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Winter Sports and Ski Conditioning in Stowe, Vermont

Whether you are a nordic or alpine skier, snowboarder or hockey player, winter sports require strength, quickness, balance and agility. Will you be ready when the snow falls to hit the slopes at Stowe Mountain Resort?

It is not too early to start adding specific exercises into your workout routine that will improve not only your enjoyment of your Vermont winter sports but improve your ability and lessen your chance for injury. If you currently belong to a gym, ask if they have a winter sports conditioning class that you could attend. If not, seek out a personal trainer for advice on specific exercises and equipment use for your particular sport. If you don’t belong to a gym, here are some exercises you could do on your own. First, be sure to include 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise such as walking briskly, running, or cycling 4 to 5 days per week. Then try these exercises:

Wall squat:  Find a wall. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and far enough away from the wall so that when you are in the correct squat position, your knees are directly over your ankles. Stand with your back and had against the wall. Hold for as long as you can to increase your tolerance to the "burn!"

Plank Pose:  Start as if you were going to do a push up – hands on the floor in line with your shoulders, toes or knees on the floor. While holding your body still, lift one arm at a time away from your body and return back to the floor. Don’t allow your body to rotate. This will increase upper body and core strength and endurance. When you can no longer hold this position or if your muscles become to fatigued to continue, stop and take a break.

High knees:  While standing in place, start lifting your knees as quickly as you can for 20 seconds. Increase the length of time by 5 seconds each time you perform this exercise. Keep your arms bent at 90 degrees.

Hamstring stretch:  Lie on your back with 1 knee bent and foot on the floor. Straighten the other leg and raise the foot to the ceiling. Use a towel to assist you if you cannot hold your leg comfortably. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides.

Start these exercises today. Will you be ready?

Rebecca Rahilly is a sports fitness instructor at Stowe Mountain Lodge.

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