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            Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most popular winter sporting activities. MA ski areas, home to resorts like Ski Bradford in Bradford Massachusetts, provide many opportunities to enjoy either activity. Although fun, both activities are very physically demanding. They often require fairly good physical conditioning as well as a fair amount of flexibility. As such, it is important to ensure that the muscles in the body are warm and well stretched before opting for either sport.

            Generally, stretches that focus on the core and legs are particularly useful for both skiing and snowboarding. This is primarily because these are the areas of the body that are used heavily during these activities. Of course, a few upper body stretches can be added to complete a full body workout.

Stretches That Work

            Here are some great exercises that can help you to limber up for the slopes. Please hold each stretch for a minimum of 20 seconds. Movement between stretches should be controlled and not erratic, and one should also warm the muscles in the body before stretching to prevent injuries. Light aerobic exercises can help to do just this. Please consult your primary care physician before embarking on this or any exercise or workout regime.

Warm up: Start your workout by doing a light jog or walk for about ten minutes to warm the body up. Jump rope, jumping jacks and marching in place can help add variety and slight intensity to your warm up.

The Plank: is a great exercise that engages most of the muscles that will be used when on the slopes. This can be done right after completing the warm up above, and before stretching.

Transverse Oblique Twists: increase flexibility and agility in the hips, back and transverse obliques, all of which are heavily engaged during winter sports.

The Straight Leg Hang: stretches the lower back and hamstring.

Downward Facing Dog: is a yoga pose that stretches the lower back, calves, hamstring, upper back and back of shoulders.

Cobra: is also a yoga pose, and is sometimes seen as the opposite of Downward Facing Dog. This exercise stretches the abdominal muscles and front of the shoulders.

A Chest Stretch: is as the name suggests an exercise that stretches the chest. There are several kinds of exercises that can stretch this part of the body. Most of them are easy to do.

Once you have completed this light workout, your body should be ready for the slopes. Stay hydrated, wear your safety gear and go have yourself some winter fun.