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Think Outside the Penalty Box

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Before he became the owner of Points North Heli Adventures, ski guide and personal trainer Kevin Quinn spent seven years as a professional hockey…

Before he became the owner of Points North Heli Adventures, ski guide and personal trainer Kevin Quinn spent seven years as a professional hockey player, and dished out so much on-ice justice he earned the nickname The Enforcer. The fans loved it, but Quinn—who grew up skiing and skating in Alaska—wanted out. “I couldn’t get the mountains out of my head, he says.

A decade later, Quinn no longer breaks noses for a living. As the founder of the largest heli-ski operation in the U.S., he skis 150 to 200 days a year, and regularly drops 3,000-foot lines down 50-degree faces. His ability, he says, comes from years spent in the rink. “Much of hockey training requires balance, agility, and plyometric drills, he says. “Those same skills keep you upright and confident in big mountain no-fall zones.

Begin by marking the floor with a piece of tape or setting up a bench. Stand on one side of the bench and bend into a slight squat. In one explosive…

Begin by marking the floor with a piece of tape or setting up a bench. Stand on one side of the bench and bend into a slight squat. In one explosive movement, jump laterally over the bench, landing in a squat. Continue jumping side to side for a full minute. As you progress, add weights.

Whenever you incorporate high impact moves into you workout, start slow. Begin this exercise by stepping from side to side.

Whenever you incorporate high impact moves into you workout, start slow. Begin this exercise by stepping from side to side.

The move: Stand on a 12- to 18-inch-high box or bench. Step off the box onto one foot. Immediately jump as high as you can.

The move: Stand on a 12- to 18-inch-high box or bench. Step off the box onto one foot. Immediately jump as high as you can.

Land on the floor, on the same foot you started with. When this becomes easy, use a bigger box.

Land on the floor, on the same foot you started with. When this becomes easy, use a bigger box.

Repeat for a full minute, and then alternate legs.

Repeat for a full minute, and then alternate legs.

Start by stepping off a low box or stair with one foot and landing with both feet. Eventually progress to landing on one foot.

Start by stepping off a low box or stair with one foot and landing with both feet. Eventually progress to landing on one foot.

Imagine you're standing at the center of a clock. Balance on one foot and explode as far as you can from the clock's center to each number and back…

Imagine you’re standing at the center of a clock. Balance on one foot and explode as far as you can from the clock’s center to each number and back (center to 12 o’clock and back, etc.). Make a full circle, and then repeat with the other foot.

Start by standing on a pillow or wobble board with both feet. Just stand there until you can balance confidently without falling off. When you master…

Start by standing on a pillow or wobble board with both feet. Just stand there until you can balance confidently without falling off. When you master that, try standing on one foot; then progress to the clock hop on a flat surface.

Holding an eight-pound medicine ball, kneel on a fitness ball and try to maintain your balance with a straight back and tight abs. When you can…

Holding an eight-pound medicine ball, kneel on a fitness ball and try to maintain your balance with a straight back and tight abs. When you can balance easily for several seconds, try standing on the ball, sans weight (have a friend spot you). Experts can jump from the floor to the ball—or stand on it, holding the weight.

With a friend holding your shoulders for added stability, kneel on the ball and try to maintain your balance. When you master that, try holding a medicine ball.