6 Workouts to Get you Ready for Winter Sports | Concept2

6 Workouts to Get you Ready for Winter Sports

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Dec 06, 2023

ariel skinning up a mountain
Ariel Karabinus skinning up Mount Mansfield in Stowe, Vermont.

This post comes to us from Ariel Karabinus, one of our Concept2 Customer Service Team members. Ariel’s athletic accomplishments include, but are certainly not limited to, 2023 Fox Mountain Bike US Open Amateur Women’s Enduro Champion, 2023 Last Skier Standing Top 10 Female (17 hours), and most likely to crash on a mountain bike and laugh hysterically after. When she’s not helping our customers via phone, email, or chat, you can find her out exploring in the Vermont mountains on two wheels, two skis, or two feet.

Every year we anxiously await the arrival of winter here in Vermont. From cross-country or downhill skiing, to snowboarding, or ski touring and skinning, we have so many options for outdoor activities in our winter wonderland. More often than not though, we neglect to prepare our bodies for these rigorous sports. Speaking from experience, the first few outings can feel a bit rough when we don’t train ahead of time for the demands of these activities.

ariel at last skier standing
Ariel still smiling on Lap #15 during the Last Skier Standing event. Ben Seifert photo.

As a multisport mountain athlete, I love using Concept2 ergs to get me ready for the winter season. Below you can find six workouts using the Concept2 RowErg, SkiErg and BikeErg to help you get fit and strong for the upcoming winter season. I use these workouts to help me move powerfully and efficiently in the mountains. Last year, I competed in Last Skier Standing, an all day and night ski event where the participants skin up a mountain, and then ski back down every hour, on the hour, until there is only one participant left.

These six workouts focus on endurance, strength, mobility, explosiveness, and balance to help you get ready for sliding on snow!

On the BikeErg

Hill Climb Simulator
This is a great workout to help boost your endurance and get you feeling strong on those long days in the skin track. Make sure you aren’t starting out too hard with your rpm for the “climbing” segments and envision working your way up a mountain.

  • 20 mins easy at damper setting 3–4
  • 1 min steady at damper setting 5
  • 1 min at damper setting 6
  • 1 min at damper setting 7
  • 1 min at damper setting 8
  • 3 min easy at damper setting 3–4 (repeat 4 times)
  • 10 mins easy cool down

Strength with BikeErg Segments
Start with a 10 minute easy BikeErg warm up.

Do these 4 times through.

ariel on bkkeerg

On the SkiErg

Tempo Interval Workout
This is a great workout to help build up strength and stamina for schussing in the snow. Stay focused on good form and getting comfortable being a little uncomfortable in each segment. Don’t go out too fast. The goal is to get faster gradually for each tempo interval. Think of being explosive from your legs and having good balance and engagement of your toes.

Strength with SkiErg segments
Start with 10 mins easy on the SkiErg with double pole technique as well as alternating arms.

  • 10 x skater squat
  • 30 seconds single foot hopping, then switching to other foot for another 30 seconds OR jump rope for 1 minute straight
  • 1:30 mins hard on the SkiErg (think explosive from the legs and pulling hard, though not quite all out
  • 1 min dead bugs
  • 10 x single leg glute bridge, both sides

Do these 4 times through.

On the RowErg

Sprint Intervals
Sprinting, or going all out, is such an easy and simple way to boost your fitness. Studies have found that doing just one sprinting workout a week boosts your VO2 max, even if it’s less than 30 minutes long. Sprinting is also a great time to focus on form and technique. The more efficient you are, the faster you will go.

  • 10 mins easy
  • 10 x 100 meter “sprint” with 1 min rest between
  • 5 mins easy cool down

Strength with RowErg Segments
Start with 10 minutes easy on the RowErg

  • 10 x single leg Bulgarian split squat (do 10 on right leg and 10 on left leg)
  • 10 burpees (don’t forget the hop!)
  • 2 mins hard on the RowErg (focus on good technique and breathing)
  • 10 x Romanian deadlift
  • 1 minute single leg balance (challenge yourself, eg. close your eyes or add an unstable surface). Focus on driving down the big toe and not scrunching the toes.

Do these 4 times through.

I hope these workouts help you tackle everything that winter has to offer!

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