Whether your snow sport of choice involves skis (downhill, telemark, cross-country or Randonee), snowshoes, a snowboard, a sled, or you simply prefer glissading on your butt, you will find conditioning tips that will help you prepare for a safe, healthy and fun season enjoying your favorite sport.
Snowshoeing is a low-impact winter hiking activity that requires little more than snowshoes strapped onto your feet and adjustable trekking poles that can be helpful in deep snow. Hip flexors and uphill propulsion muscles in the glutes and hamstrings play a large role in moving the winter hiker uphill in deep snow. Snowboarding and alpine downhill skiing are typically less aerobic than backcountry skiing and snowshoeing but generally involve more strength to absorb impact and navigate steep downhill terrain.
Cross-country skiing (Nordic skate skiing) involves free-heel skiing with short, soft boots on long, thin skis lacking metal edges. Cross-country skiers often use groomed trails at ski resorts. This low-impact sport requires good balance and high endurance throughout all the major muscle groups. Backcountry telemark skiing (Nordic downhill skiing) involves free-heel skiing on metal-edged skis designed to accommodate steep, aggressive slopes (by Mr. villalta). Telemark skiers add skins and use heel elevators to provide a comfortable resting position for backcountry climbing. This type of skiing also includes high-altitude touring, requiring additional anaerobic conditioning and lower-body strength compared to cross-country skiing. Randonee (alpine touring, AT) gear is lighter than alpine downhill gear but heavier than telemark gear. The binding allows the heel to be free for climbing or for crossing flat land but locked in place for parallel turns. Such skis are suitable for rugged and steep backcountry terrain.