Q:

How do I train for my first snowshoeing trip?

This is my first year snowshoeing. Is there anything specific I should do to get my body ready?

Dec 5, 2011
Outside
Outside Magazine
Snowshoeing in Sweden

Snowshoeing in Sweden    Photo:M. Prinke/Flickr

A:

Snowshoeing is more challenging than a standard hike. Your feet are weighed down by snowshoes and you have to pick them up out of heavy snow, which requires a great deal of leg strength.

 To prepare, add the two moves below to your gym routine and practice with some easy hikes. Hike around your neighborhood in your snowshoes to get comfortable with your shoes and figure out the best clothing combination. You’ll need to be able to move, have enough insulation, and be able to easily remove layers so you don’t overheat. 

Cable Hip Flexion
This move teaches you to lift your legs with resistance, training the often-neglected hip flexors. To do it, attach an ankle strap to your ankle and the low pulley of a cable machine. Face away from the machine. Lift the knee of the attached leg up in front of your body. Maintaining your balance, return to the starting position. Complete a set and repeat with the opposite leg. Click here to watch a video.

Step-up
For this movement, wear a set of ankle weights or a pair of heavy winter boots to mimic the resistance of walking in snow. Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with one foot on a box or raised platform. Pushing through your hip, stand and bring your other foot up. Step back down along the same path. Complete a set and repeat with the opposite leg. Click here to watch a video.

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