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Winter Workout: Strengthening Moves for Skiing, Snowboarding, and Ice Skating

Breakthrough moves to give your booty a ski-lift and get your body fit to hit the slopes this season.

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Jason Todd
Jason Todd
Down Dog with Heel Raise stretch
Jason Todd
Jason Todd
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How This Workout Works

Look hot from behind and smokin' on the slopes with this all-in-one abs-, butt-, and thigh-blaster. "The same drills that give you strength and stamina for skiing and ice skating also get you tight abs and a crazy-toned lower body," says trainer Stephanie Levinson, who created the Aspen Ascent class at the Sports Club/LA in New York City as the muscle-prep course for winter fun. Translation: The sculpting you do now will mean you'll unwind in an après-ski hot tub rather than with your sorry legs buried under ice packs. All it takes is a set of light (3- to 5-pound) or medium (8- to 10-pound) dumbbells and a gliding disk, a paper plate, or a towel. Rock these moves throughout the month for a built-for-speed bod.

Watch the full workout here

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Sweeping Squat

Targets shoulders, arms, abs, butt, quads, and outer thighs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, left hand on hip, holding a weight in right hand. Squat low and touch dumbbell on floor in front of you.
  • Stand up, lifting weight overhead and raising left leg out to side as you hinge at waist toward left (as if doing a standing side crunch).
  • Return to squat and repeat.
  • Do 10 reps. Switch sides and repeat. Do 2 sets.

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Chair Lift

Targets shoulders, back, biceps, butt, and quads

  • Stand with legs hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent 90 degrees by sides, palms facing each other.
  • Squat as you extend arms toward floor and then raise them to shoulder level in front of you.
  • Stand up, lifting right knee in front of you to hip height while driving bent elbows back to sides.
  • Return to squat and repeat, this time lifting left knee. Do 2 sets of 10 reps, alternating sides.

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Falling Abs

Targets abs

  • Lie faceup on floor, hands behind head, with a gliding disk (or paper plate or hand towel) underneath each foot.
  • Crunch up while sliding heels toward butt. Lower to start.
  • Do 2 sets of 20 reps.
  • MAKE IT HARDER: Keep head from touching floor between reps.

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Figure Skater

Targets shoulders, butt, quads, inner thighs, and outer thighs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides.
  • Lunge back with right leg, crossing right foot behind left leg and bending both knees 90 degrees (as if doing a curtsy).
  • Raise arms out to sides at shoulder level as you step right foot out to right and return to standing.
  • Repeat curtsy, this time lunging back with left leg.
  • Do 2 sets of 20 reps, alternating sides.

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Aerial Skier

Targets shoulders, triceps, abs, butt, and hamstrings

  • Stand with feet together, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Lift left leg directly behind you as you hinge forward from hips so that body is parallel to floor and arms extend down with palms facing each other.
  • Holding position, bring bent elbows by ribs, then extend arms behind you, pressing weights up.
  • Reverse movement back to start, bending elbows and then lowering weights before standing up.
  • Do 10 reps. Switch legs and repeat. Do 2 sets.
  • MAKE IT HARDER: Keep lifted leg from touching floor between reps.

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The Mogul

Targets butt, quads, and calves

  • Stand with feet together holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Lower into a deep squat, torso hinged forward in a tuck position, and bend elbows by ribs 90 degrees, palms facing each other (as if skiing).
  • Maintaining tuck, pivot on balls of feet to face toward left, then pulse up and down 1 inch for 4 counts.
  • Pivot back to center, repeat pulse; pivot to right, repeat pulse, to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 5 reps, then repeat 5 reps, this time pulsing only 2 counts at left, center and right. Do 2 sets.
  • MAKE IT HARDER: Jump to change direction rather than pivoting.

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Cross-Country

Targets shoulders, arms, butt, quads, inner thighs, outer thighs, and calves

  • Stand with feet together, holding a dumbbell in each hand near shoulders, palms facing forward.
  • Side lunge with right leg to right, bending knee 90 degrees and keeping left leg straight.
  • Extend arms overhead as you step back to center.
  • Lunge forward with right leg, bending both knees 90 degrees, lowering weights to shoulders.
  • Return to standing in center, pressing weights overhead; lunge backward with right leg, bending both knees and lowering weights to shoulders.
  • Return to center, lifting weights overhead.
  • Do side-, front-, and back-lunge combo 8 times; switch legs and repeat. Do 2 sets.

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Icy Circles

Targets biceps, butt, quads, inner thighs, and outer thighs

  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with feet together, right foot on a gliding disk (or paper plate or hand towel).
  • Lower into a deep squat, torso hinged forward in a tuck position, and bend elbows by ribs 90 degrees, palms facing each other (as if skiing).
  • Maintaining tuck, trace a large circle on floor with right foot as you curl weights toward shoulders.
  • Do 15 reps; switch sides and repeat. Do 2 sets.

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Essential Three-Minute Soother

These stretches de-stress the muscles most frequently fried on the slopes -- those in the back, hips, thighs, and calves -- so they can mellow out, not freeze up.

Spinal Twist

Stretches back and hips

  • Lie faceup on floor with legs extended. Pull left knee into chest with right hand, then cross knee over to right side.
  • Extend left arm out to side; hold for 15 to 20 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

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Down Dog with Heel Raise

Stretches shoulders, back, hamstrings, and calves

  • Begin on all fours, then lift hips toward ceiling while pressing heels into floor so that body forms an inverted V; align head between arms.
  • Cross right instep over left heel, then lift and lower left heel 8 times. Switch sides and repeat.

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Forward Fold

Stretches lower back, quads, inner thighs, and hamstrings

  • Sit on floor with right leg extended, left knee bent out to side with sole of left foot touching inside of right thigh.
  • Lean torso forward over left leg, placing palms or elbows on floor. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, February 2013.

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