What are the best exercises to get in shape for backcountry skiers?

What are the best exercises to get in shape for backcountry skiing?


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Hiking up and skiing down is incredibly taxing on your body, requiring more strength, endurance, and power than skiing at a resort.

In the backcountry, you won’t have the luxury of taking a break and grabbing food in a lodge so plan your nutrition and hydration ahead of time. Also, in terms of your gym training, think about incorporating conditioning work into strength and power circuits. Here’s how:

  • Perform full-body workouts in which you’re performing upper body, lower body, and explosive medicine ball moves in circuit fashion—that is, do one move after another with minimal rest between exercises. (For hundreds of moves, check out
  • At the end of each circuit (say, 5 to 6 exercises), challenge your cardiovascular system with a minute bout of intense activity. For instance, you could walk or run on a treadmill set at a steep incline, or hop on an elliptical or bike at a heavy resistance and low RPMs, or do sled drags.
  • Rest briefly and repeat the circuit 2-4 times.

This approach will help you maintain your strength and muscle endurance even after you become fatigued from the climbing and skiing.

Craig Friedman

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