Whether you live in the sun or the snow, there is a chance that you may be preparing for a ski vacation this coming winter. And, if you are like the majority of Americans, you have not been preparing yourself for the slopes! If you have been exercising, you are ahead of the game, but you may want to make sure that you are covering all of your bases with these sport specific training tips.

Whether you are skiing short, fast runs, or long, winding trails, it requires strength, flexibility and endurance to stay safe and injury free. Fortunately there are several things you can do starting today to get yourself ready for the snow!

The first thing to understand the difference between general exercise for your health and sport specific training. You might go to an aerobics class two days per week, visit the weight room a day or two and attend a weekly yoga class and think you are good for skiing. This routine would be great for overall health and fitness, but it isn’t going to help you reap the rewards of a conditioning program that includes plyometric training, dynamic balance training and explosive movements (combine speed and strength). Here are some things you can do to increase strength, power, and flexibility while reducing the risk of injury.

Squats: full squats and single leg squats with weights

Wall sits: position yourself against a wall in a seated position and hold for 30-60 seconds.

Plyometric jumps: stand on a 12 inch step (or lower to start) and jump down off the step with both feet and pushing off the floor quickly back on top of the step. Repeat this for 10-30 seconds to start.

Sprints: Either in a gym or on a hill

Dynamic balance moves can be done on a BOSU ball or a dynadisc to increase balance and overall strength as well.

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