As long as skiing has been in existence, people have trained and prepared for ski season. Many of us know “that guy” who hits the gym hard every fall to prepare for those precious eight days on the mountain each winter. There are many “dryland” exercise programs floating around the internet. These typically involve leg and core workouts to strengthen key muscles. These workouts often use bodyweight and free weights.
There is one piece of ski-themed workout equipment that briefly exploded in popularity. The NordicTrack. For the youngsters out there, the NordicTrack ski machine was essentially a cross-country ski version of a treadmill. The machine was popular in the late 1970s and 1980s. Users slid their toes into straps on the skis and held onto a cord with each hand to mimic ski poles. The user would then “ski” along on this machine and get a fantastic cardio workout. This product became quite popular for a period of time. For some strange reason, they have fallen out of fashion.
NordicTrack still produces the Classic Pro Skier model although the company focuses mainly on treadmills and exercise bikes these days. The newest iteration sells for $799. If that is a little too rich for your blood, it is easy to find the older versions on Craigslist…sometimes for free.
Yes, this machine is geared towards cross country skiing, but the backcountry crowd might benefit from this preseason cardio training. Hop aboard a NordicTrack this fall and you will be dusting your buddies up the skin track in December.