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Nordic skiing fitness advice

Cross Country, or Nordic Skiing, is considered by many exercise physiologists and researchers to be the world's best aerobic fitness activity. Nordic Skiing involves the use of arms and legs in a coordinated and sustained way.

It therefore makes sense that preparing for Nordic Skiing should involve extensive aerobic sessions. Ideal exercises would include:

  • Running
  • Rowing
  • Stepper
  • Biking (indoors or outside)
  • Cross-trainer
You should aim for a minimum of three 20 minute sessions per week, although the more you can do, the better. Ideal preparation would be more like two or three 40 minute sessions per week, and one longer session, of say an hour plus, once a week.

It will also pay dividends if you spend some time in the gym working on your strength. You should focus on three key areas:
  • The leg muscles, especially the quadriceps and hamstrings
  • The triceps, which are used for poling
  • The core
Of these three, the core is most often overlooked. The core is the area of your body between your neck and the tops of your thighs, and includes your abs, lower back and hips.

When you are skiing, your control and coordination comes from having a strong core. Training this area will improve both your balance and endurance, key elements for this sport.

When using weights, work at around 70% of your maximum weight, aiming to perform as many reps as possible to increase muscle endurance.

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