Kyler Crouse
Special to the Tribune

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December 15, 2012
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Health and Fitness: Five best ski exercises

Goblet Squat

How to do it:

1. Stand with your legs about shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward.

2. Grab a dumbbell or kettlebell and hold it against your chest. With a kettlebell, hold the handle, but with a dumbbell just hold it vertical by one end.

3. Squat down with the goal of having your elbows, which are pointed downward because you're cradling the bell, slide past the inside of your knees. Then squeeze your glutes and quads to standing position.

Why it works:

This is an excellent exercise to strengthen the glutes, quads and core; while at the same still increasing hip mobility to help reduce injury. By placing the weight in front of your body, it forces you into proper position which also reduces the risk of squatting.

Single Leg Deadlift

How to do it:

1. Stand holding a dumbbell in front of you thigh high.

2. Extend your left or right leg behind you. Toes can be touching the floor behind you or be lifted completely off the floor to make the lift harder. Keeping your shoulders back, core tight and back straight, bend at the hips and lower the dumbbell towards the floor.

3. Lower down to mid shin level. Keep everything tight with your back rigid (no rounding), eyes forward and explode up through your heels to the starting position.

Why it works:

Single leg exercises are great to help prevent muscle imbalances. When one side of the body is stronger than the other it can unconsciously work harder and ease the work from the other side of the body. To balance out your strength gains the single leg deadlift is extremely effective.

Single Leg Glute Bridge

How to do it:

1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, about hip-width apart. Draw the left knee toward your chest and slide the right foot slightly toward the midline of the body.

2. While keeping your core lift your hips up off the floor. Your right heel is pressing into the floor for added stability. Squeeze the glutes and avoid arching the low back.

3. Slowly lower yourself back to the mat. Maintain control using your glutes. Repeat and switch legs.

Why it Works:

The single leg glute bridge not only strengthens the muscles in the glutes, but also helps to tone and strengthen the quadriceps, lower back and abdominal muscles. It can be performed almost anywhere with no equipment, which makes this a great exercise for road trips.

Kettlebell Swings

How to do it:

1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, and place a kettlebell between your feet. Hinge at the hips with slightly bent knees to lower your body down and grasp the kettlebell both arms.

2. Initiate an explosive upward movement to swing the kettlebell upward, returning to a vertical standing position. Do not arch your back, and squeeze the glutes. Allow the kettlebell to swing until the arms are parallel to the floor.

3. Remember that this is not a shoulder exercise, but an exercise to generate explosive force in the hips. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Why it works:

The kettlebell swing involves the powerful muscles of the hips to generate force and mimics the same athletic hip extension that is so important in many sports. For skiing the hips help turn and are responsible for jumping and absorbing force.

Squat Jumps

How to do it:

1. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, with your feet pointing forward. Bend your legs and lower your body down into a deep squat while keeping your torso upright. Swing your arms back behind you.

2. Exhale and jump straight up, swinging your arms over your head like you are blocking a ball in volleyball.

3: Land gently on the balls of your feet before landing on your heels with your legs bent. Repeat with no rest for 5-8 consecutive jumps.

Why it Works:

Squats jumps involve using your legs and hips to generate force like a compressed spring. An effective way to increase power and add some fun and variety into your training program is to add plyometrics. Plyometrics work by using the body's energy like a spring. This strengthens the tendons and connective tissues that protect the joints.

- Kyler Crouse, BS, CSCS, FMS is a strength coach at Sierra Athletic Club. For more information visit www.KCstrength.com.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Dec 15, 2012 01:22AM Published Dec 15, 2012 01:18AM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.