Core Strength Training in the Snow

by Mackenzie M. | December 6th, 2011 | Core, Strength Training

This winter, rather than doing your typical strength training exercises to sculpt your core, head outside into the drifts of frigid snow for an even better workout. The standard activities you do in the snow, from clearing it, to cross-country skiing, to snowshoeing can also double as the perfect exercises for toning your entire core region.

Below is a brief sampling of all of the normal winter activities that do a great job of complimenting your fitness routine.

Snow Removal. There will be dozens of times this winter when the driveway or sidewalk will need to be cleared of snow. Many realize it can be a strenuous activity, but it is not a popular notion that shoveling can actually be a compliment to your workout routine for your core. Next time you clear snow, as you lift the full shovel, be conscious of the tension in the muscles in your abdomen. Every time you lift, your abs are getting a mini workout, in the same way as doing a crunch.

To get the most out of this workout, try holding the shovel full of snow for ten seconds before releasing it. Repeat, and this will tone your abs in time for spring. Pushing a heavy snow blower can have the same effect. With each push against a hard bank of snow, feel the burn in your core muscles.

Snowshoeing. Although snowshoeing has the reputation of a very relaxing and ‘G-rated’ winter sport, this activity can actually tone your core muscles and beyond. When walking on a flat surface of snow, some muscles are worked, but the workout can be increased exponentially by walking up a grassy hill. While taking wide steps, it is possible to incorporate different kinds of leg movements to target your hips, ankles, calves, and glutes all while toning your core and enjoying the scenery. Parks or trails are the perfect place to go for a long snowshoeing adventure in place of your daily workout. You will be ready for swimsuit season in no time.

Cross-Country Skiing. Another one of those ‘G-rated’ snow activities that you picture being done by elderly people in the upper midwest is cross-country skiing. Although it has a reputation of being boring and not rewarding when compared to its adrenaline-filled, Alpine cousin, cross-country skiing is one of the best ways to develop core strength and stability. The technique used for skiing tones your core, and then radiates out to your legs, glutes, and even arms.  Depending on your speed, this sport isn’t as easy as it looks!

Alpine Skiing. The holy grail of winter sports, this type of skiing requires much exercise in preparation, but it also works your muscles when careening down a mountain on your actual skis. Your core will be worked like never before, and your arms, legs, and glutes, will surely be sore. Alpine skiing is not only exhilarating, it is a great way to have fun and get a beach body in the dead of winter.

  1. Lara says:

    I might regret asking, but does “G-rated” refer to things that can be done in public and/or that are suitable for all ages, as opposed to “R-rated”? :O

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.