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Floating isn’t as easy as it looks.In the cottony, unpredictable environs of deep powder, it’s easy to become complacent and lazy. But you do so at your peril. The deep side of the mountain demands an even lighter touch, more-controlled weight distribution between your skis and better core strength, which allows for subtle movements and better front-to-back balance. Weight one ski too much, and it will sink too deep. Lean too far forward, and you catch a tip. Read on to develop a powder-specific skill set: a strong core, controlled hip abductors and the flexibility necessary to twist with a full range of motion.
AGILITY Lateral shuffle
Take a medium-strength loop of tubing, attach one end to each ankle and take 10 wide and measured steps sideways across the floor. Be careful to extend your leg in a controlled movement, and even more careful to pull the second leg slowly back together with the first, resisting the tug of the tubing. Repeat going the opposite direction. Do two sets.
FLEXIBILITY The twist
Lie on your back, with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Keep your head on the floor and place your hands behind your head. Slowly roll your knees to one side as far as they’ll go, hold for one minute, and repeat on the other side.
STRENGTH Ball crunches and bridges
Ball crunches work your side-to-side and front-to-back stabilizer muscles. Plus, the reclined surface lets you take the downward portion into a hyperextension of the upper back, which helps keep your midsection from becoming all curl and no extend. Do 15—20 crunches on the ball. Then lie with your back on the floor, place your heels on the ball with your knees bent and lift your glutes about six inches off the ground, keeping a slight bend at your hips. Hold the bridge for as long as you can or for 45 seconds, whichever comes first.