A toned stomach not only looks great-it's also crucial to good skiing, as a skier's stability originates in the trunk muscles. Traditional crunches aren't enough to meet the demands of skiing, because they only strengthen your central abs, and you need to work your obliques (side muscles) as well. This advanced stomach exercise will make your obliques scream for mercy.
How To Do It Sit on the floor, and hold an unweighted ball in front of you. Lean back until your tailbone touches the ground. (A) Keeping your stomach muscles engaged, reach and rotate to the right with your arms fully extended. Lightly touch the ball to the floor. (B) Return to the starting position, (C) then rotate to the left. Repeat for a total of 20 touches.
As You Improve To increase the intensity of the exercise, use a weighted medicine ball (two to six pounds). As you become stronger, reach farther to each side with arms fully extended.
Emily Miller is a ski trainer and a consultant to The Stone Clinic, a San Francisco-based sports-medicine facility. Have a fitness question? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.