The second in a series of five exercises that will give you an edge on the slopes. Turbo-charge your skiing with the one-legged squat.Racers swear by the one-legged squat to increase power out of the starting gate. Even if you're not a racer, it will turbo-charge your strength and endurance.
How To Do It Using good posture, stand on one leg on a bench. Begin slowly lowering your body as if you were going to sit in a chair. Keep your thigh and abdominal muscles contracted and your weight on your heel throughout the exercise. Once you reach a 70- to 90-degree bend at the knee joint, slowly return to the starting position and repeat. Start with 10 reps with each leg. Goal: 15 reps in 15 seconds, two to three sets with each leg.
What It Does One-legged squats work the entire leg. Keep these workouts consistent and you will crush long runs, as well as improve your balance.
Keep In Mind Train your body in the gym by properly aligning the ankle, knee and hip, and on the slopes you'll find you have powerful control of the ski throughout the entire turn. The kneecap should be centered over the second toe, with the hip tucked in to align with the knee (not pushing out to the side). Performing this exercise on a bench rather than the floor allows you to maintain proper form by letting your foot drop below the bench as you squat. When you stand on the floor, your hips become misaligned as you try to keep your outstretched foot off the ground. Also, don't let your knee waver; it should point forward at all times. If it is unstable, lightly rest your fingertips on a wall to steady yourself as you squat.
Emily Miller is a consultant to The Stone Clinic, an orthopedic surgery and sports medicine center in San Francisco, and trains Olympic gold-medalist Jonny Moseley and other world-class athletes. Have a fitness question? Email Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org.