3 Simple Strategies to Get in Shape for Nordic Skiing

Skier on trail

There’s nothing quite like the brisk mountain air hitting your lungs, and the invigorating feeling of working up a sweat in the middle of a snow covered wilderness. That’s one reason we love Nordic skiing at Maine Huts & Trails. What we don’t always love is waking up the next morning and feeling the inevitable burn from all the muscles we’d forgotten about over the summer. If you’ve been biking, hiking, or running regularly, you might not feel the pain quite as much, but you will feel something after that first day on skis, no matter how well you prep ahead of time. Luckily, if you start getting in shape for skiing right now, you’ll feel great when the snow flies!

Here are the 3 most important things you can do right now to get ready for ski season

Put in the miles on foot

Jogger on trailNordic skiing is all about cardio endurance. A typical day on the trails can often cover 10-20 miles, and while you can and should stop to rest, the day will be a lot more fun if you’re not gasping for air. Here’s a quick test: if you can run relatively comfortably for at least 30 minutes without stopping, you can probably ski about 10 flat miles nonstop. If you’re already a devout runner or biker, you can kick back and focus on balance and strength.


Do as much yoga as possible

Women doing yoga in hutYoga is the ultimate cross training practice for a lot of sports, but skiing, both Nordic and downhill, are hugely impacted. Those skiers who make it look so easy? Their secret is great balance, and yoga will dial it in like nothing else. Try including more core strength poses, hip openers, and balancing poses to gain a huge edge on the trail.


More upper body work than you might think

Skier in snow sceneWhile skiing depends a whole lot on lower body strength, don’t forget about all the work that goes into a powerful pole plant! Any time you get to a hill, your arms, back, upper abs, and shoulders will be doing most of the work. To get your upper body ready, aim for 10-20 push-ups per day, and try to incorporate weight training into your routine.

You’ll thank yourself later for any effort you put in now, and when the snow starts to fall, you can kick into your bindings with confidence!

A great way to challenge yourself safely on the trail is to sign up for a guided Hut-to-Hut ski trip. You’ll be in the company of an expert guide who will keep everyone motivated, safe, and comfortable, and you’ll end your days at a cozy backcountry Hut with hot showers and a great dinner!

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