Ok! So you've got your new snow gear, boots, hat, gloves, ski's and/or board is waxed, season passes purchased, condo booked... you're set! Oh, but wait... you haven't been riding or skiing since last season... orrr really going to the gym (and running to work because you're late doesn't count, but way to be optimistic!)
This year you told yourself you really want to hit the slopes without getting muscle cramps, but now snowflakes are beginning to fall and it's just about go time for The Biggest Skiing in America!
Worry not! Because I've compiled a dandy list of workouts that you can do to get your body ready to shred some serious pow.
Active.com asked a personal trainer whose trained skiers and professional athletes for his two cents on the subject and found out it's the secondary muscles that you need to pay attention to. These are your muscles that aren't used every day in constant motion, and by strengthening them you'll help avoid injury.
They identified the 6 muscles used the most in skiers as hamstrings and glutes, inner and outer thighs, abs and back, calves, quadriceps, and arms. You can click here to get their 6-week workout plan.
Shape.com focuses on balance as a MUST HAVE skill whether you ski or snowboard. They say we begin to lose our sense of balance at the age of 25, so maintaining it with exercise is essential.
First they recommend finding a BOSU ball for some powerfully effective exercises.
(This a BOSU ball, but I just like to call it Harvey.)
They recommend balancing on one foot on the top of the BOSU while doing bicep curls, or start with both feet on the floor and alternate toe taps in a quick series while aiming for the top point of the BOSU, or Harvey.
Another balancing exercise they recommend is standing on one foot, with the other foot raised just barely above the ground. Feel free to do this while brushing your teeth, talking on the phone, watching TV, or deciding to name your ball something other than Harvey. You can read more about that here.
Speaking of balance, yogajournal.com says being aware of our feet is a critical factor in stability. By standing in the "Extended Sides Angle Pose" or Utthita Parsvakonasana (rolls off the tongue), they say to practice putting even pressure through the entire foot, observing how the slightest shift to one side can cause you to become unbalanced.
Here is what this looks like, and you can click here to read more and see demonstrations.
Theactivetimes.com called on some snow experts, personal trainers and yogis to weigh in on the topic as well. They list the 7 most important moves for building total body strength that will help you power down the mountain along with a guide to show you how to execute the move perfectly. Those moves include lunges, burpees, push-ups, squats, chair pose, single leg Romanian deadlift, and last but not least... planks, baby!
Even though you're pretty confidant you know how to do a lunge properly, make sure you check out the guide for each move to avoid hurting yourself in the process of trying to help yourself. Nobody wants that.
Need another incentive to get off the couch and get started? Tell yourself you'll allow one extra plate of food on turkey day if you get the ball rolling now! Or... just think of that time when you were trying to be cool and wrecked HARD in front of all of those cute girls or hot guys... if only you had taken the time to hang out with Harvey! :)
You've got this!
I started snowboarding in 2003, but my love for the sport developed in 2006 when I got my hands on David Benedek's 16mm film 91 Words for Snow.
My world revolved around urban and park riding, inspired by the likes of Darrell Mathes, Justin Bennee, and Nicolas Muller. I craved every moment that my board was touching a fresh groomed pipe or sliding down a rail. I hurt inside knowing that the nearest ski hill was at least five hours away from my home in central Illinois, and that the "fun" hills were even further into Wisconsin or Minnesota; the passion was real, the fire burned inside.
As time went on I became more aware of big mountain riding and became increasingly aware of the people pushing the sport to new limits. This was what I needed, to explore these most majestic, most improbable mountainous landscapes with a board under my feet. It would be all too perfect to experience. But the idea of ever riding on real snow, on a real mountain larger than 300 feet, could not exist in my mind, no matter how badly I wanted them to exist.
My dreams were to only be further repressed: finding out my family would be relocated to the state of Kansas. It wasn't until I came to Bozeman in the fall of 2009 to see Montana State University that I began to allow my dreams to grow. The idea that I could explore the snow-covered high peaks was now not only a possibility - I would make it my reality.
Over the last few years here in Montana, I have realized my dreams through Lone Peak starting with Moonlight Basin and now Big Sky Resort. Lone Peak has been a place for me to learn, and to shed my skin and transform from a Midwest park rat into a big mountain snowboarder.
Even as I skin up the peaks in Hyalite Canyon, Beehive Basin, or Cooke City, I continually return to the resort as a place for personal progression. Lone Peak grounds me in my quest to climb higher, and ride more challenging terrain. For me, the true essence of riding at the resort means giving 100 percent, something you can do regardless of how hard the terrain that you ride is. Some of the most inspiring skiers and riders I know project the same run over and over until they have mastered it. They might not be skiing the steepest, most technical lines, but their motivation is pure and they love what they're doing. In the end, it's all about having a good time with your friends, being in a beautiful place, and doing a little riding.
Photo: Erik Morrison
Photo: Chris Kamman
When my officemate Michel and friend Candis asked me to go snowshoeing I was skeptical. What I knew about snowshoeing came from National Geographic Alaska TV specials and Jack London novels. What I didn't know, or expect, was how much I would learn about Lone Mountain, the Spanish Peaks and snowshoeing from our Basecamp guide Bea.
Bea taught us about the flora and fauna around Big Sky, such as the Indian Paint Brush wildflower grows at different colors at different elevations or that the Spanish Peaks are one of the only ranges in the Rocky Mountains that run east to west and are the oldest peaks in the Madison Range. Bea was a wealth of knowledge, keeping us on our snowshoe toes with funny quick-fire quizzes of what we'd learned so far.
We hiked up Moose Tracks, the trees near Middle Road, and then went even a little further to an open area with spectacular views of Lone Peak and the Spanish Peaks, the tallest of which, Gallatin Peak, stood prominently out overlooking both Madison and Gallatin Counties.
Breaking our own trail from time-to-time, I found snowshoeing essentially to be winter hiking. I love hiking and had no idea what I had been missing out on all these winters by not taking up snowshoeing.
Not only is snowshoeing great exercise, but it put me out into nature in a different way than skiing does. I don't stop to look around enough while I'm skiing because I'm continually in search for that great line, but snowshoeing forced me to pause and listen to the beauty that surrounds me every day.
For more information on snowshoe tours at Big Sky Resort check out bigskyresort.com/activities
Video: Michael Jezak
Big Sky Resort ambassador Dan Greene makes skiing look easy. Greene and Big Sky Resort Broadcast Media Manager Michael Jezak took a few days this December to ski the peak, grab some face shots, and film this video. It's short and sweet just like the lift lines and ski lines respectively here at Big Sky Resort, and it captures the coldsmoke powder we've been experiencing this December. With more than 25" in the past week, and 26" the week and a half before that it's time to shred into the New Year keeping the winter vibe alive.
Featuring: Dan Greene and Nick Malik; Video: Michael Jezak
We've been busy making snow the last two weeks in preparation for Opening Day on Thanksgiving. The Suessical piles of snow are mounding up outside my office window, and I wanted to bring a little of that to the blog. Here's how we snowmake:
Filmed & Edited by Chris Kamman
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