Early Nordic Season Strength Training


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Bozeman has some of the best skiing in the U.S., with access to more than 100 kilometers of groomed trails within 20 minutes of downtown. The snow is finally here and the trails are starting to get into skiing shape. Last week my colleague Jim talked to us about pre season workouts for alpine skiing. While most of the exercises he demonstrated translate to all kinds of skiing, I am going to talk about a few additional exercises that are more specific to nordic skiing. Spending a little bit of time in in the early season working on these will help your strength, improve your balance and decrease injury throughout the rest of the year. The most important muscle groups for skiing are your glutes, quads, and core. Glutes help stabilize your knee joint and prevent knee injuries and working on the explosiveness of your quads with help with your agility.  Working on your single leg balance is equally as important as working on your strength. Improving your balance will help you improve your glide when you’re on your nordic skis and therefore make your more efficient.

Below are a few exercises to help train your ski specific muscles and improve your agility. The focus for all of them should be to stay controlled and stable. Do 2-3 sets of all exercises 2-3 times per week

  1. Single Leg Balance with Medicine Ball Throw


Balance on a BOSU ball or the ground on one leg. Bend your knee slightly to help stabilize. Throw your medicine ball from overhead to the ground and catch it; keeping your knee stabilized. Repeat 20 times each leg.

Balance on a BOSU ball or the ground on one leg. Bend your knee slightly to help stabilize. Throw your medicine ball from overhead to the ground and catch it; keeping your knee stabilized. Repeat 20 times each leg.

2. Lateral Lunge Jumps


Balance on one leg, squat down and jump laterally. Land on opposite leg and try to stick the landing. Repeat 20 times

Balance on one leg, squat down and jump laterally. Land on opposite leg and try to stick the landing. Repeat 20 times

3. Lateral Lunges


Step out to the side; drop your hips back into a lunge keeping your knee right over your toe and your outside leg straight. Repeat 15-20 times each leg

Step out to the side; drop your hips back into a lunge keeping your knee right over your toe and your outside leg straight. Repeat 15-20 times each leg

4. Split Squat


Put your back foot up on a stool; drop down into a split lunge, front knee stays right over toe. Repeat 15-20 times each leg.

Put your back foot up on a stool; drop down into a split lunge, front knee stays right over toe. Repeat 15-20 times each leg.

5. Single Leg Squat with Overhead Lift.


Balance on one leg with a weight in the other. Bend your knee into a squat and reach across your body, then straighten your knee and reach up and out. Repeat 15 time each leg.

Balance on one leg with a weight in the other. Bend your knee into a squat and reach across your body, then straighten your knee and reach up and out. Repeat 15 time each leg.

– Kate Dolan, DPT

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