It’s no secret that winter sports whip us into shape. For some, an activity like snowshoeing is solely a means to improve fitness while enjoying the great outdoors. For others, it is a way to satisfy a craving for competition. At times, these cold weather endeavors can make us feel strong and powerful, and other times we are left feeling greatly defeated.
While summertime activities are a good way to cross train, performing specific exercises geared toward our sport of choice is an effective way to eliminate early-season soreness or get a leg-up on our racing prowess. If we take good care of ourselves and fine-tune our bodies, we will have a jump start on the season. We will enjoy those first few days on the snow rather than letting fatigue set in and hearing our legs scream in tenuous protest.
There is nothing worse than heading out on a beautiful bluebird day wishing you had packed the Ibuprofen. This can be avoided with a few simple tips. A little bit of time spent every other day, at least six weeks before the snow falls, will prepare you for your first snowshoeing adventure of the season – whether it’s a recreational or a competitive endeavor.
Tip No. 1 – Wall Sits
To develop and maintain hip and leg strength, put your back up against the wall and imagine you are sitting in a chair with your knees bent over your ankles no deeper than 90 degrees. Stay in this position for one minute, building up to that time if necessary and repeat up to five times.
Wall sits will develop those powerhouse muscles of the gluteal region, quadriceps and hamstrings that are needed to punch through deep, powdery snow. The likelihood of knee injury drops when we keep our legs strong, so by developing a powerful lower body, fatigue enhanced knee problems are greatly reduced.
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