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Back It Up

Back It Up

By Emily Miller
posted: 01/15/2001

So you've got killer quads and rock-hard hamstrings? Good start, but it's not enough. Dynamic skiing requires a solid torso to handle the multitude of forces, terrain changes and movement patterns skiing exerts. This exercise will give you the core strength you need to ski strong.

How To Do It Hold a weight bar across your shoulders, as shown. Keep your knees slightly bent, and maintain that position throughout the exercise. Keep your torso and neck straight and abdominals tight. Slowly bend forward until your upper body is nearly parallel to the ground. Return to the starting position, keeping your glutes contracted. Repeat 10 times. If your hamstrings are tight, stretch them by using a broomstick instead of a weight bar.

What It Does This exercise strengthens the back extensors, hamstrings and glutes. Skiers often skip lower-back exercises, assuming stomach crunches are enough to strengthen the core, but a strong lower back is essential for rock-solid stability.

Supermans If you lack lower-back strength, try a simpler exercise. Lying on your stomach, arms outstretched, lift your arms and legs a few inches off the ground. Hold for one to two seconds, looking at the floor to maintain proper neck position. Lower slowly, and repeat 10 to 15 times.

Emily Miller is a consultant to The Stone Clinic, an orthopedic surgery and sports medicine center in San Francisco. Miller helps train Olympian Jonny Moseley and other elite athletes. Have a fitness question? Email Emily at

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