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For most of us, skiing bumps is one of the most exhausting types of skiing. That’s especially true for skiers who haven’t yet mastered bump skiing technique, because if your technique is poor, you’re likely to use more sheer strength to muscle your way down the mogul field.
The good news is that you can train your body to become more efficient in the bumps, and you can even do some of this work off-snow.
Like any other form of skiing, mogul skiing requires strong legs, great balance, and precise motor control. But the key to all of this is a strong core.
“A strong core is the foundation of all other strength. The bumps are going to do their best to knock you every which way, so a strong core is essential to being balanced and stable in the bumps,” says Marcus Caston, a professional skier known for his athletic skiing style and mogul bashing form.
If you want to take your mogul skiing to the next level—or just make it easier on your legs—use the off-season to develop a strong and stable core. Only once you do that will other mogul skiing prerequisites, like balance, agility, and endurance, begin to fall into place.
To get started, try Caston’s own core-strength routine that focuses on all the deep core muscles you’ll need to help you move efficiently through the moguls. This simple circuit is made up of four basic moves that can be performed at home, no weights or gym equipment required.
“If you can do this routine three to five times per week, your abs will start to look like the mogul course you’ll be shredding down next winter,” Caston says.
Marcus Caston’s Core Circuit
Goal: 3 sets of 15 reps in each position.
- 15x basic crunches
- 15x oblique crunches (left side)
- 15x oblique crunches (right side)
- Basic crunch: Lie on your back, legs bent to 45 degrees and fingertips behind your head. Make sure your low back is firmly pressed to the ground by engaging your core and tilting your pelvis. From here, engage core and lift shoulder blades off the ground; keep eyes trained on the ceiling to make sure neck and head stay relaxed. Repeat for 15 reps.
- Oblique crunches: From basic crunch starting position, allow bent legs to fall to one side, keeping back flat on the floor, feet stacked, and knees slightly apart. From here, perform same movements outlined above. Complete 15 oblique crunches on one side, then switch to the other.
Goal: 30 reps each side for a total of 60 reps
- Lie on back with feet on floor, knees bent to 90 degrees. From here, engage core to lift shoulder blades off the ground, arms extended and reaching towards toes.
- Alternate reaching right hand towards right little toe, then left hand towards left little toe. Keep your low back firmly pressed into the ground, eyes trained towards the ceiling so that neck is relaxed. Complete 30 toe reaches on each side for a total of 60 reps.
Goal: Make it through the entire alphabet.
- Lie on back with legs fully extended out in front of you.
- Engage core muscles to raise feet 6 inches off the ground.
- With your feet, draw the letters of the alphabet in the air, keeping feet 6 inches above the ground. If you can’t get through the whole alphabet, take a break in between and work up to getting through the entire alphabet.
Note: For an easier, modified version, keep back and head resting on the floor during this move. For a more advanced version, add a crunch by lifting head and shoulder blades off the ground for the entirety of the ABCs.
Goal: 30 reps each side for a total of 60 reps.
- Lie on back with legs fully extended and raised 90 degrees towards ceiling.
- Engage core to lift shoulder blades off the ground and alternate between reaching hands towards opposite feet.