Exercises To Ready Your Body For Winter Sports
Weight training and winter sports
The winter season begins on December 21, but long before that many places around the world will be covered with snow. And skiers will be out in force.
Whether you ski cross-country or downhill, you know that it is your legs that take the brunt of the workout.
If you've never trained with weights before, and follow a regimen directed specifically toward the legs for a couple of weeks before you get on your skis for the first time - you will be surprised and very, very pleased to see the improvement in your balance and control of those skis, something that follows naturally on from more leg strength.
Being able to design and follow a workout routine specifically targeted for the sports you like to play best is one of the joys of weight training. It doesn't matter what sport you engage in - from tennis to fencing to archery to skiing, each sport uses a variety of different muscles, and each of these muscle groups can be specifically targeted in some way by weight training - whether with machines or with free weights.
As a matter of fact, that's why most weight trainers prefer to use free weights as opposed to weight machines. Weight machines lock your body into a limited range of motion, and you exercise only a few muscles. With free weights, you not only have to lift the weights but also balance yourself and those weights, and so you typically exercise more muscle groups.
Let's get back to the discussion of winter sports, or more precisely, skiing. Once your season has rolled round and you're able to get on your skis, you'll probably be out in the cold for hours at a time, having some fun.
How do you do your workouts one day, when you're exhausted from having skied all day the day before?
The answer is that in the "off-season" for your particular sport, you train hard, and when your season begins, you lighten up a little bit. (I'm sure all you athletes out there already know everything about off-season training and pacing yourself - I'm talking to women who have only recently decided to add weight training to their regimen, or who are getting into sports for the very first time.)
There is a process called "peaking." Instead of working out at top performance levels every single day, you do only "just enough" work during the off-season to maintain your strength and fitness, then within a few weeks of your season beginning, you ramp up the training so that you are at your strongest when the sport begins.
(On the other hand, Arnold Schwarzenegger used to say that the reason he won all his body-building championships was because he always kept in peak condition...)
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To get ready for the winter season, you might want to start finding your snowboard or skis, get out the jacket, snow pants, boots and find those nice warm socks.
You will also want to make sure of something else, can your knees handle the extra stress they will endure for the next few months? Are your knees strong enough to go through the stresses they will endure? Most likely you will need to do exercises to get them along with your other joints into shape.
Some home workouts can help with strengthening parts of your body to help lower the stress on certain joints.
Chalean Extreme will be a hit for women who are looking to get into shape just in time for the winter season.
For men, the p90x workout system can help build muscles to strengthen your knees and other tendons.
Check out some of the stats on snowboarding injury rates.