Snowshoeing is a great winter activity to keep you active and outdoors during the winter months, but it is a lot different than hiking or running. Add these two strength training exercises to your regular exercise routine before hitting the trails to avoid sore and injured muscles.
KEy DIFFERENCE #1: Excessive use of hip flexors
Not only do you have to pick up your feet higher in order to stay on top of the snow but you also have added weight on your feet due to the snowshoes which means the hip flexors need to work extra hard.
How to prepare?
Weighted step ups
Grab two dumbbells and a bench; step up on the bench with one leg driving the opposite leg up to 90 degrees and returning to the floor in the same manner. Repeat on the opposite leg. This exercise will also be good for the calve muscles (gastrocnemeous and soleous) which will be used when climbing those hills!
KEY DIFFERENCE #2: Wider Gait
Even if you are using running snowshoes which are small, you will have a wider gait than normal This wider stance means your adductor muscles (inner thigh) will be stretched and worked more than normal.
And don't forget to stretch!
As with any sport, it is very important to warm up and stretch after snowshoeing. A dynamic warm up to loosen up the hip flexors, back, and glutes before strapping on the snowshoes will help prepare these muscles and prevent soreness. Post snowshoe static stretching the hip flexors, back and glutes is just as important to prevent delayed onset muscles soreness which can occur as many as 4 days after snowshoeing.
Perhaps you've already met one of our race directors, Tricia, but did you know she's a kick-ass personal trainer?
Improve your strength & conditioning to help meet your fitness goals with Inspiration Training's one-on-one or small group personal training. They also offer drop-in group fitness classes.
"Tricia's program improved my overall strength, especially my upper body and core. I took 12 min off my previous personal best marathon time (May '07) but more impressively 20 min off my last two previous marathon times."
- Sue A