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Get Fit For Ski Season With Kylee Toth

Kylee Toth, a professional ski mountaineer and elite athlete in the Näak family, has written you an incredible piece for ski season preparation. 

Here are 5 key strength exercises you should do to get you primed for ski season and the reason why they will get you going up and down the hill faster.

EXERCISE  1

The Deadlift

Näak | Blog | Get Fit For Ski Season With Kylee Toth

Why are deadlifts good for skiing?

Ski touring is a very leg-intensive activity. Suppose you want to have enough gas to keep up to your buddies on the uphill. In that case, you need to work out your cardiovascular system but also your leg muscles to have the muscular endurance to deal with steep, slippery and uneven terrain.

Essentially the uphill ski touring movement is like doing a repetitive forward lunge over and over and over. To top it all off once you hit the summit you need strong legs to support your body for skiing down.

October is the perfect time to get on those leg strengthening exercises and a heavy hitter in this department is the deadlift.

Quick how to:

You can do a deadlift using a loaded barbell or free weights. The weight is lifted off the ground to the level of the hips, torso perpendicular to the floor, before being placed back on the ground. For instructions on how to do a proper deadlift head over to the, "All of you Lifestyle" YouTube channel.

What muscles does this exercise work:

Gluteus Maximus: Butt.

Quadriceps: Upper Front legs.

Adductor Magnus: Inner Thigh.

Soleus: The Smaller part of your calf muscle.

Hamstrings: Upper back of legs.

Gastrocnemius: The bigger part of your calf muscle.

Erector Spinae: Lower back.

Trapezius, upper: Upper neck muscles.

Trapezius, middle: Middle neck muscles.

Levator Scapulae: The muscle from your jaw to your shoulder.

Rhomboids: Upper inner back muscles right below your neck.

Rectus Abdominis: Abs.

Obliques: Side abs.

EXERCISE 2

The Box Jump

Näak | Blog | Get Fit For Ski Season With Kylee Toth

Why are Box Jumps good for skiing?

One often overlooked component of ski fitness is explosive power. Being able to move powerfully with accurate, decisive and responsive movement on any terrain that is presented helps make your ski descent safer and more enjoyable.

Absorbing landings properly if you hit a jump or just skillfully navigating a tight treed descent or forest path is all aided with powerful legs.

Quick how to:

Stand facing the box, chair or bench (you need a stable surface about knee height to begin).

Your feet should be about hip-distance apart, your knees and hips slightly bent. Bend your knees and press your hips back as you swing your arms behind you in a smooth motion.

Explode through the balls of your feet, jumping straight up into the air and slightly forward, jump with as much height as needed to land on the box.

Try to land "softly," allowing your knees and hips to bend naturally to help absorb the shock of the landing. Step off the box and repeat. 

What muscles does this work?

Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Calves, Glutes.

EXERCISE 3

Single-Leg Squat on a Bosu ball or flat ground

Näak | Blog | Get Fit For Ski Season With Kylee Toth

Why are single-leg squats good for skiing?

The single-leg squat is the movement that most closely mimics uphill touring in its mechanics. Think about it, with each step up the mountain, you are essentially doing a shallow lunge.

If you are bootpacking this movement, it's even similar to a deeper lunge. If you want to improve your uphill fitness, the single-leg squat is a key ingredient. If you want to up the ante and be even more sport-specific, try doing a single leg squat on an unstable surface like a Bosu ball.

Quick how to:

Step on the center of the BOSU ball with your right foot. Now place your left foot behind you. Bend your right knee and squat down till your knee makes a 90-degree angle, and then stand back up. Ensure your right knee is not going over your right toe. 

 What muscles does this work?

Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Abs and Calves.

EXERCISE 4

Overhead Triceps Extensions

Näak | Blog | Get Fit For Ski Season With Kylee Toth

Why are Overhead Triceps Extensions good for skiing?

One often overlooked component of ski fitness is your upper body. When you are ski touring up, you use your arms extensively for poling.

When the terrain gets steeper or when bootpacking, your arms get even more of a workout. Your triceps are key muscles used in the poling motion.

To effectively work out your triceps specific to ski touring. Do repetitive reps using light weight to mimic the fatigue of repetitive poling.

Quick how to:

Stand with your feet hip width apart. Hold a free weight so that your elbows are over your head and your hands are behind your traps.

By contracting the triceps, extend your elbows until your hands are directly overhead. Focus on keeping your upper arms as vertical as possible, and reverse the movement to return to the starting position.

What muscles does this work?

Primarily triceps but also shoulders and deltoids.

EXERCISE  5

Hip Bridge

Näak | Blog | Get Fit For Ski Season With Kylee Toth

Why are Hip Bridges good for skiing?

To prevent injury from overuse with ski touring, having strong glutes and happy hips is key. Stretching your hip flexors is a great exercise to do but so is strengthening your glutes.

Quick how to:

Start lying flat on your back, your knees bent and your arms in a low V by your hips. Push through your heels to lift your hips up while squeezing your glutes. To increase difficulty, add weight at the hip level or lift one leg.

What muscles does this work?

Your rectus abdominis (abs) and the gluteus maximus (butt).

Näak | Blog | Get Fit For Ski Season With Kylee Toth

Not only is Kylee Toth one of Näak’s elite ambassadors, but she is also a professional skier who competes on the Canadian Ski Mountaineering National Team. Some of her accomplishments include top female ski mountaineer racing athlete in Canada in 2015, North American female spring champion in 2016 and more recently, claimed the fastest known time on Mount Columbia in 2020! Not to mention she is a 3x winning Canadian Ski Mountaineering Champion. 

Kylee loves spending time outdoors. Whether it is skiing, mountain biking, trail running or camping with her two sons, she always looks forward to spending quality time with the people she cares about. On top of her love for speed skating and ski mountaineering, Kylee is incredibly proud as a mother to her two boys!

Lastly, Kylee has a passion for fitness and even has her own business to promote physical and mental health! All of You Fitness aims to invite fellow athletes to use their bodies as their greatest tool and discover how truly powerful they really are.

Make sure to stay fueled up this ski season, and visit our Nutrition Tips to get helpful information on everything you need to feel your best this ski season.

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