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5 Best Gym Exercises to Prep You For the Slopes

Planning a ski trip with your buddies? Here are the best moves to prep your body for your trip—so you’re not the guy who quits after the first day.

Ski season’s here and tons of resorts in the Rockies are loaded with snow, so it’s time to dig out your snowpants and rally your friends to book your annual ski trip. But while he runs are surely ready, are you? Even if you work out daily, skiing for four or five days can be ultra taxing on your muscles. Trust us.

That’s why we checked in with Alex Moore, high performance strength and conditioning coordinator at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, for the five best gym exercises to get you geared up for ski season. Do these, and there’s no way you’ll wimp out after the first run this year.

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Romanian Deadlift
Suggested: 4 sets of 8
Grab an 80 lb dumbbell (you can increase the weight as you up the intensity). Bend your knees slightly, keeping your back straight, then lean forward with the barbell, hinging at the hips. Push your hips forward and return to a standing position. "Hamstring strength is really important to prevent ACL injuries, which are prevalent in skiing," says Moore. By working the hamstrings, you help stabilize the knee joint and prevent injuries

Single-Leg Eccentric Leg Press
Suggested: 4 sets of 4 on each side
Load the leg press with about 60 to 70 percent of what you can lift with both legs. With one leg, lower the plate down for six seconds. When you’re at the bottom, push up with two feet. Moore advises to go slowly, resisting the weight coming down on you to keep the movement smooth and in control. (If you are having to move too fast, then the weight is too heavy, says Moore.) About 80 percent of alpine skiing is eccentric, so this downward pressure helps mimic when you are going into a turn, with inertia and gravity pushing you into the ground.

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