Snow-sport dabblers, heads up: The more pursuits you take up, the more varied your regimen should be. We’ve got the Suspension Trainer moves to get you ready.
Every year, impressed by the flocks of pirouetting telemarkers and snowboarders, many lifelong downhillers pick up on a certain trend: diversifying. Except, when you shelve your alpine skis for telly equipment, point your new boards down the slope, you’ll realize in less than half a dozen runs that your reasonably strong quads turn first to oatmeal and then to useless blocks of mortar. Reaching for the pain relievers that evening, you might recall how this was a downhill ski season you had actually trained for.
That, ironically, can be the problem. Even though winter sports generally use the same muscle groups, they use them somewhat differently. For instance your quads may be strong from all the lifting and Suspension Training on your PRO4, but they weren’t trained to move through the range of motion that a snowboard turn requires. So for the growing number of winter sport-ers out there, variety on the slopes demands variety in training. A multisport approach to your routine is entirely doable—mix winter-sport-specific strength exercises in one workout and you’ll not only gain overall fitness, but you’ll have more than a fighting chance when the snow falls, come hockey or skiing or boarding.
One more hard physiological truth: your cardiovascular system will undoubtedly require as much attention as your muscles. Those 45-minute sessions of running, swimming, or cycling you’ve been doing several times a week since summer have helped—at least to a point. Any stamina-building activity is good training, but the short-burst, anaerobic requirements of sports like alpine skiing, snowboarding, and hockey demand interval training as well. No problem—just drop into a Sweat class (Live or on Replay) on TRX Training Club®—p.s. If you already have a Suspension Trainer strap, you get 30 days free.
As for muscle building, here you go: doing the following exercises for the sport of your choice a couple of times a week will yield serious benefits.
FIRST UP: THE WARMUP
These 4 simple, but super effectives moves are the perfect way to loosen up tight (and cold) muscles, plus get some motion in your joints before you hit the slopes.
SQUAT TO ROW
The best way to work the athletic stance you’ll be in all day. A huge part of any winter sport is maintaining a semi hinge position without leaning too far forward or back. What does this call for? Heavy quad, hamstring, and glute work, but also a strong upper back so your chest doesn’t fall forward. This move accomplishes all of that at once.
LUNGE + CHEST STRETCH
Prep the knees for all those twists & turns. All that athletic power we use in winter sports lends itself to a hunched-forward body position—coiled like a spring. This move primes your lower body muscles and joints while opening up your chest so it feels less restricted.
Fire up your hip flexors and quads so they’re ready to go. This dynamic move focuses squarely on using your hip flexors for driving power. Strengthen them and you’ll reap the benefits with every forward stride you take. Make sure you keep a 90-degree bend in the knee and then drive through the ball of the working leg with each stride.
SINGLE LEG HIP HINGE
Earn your turns by mobilizing those hips. No matter your winter sports, strengthening the hips is actually what makes them more mobile, with a better range of motion. By working those deep rotator muscles of the hip (hello, obturator internus) in these single hinges, you’re working on stabilizing that joint—the more stable and strong it feels, the more it loosens up so you don’t feel restricted out there.