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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.

Medicine Ball Pump Squat
Suggested: 3 sets of 1 minute each
Hug a heavy medicine ball (15 to 50 pounds) to your chest and lower into a squat position. Staying low, doing short pump squats (pulsing up and down about an inch or so) without coming back up to start. Your muscles should always be contracting. This exercise builds local muscular endurance in the lower back, glutes, and quads.

Squat Jump
Suggested: 4 sets of 4
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down so your thighs are parallel to the floor, then jump high in the air. Try to land softly on your feet. "This exercise develops explosiveness in the quads and glutes, which is necessary if you want to ski fast and push hard out of your turns," says Moore.

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Backwards Treadmill Walk
Suggested: 3 sets of 1 minute; build up to 3 sets of 3 minutes
Start walking very slowly on the treadmill at 2-3 miles per hour. Increase the incline as high as it goes. Very carefully, turn around so you’re facing backwards—your toes should be pointing toward the end of the belt, like you’re walking backwards uphill. As you walk, drop to a squat so that your knees are at nearly 90 degrees—similar to the tuck position of skiing. This exercise builds strength endurance in the quads and glutes. "It doesn't look that hard," Moore says, "but when you hop on and do it, it's brutal — thirty seconds in and your legs are on fire."

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