Ready to hit the slopes this winter? If you spend most of your week cooped up at a desk, weekend ski and snowboard trips could leave you with strained muscles and a sore back. But with the right preparation, including strengthening your hamstrings, quadriceps, back and core, you won’t have to risk injury or suffer from the usual aches and pains, says Mike Morin, alpine program director at Stratton Mountain School, who coached the U.S. Ski Team for 10 years through the Lillihammer, Salt Lake City and Torino Winter Olympics. These five exercises, recommended by Morin, will get you into the right shape to be a true winter weekend warrior.
1. Toy Soldiers Having flexible hamstrings is crucial for skiing and snowboarding, says Morin. While something as simple as a seated forward bend can stretch your hamstrings, active and dynamic stretches like the toy soldier are most effective, he says.