role in moving the winter hiker uphill in deep snow. Snowboarding and alpine downhill skiing are typically less aerobic than backcountry skiing and snowshoeing but generally involve more strength to absorb impact and navigate steep downhill terrain.

Cross-country skiing (Nordic skate skiing) involves free-heel skiing with short, soft boots on long, thin skis lacking metal edges. Cross-country skiers often use groomed trails at ski resorts. This low-impact sport requires good balance and high endurance throughout all the major muscle groups. Backcountry telemark skiing (Nordic downhill skiing) involves free-heel skiing on metal-edged skis designed to accommodate steep, aggressive slopes (by Mr. villalta). Telemark skiers add skins and use heel elevators to provide a comfortable resting position for backcountry climbing. This type of skiing also includes high-altitude touring, requiring additional anaerobic conditioning and lower-body strength compared to cross-country skiing. Randonee (alpine touring, AT) gear is lighter than alpine downhill gear but heavier than telemark gear. The binding allows the heel to be free for climbing or for crossing flat land but locked in place for parallel turns. Such skis are suitable for rugged and steep backcountry terrain.

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Recommended Products for
Snow Sports Training

The Outdoor Athlete by Courtenay and Doug Schurman

The Outdoor Athlete book. This new book will prepare you for your snow sports adventure with sample performance training programs designed to maximize outdoor enjoyment. Read more about the book - The Outdoor Athlete

Pre-Season Conditioning for Skiing E-Book
This ski preparation e-book includes a complete circuit workout consisting of 10 full body strength exercises and 4 stretching exercises. It includes a comprehensive 8-week program that will help anyone with a good baseline of fitness prepare optimally for snow season, whether that involves cross-country, telemark, downhill skiing or snowboarding.


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