After a few hard runs, screaming quadriceps remind skiers that quad strength is essential. But if strong quads aren't balanced with strong hamstrings, the knees can be unstable, leading to injury. With knee injuries accounting for 30 to 40 percent of all on-slope injuries, skiers can't afford to ignore their hamstrings. Hamstring curls can help build the strength skiers need to keep their knees stable and ligaments strong.
How To Do It (A) Lying prone, attach a sport cord or resistance band around one ankle. (B) Bend the knee and lift the ankle, keeping the hips pressed to the ground and making sure the back doesn't arch. Also, keep your abs and glutes tight and maintain tension on the cord throughout the movement. When your shin is just past 90 degrees in relation to your thigh, squeeze the glutes and hamstrings and hold the position for one second. Then slowly lower the ankle to the floor. Do three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions with each leg.
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.