Build a rock-solid Skier's body with this classic exercise.Skiing is not for posers: It quickly exposes any physical weakness. Squats not only eliminate "sewing-machine legs" but also help you handle long days on the mountain.
What It Works A squat is one of the most comprehensive lower-body exercises you can do: It strengthens quads, hamstrings and glutes. Holding the bar in front of your body makes your quads work harder and helps ensure proper form.
How To Do It (A) With your arms crossed in front of your body, rest a weight bar on the muscular portion of your shoulders, securing it with your fingertips. Stand with your legs a little wider than your shoulders, and (B) lower slowly as if you were sitting back into a chair. Once your hamstrings are parallel to the ground, return to the standing position. Keep your weight on your heels and tension on your hamstrings, glutes and abs as you drop down. Do three sets of 10 to 15 reps. As you improve, try this exercise on a balance board (begin using only your body weight). This will further strengthen not only the primary muscles, but also the secondary, stabilizing muscles needed for balance.
Emily Miller is a ski trainer and a consultant to The Stone Clinic, a San Francisco-based sports-medicine facility. Have a fitness question? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.