Does going to the gym bore the crap out of you? Not everyone loves pumping iron for endless hours in a room where your only scenery is whatever they've put on the television (often the Home Shopping Channel...what is with that?) and a bunch of other guys who are trying to get their own workouts done. Fortunately, pushing your way through endless hours of mind-numbing reps isn't your only option.

 

Although the benefits depend, in part, on how you ski, the truth is skiing works a boatload of muscle groups. It's also really fun, and learning how to do it will open up a host of new options for vacations, weekend getaways, and awesome dates. And since ManSalt is all about helping guys get active and having fun, we wanted to dive into what this sport does for you and your muscles.

 

Alpine Skiing

Alpine, or downhill, skiing works five major muscle groups, but you have to work for it. Otherwise you're just sort of coasting along, working about as many muscle groups as your average kid on a sled. Though it's not technically "skiing" you can consider snowboarding, skiing's close cousin, to work more or less the same way.

 

As the team at Outside Online notes:

"Your skill level, the difficulty of the slope, and your technique are all going to affect the muscle groups you're working and how many calories you're burning," says Kevin Jordan, a ski and snowboard instructor at Aspen Snowmass in Colorado and ambassador for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. (That's January, by the way!)

 

"If you're experienced enough, you can ski or snowboard pretty much straight down a hill without much effort, and you're really just engaging those muscles you need for balance," he says. "But you can also put a lot of work into turns and jumps and technique—it's really up to the individual person."

 

If you do put in the work, you can expect to engage your core, strengthen your feet, ankles, and glutes, pump up your quadriceps, and build up your hamstrings. Not bad, considering you'll also be experiencing a rush of speed while breathing in crisp, clean, snow-touched air.

 

Cross-country Skiing

Cross-country, or Nordic, skiing is widely acknowledged as one of the most comprehensive workouts you can engage in. It offers both a cardio workout and strength training all at once. Men's Fitness calls cross-country skiing "The winter workout you should be doing".

 

If you decide to give cross-country skiing a try then you'll work fifteen different muscle groups. You can ramp up the speed and intensity to kick it up another notch, but if you're moving at all you're doing some great things to sculpt your body. You'll reap the benefits even if you just want to enjoy some breathtaking winter scenery while engaging in a long conversation with your special someone. Working out and improving your love life at the same time? What could be better? The sight of your date is certainly going to be a lot more fun than watching the sweaty gym rat who is trying a bit too hard and grunting a bit too much as he does his own reps.


Train When You're Not There

Most of us can't afford to hit the slopes every single weekend unless we happen to live close enough to a resort to go whenever the heck we want to. But you don't have to leave skiing behind just because you can't hit the slopes. There are actually a variety of ways you can train your body to be ready once you get out there.

 

Training to ski is a great thing because it ensures you'll have the muscle strength you need to actually take advantage of the sport. Tricks may take practice, for example, but they also take strength. Fortunately, you can do many of these exercises (for Nordic skiing) and these exercises (for Alpine skiing) in your own living room. You may just need a little bit of extra equipment for the latter.


Get Instruction

Skiing looks easy. You may even be able to figure out how to coast down a hill without a whole lot of instruction. But if you want to do the leaps, tricks, spins, and jumps you're going to want to invest in a qualified trainer who can help you make it happen. Otherwise most of your exercise will come from picking yourself back up after falling flat on your face.


Go Prepared

If you plan to strap on your skis and you're committed to working hard while you're out there, you need to be sure you're coming prepared. ManSalt was designed to help you recover faster from workouts. We use a proven blend of Epsom salt and sea salts to ease pain and soreness in your muscles.

 

All you need to do is enjoy a good, long, salty soak in one of those really nice ski resort bathtubs. If you do, you should be fine to get right back out there in the morning. A lot of guys don't come prepared, and they spend Day 1 of their ski weekend skiing and Day 2 moaning in pain every time they twitch. Moaning in pain is not sexy, so take our advice and pack the ManSalt.

 

You know what is sexy? Smelling great. Once you're done with your soak you might just be ready to engage your romantic partner in an entirely different type of workout. Bottom line? You'll have more fun if you tuck a bag or two into your suitcase.

 

So go ahead. Book that romantic log cabin. Bring that special someone. Keep your ManSalt handy and hit the slopes. There are plenty of great skiing spots to choose from, even during the summer months.

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Sources:


http://www.outsideonline.com/1786206/which-better-workout-skiing-or-snowboarding?
http://www.mensfitness.com/training/cardio/cross-country-skiing-winter-workout-you-should-be-doing
http://btc.montana.edu/olympics/physiology/mf03.html
http://www.theskichannel.com/news/featured/20130610/top-10-summer-skiing-resorts-2/
http://www.jans.com/blog/lizyok/ski-exercises-for-nordic-skiing http://www.mensfitness.com/training/cardio/5-best-gym-exercises-prep-you-slopes