Training for cross-country skiing: hips and gluteal muscles

It takes strength to cross-country ski.

In a four-part, weekly series, Stephanie Howe demonstrates important exercises that cross-country skiers can do at home. The exercises target muscles groups that are specific to cross-country skiing and that don't get used much in other activities. Strengthening these muscles before and throughout ski season can improve technique and help prevent injury.

Howe has a Ph.D. in exercise physiology, coaches running and cross-country skiing and is an elite cross-country skier with XC Oregon.

Week Three: Ski jumps

Start with hands on hips, weight forward and hips aligned over knees and ankles. Leading with one leg at a time, push off with one foot, jumping out to the side and landing on that foot. Work for lateral distance rather than vertical height. Maintain control and balance throughout the movement and while landing on one foot, rather than jumping quickly.

Continue side to side for one minute, rest one minute, and repeat two more times.

This develops hip and gluteal muscles that are crucial to the powerful driving leg motion used in cross-country skiing.

— Anne Aurand, The Bulletin

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