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    Pre-Season Conditioning (part 2)

    November 30, 2007
    ← Back To Part 1
    Skip to Part 3 →

    Part 2: Improving Your Balance and Stability

    Remember the first time you put on a pair of cross country skis and headed into the snow? Your balance wouldn't get you past a sobriety check. Balancing on a set of skinny skis seems like second nature for any Nordic sport veteran, but maintaining optimal balance in the off-season still requires a fair degree of diligence.

    Balance and stability, like flexibility, are very important to maintaining an efficient glide and stride. Remember that icy hill you fractured your tailbone on while inadvertantly attempting a new free-style trick? Better balance would probably have kept you from looking like Bambi on ice. Like stretching for flexibility, working on your balance and stability can help to prevent injury.

    Here are a few pre-season conditioning stretches and exercises to give you the stability, balance and coordination you need to become a better skier.

    One-Leg Squat
     One-Leg Squat 

    One-Leg Squat

    Not only does this exercise develop balance throughout the ankles, knees and hips, but it also is an excellent stretch for those with lower back pain, as it stretches the gluteus (buttocks) and oblique (lower back) muscles. I used this exercise extensively before and after ACL replacement surgery to help restore knee stability, and to help relieve chronic inflamation in my lower back. Begin by resting your right ankle above your left knee. With your arms stretched out in front, slowly bend your left knee into a squat position, keeping your hip rotated so that your lower back is not hunched forward. Be certain that your foot is held flat on the floor. Hold this postion, with your knee bent no more than 90 degrees. Repeat with the other leg.

    Calf Raise
     Calf Raise 

    "Flamingo" Calf Raise

    This simple exercise will increase the stability in your ankles and feet. Begin by wrapping one foot behind the opposite knee. With your arms down to your side, slowly raise your heel off of the floor by an inch or two (there is no need to go any higher). Hold and then repeat with other leg. If you are having difficulty balancing for even 3 seconds, stabilize yourself by placing just one finger on a wall. After you are able to hold for 10 seconds, try again without stabilizing against a wall.

    --AK

    Go To Part 3 →
    ← Back To Part 1: Stretching to improve flexibility

    Tags:   news   health   conditioning    

    Cross Country Ski Equipment and Gear

    January 13, 2009

    Cross Country Ski Equipment and GearHow to Choose the Right Skis discusses your options for cross country skis, boots, and bindings. Includes our sizing... read more

    Tags:   gear   news  

    How to Maintain Waxless Skis (part 3)

    January 7, 2009

    <<Go Back to Part 2<< ^^  Go Up To Part 1 ^^  How  to maintain the kick-zone on a waxless ski: A simple guide to cleaning, repairi... read more

    Tags:   news   gear    

    How to Maintain Waxless Skis (part 2)

    January 2, 2009

    How to Maintain Waxless Skis (Part 2)<< Go Back to Part 1<<      >>Skip To Part 3 >>How to prepare the ski and apply... read more

    Tags:   news   gear  

    Skiers' Health and Fitness

    December 31, 2008

    The Health Benefits of Cross Country Skiing Explores the reasons that Nordic skiing is the best all around form of exercise. Includes a chart of calories... read more

    Tags:   health   news  

    How to Maintain Waxless Skis (part 1)

    December 16, 2008

    Why (and where) you need to wax your waxless skis: A brief explanation of friction, suction, wax and structure>>Skip To Part 2:  How to prepare... read more

    Tags:   news   gear    

    People and Places of XC Skiing

    November 29, 2008

    Hills, Forests & Fields of France Park  a look at one of Indiana's best rural ski areas.  Deer, turkey, eagles and osprey --all a... read more

    Tags:   news   location  

    How to Choose the Right Skis

    November 16, 2008

    How to Choose the Right Skis, Bindings, Boots & PolesThe equipment you choose for cross country skiing depends on how and where you intend to ski.  ... read more

    Tags:   news    

    The Health Benefits of Cross Country Skiing

    July 6, 2008

    The low-impact, total body workout of Nordic Skiing has numerous health benefitsIt's the ultimate cardio exercise, the number one calorie burner, provide... read more

    Tags:   health   news  

    Hills, Forests, and Fields of France Park

    January 9, 2008

    A look at one of Indiana's most beautiful rural ski areas.  Deer, turkey, eagles and osprey --all a common site at this park located in the... read more

    Tags:   news   places  

    Pre-Season Conditioning (part 3)

    December 15, 2007

    ← Back To Part 2Up to Part 1 ↑Part 3: Toning your Muscles for Increased EnduranceYou are an active person. But the busy-ness of summer seldom gives... read more

    Tags:   news   health   conditioning    

    Pre-Season Conditioning (part 1)

    November 12, 2007

    Part 1: Stretching to improve flexibilitySkip to Part 2 → Cross Country Ski Season is right around the corner. The chill in the air all of a sudden... read more

    Tags:   health   news   conditioning  

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