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Winter Workout Conditioning

Prep your body for cold weather workouts with these exercises


Winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and snowboarding rely on a lot of leg strength, but it's important to condition your whole body to avoid injury and enjoy your time in the great outdoors.

Try these exercises recommended by BIDMC Primary Sports Care Medicine Physician Dr. Bridget Quinn to get your winter workout underway. * They work wonders not only for winter sports conditioning, but also for general musculoskeletal health and well-being.

1. Box Jumps

Find a solid, stable box that's 10 to 20 inches off the ground. Jump on the box, jump off the box and repeat. This is a great way to build your leg strength, strengthen your joints and get a little cardio workout at the same time. As you get better at it, add a push-up on the floor before you jump back on the box to spice it up and keep your workout interesting.

2. Single Leg Stands

Balance is key for skiers and ice skaters and this exercise helps build stability. Stand on one leg with your hands over your chest for a count of 10. It sounds easier than it is. Switch legs and repeat. As you improve, increase the amount of time on each leg. You can make this exercise even more challenging by standing on a pillow or the Bosu balls you find at the gym.

3. Skipping

Skipping isn't just kids' play. The impact and repetitive movement actually help build bone strength, as well as improve flexibility and coordination. The cardiovascular benefits and calorie burning that come with skipping are an added bonus. If you don't have the room to skip or feel self-conscious about it, jumping rope can give you the same health benefits.

4. Burpees

The Burpee is the ultimate full-body exercise. Burpees give an excellent aerobic workout while building upper and lower body strength and helping to strengthen your joints. It's a high-impact exercise, so if you're just beginning to train, start slowly and build up until you can do each movement in rapid succession. Here's how it works: Begin in a standing position, and then drop to a squat position with your hands on the ground. Kick your feet back so you are in a plank position. Return your feet to the squat position, and jump as high as possible from the squat with your arms overhead. Repeat the sequence.

*Check with your doctor before doing any physical activity.

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

Posted December 2011

Contact Information

Sports Medicine & Shoulder Surgery
Carl J. Shapiro Department of Orthopaedics
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Carl J. Shapiro Clinical Center, 2nd Floor
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-66-SPORT (667-7678)

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