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There’s a reason Calvin Klein doesn’t recruit skiers for its ad campaigns: There are no waifs on the World Cup circuit.
The ultimate skier’s body is powerful, from strong ankles to a focused mind-and every finely tuned muscle in between. Need proof? Enter moguls champ Jeremy Bloom, 20, and slalom ace Sarah Schleper, 23, both weight-room regulars. Bloom, one of the University of Colorado football team’s top recruits, also gets buff with team training, while Schleper mountain bikes, plays squash and does yoga. You may never be Bloom’s or Schleper’s body double, but with a little training, you can build the muscle you need to ski strong.
To start sculpting a skier’s body, try these featured exercises. For a complete strength-training program, search under keywords “fitness plan” on www.skimag.com.
Think your legs get all the skiing action? Navigate a mogul field or haul yourself across the flats, and you’ll quickly change your tune.
For ultimate-skier legs, think tree trunks, not toothpicks. Quads of steel are a given, but don’t neglect your hamstrings, glutes or ankles.
Open Door, Close Door
Stand upright, holding a light (one- to three-pound) dumbbell in each hand. Position your forearms parallel to the floor and the dumbbells perpendicular to the ground. Keeping your shoulders relaxed and your upper arms still, rotate your forearms outward as far as you can without arching your back. Return to the starting position. Repeat for three sets of 12-15 reps.
Hail a Cab
Stand upright with your arms over your head. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, and use your left hand to stabilize your upper right arm. Keeping the upper arm still, drop your hand behind your head until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Then raise your arm to the starting position. Keep your wrist straight throughout the exercise. Do three sets of 15 reps with each arm.
Begin on your knees in a modified push-up position, resting on your forearms instead of your hands. Align the elbows under the shoulders. Tighten your abs, and lift your knees off the floor until your body is in a straight line from head to heels. Hold for 20 seconds; relax. Do three reps. Gradually build up to holding for one minute.
Lie face down, with arms stretched out in front of you. Spread your legs 18 inches apart, and flex your ankles so your toes touch the floor. Keeping your legs straight, abs tight and ankles flexed, lift your legs so your toes are just off the floor. Then bring the legs together as if you had magnets lining your inner legs. Squeeze, and hold for five seconds. Return to start, but keep your toes off the floor. Do three sets of 15 reps.
Stand upright, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your abs tight and back upright throughout the exercise. Supporting your weight on your right leg, extend your left leg behind you. Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Keep your right knee pointed forward and aligned with the ankle. Using both legs, pull yourself back up to the starting position in a smooth motion. Do three sets of 15 reps with each leg.
Stand on your left leg on a balance board for three one- to three-minute intervals; then repeat with the right leg. As you improve, try squatting on two legs on the board. Keep your knees aligned with your ankles as you squat. If you don’t have access to a balance board, practice standing on one leg with your eyes closed for one- to three-minute intervals.