At the start of the season, the joy and satisfaction you get from skiing increase in direct proportion to what kind of shape you’re in. But by “shape,” we’re not talking about how much you can bench or how far you can run. More important is how your muscles act and react in complex cooperation to keep you upright and brace your connective tissues against a steady barrage of impact.
“You have to stabilize your weaker areas, and there are all sorts of supporting muscles that need attention,” says Chris Fellows, co-director at the North American Ski Training Center and the author of Total Skiing. To avoid those rusty first days, do what the pros do and target ski-specific muscles with unusual gym exercises. It doesn’t take much time to get these muscles in shape.
If you work the following circuit of eight exercises three times a week for three weeks, you will find you can double your runs, from day one. “Everybody can commit to this time,” says Fellows. “It will change your foundation. Then it’s up to you to push it.”