Cross Country Skiing: Facts, Strength Training, Exercises and Benefits

Cross Country Skiing

It is a surprise to many people that cross country skiing originated as a solution to old age travel problems of hilly snow terrains. But now it has become more like a sport for recreation and adventure. 

Moreover, this activity involves a set of an extended length of wooden boards, skiing boots, ski poles and straps, and winter clothes. The length of the ski boards differs from the mountains you are skiing. 

It is indeed the oldest form of skiing present in today’s world. It is not only the oldest form but also gave birth to other forms of skiing sports. So basically, we can say that all the different significant types of skiing have originated from this form. 

Skiing includes the movement of all of your body parts. Therefore, it is an excellent option for exercise as well. You can have multiple muscle optimization simultaneously through cross-country skiing, proving one of the best cardiovascular exercises.

Sounds Very interesting, right?

We know. The facts related to cross country skiing are more exciting. Want to know some?

Things to Know About Before Starting Cross Country Skiing

Cross Country Skiing

  1. Cross country skiing is of two types: Classic style and Skating style. The classic style involves off-the-rack ski-wide tracks for people new to skiing, especially cross country skiingThe latter involves skiing on smooth packed ice involving all the muscles in your body. This activity is an excellent option for people loving cardio in their workout schedulesAnother difference between the two may be that the classic can be done at one’s own pace. In contrast, the skating style includes the involvement of the upper and the lower body. 
  2. Cross country skiing is not just a recreation option for fun and enjoyment but is also an Olympic sport for a long time. 
  3. In addition, it surprises many people that it is a cost-effective option for ice-loving people. Everything that involves the process and the requirements of this sport is less expensive than all the other skiing forms. 
  4. Skiing can be dated back more than the time duration we can think. As we have mentioned earlier, the invention of skiing happened to survive and solve the traveling problems of icy mountains.
  5. The origin of the word ski is Norwegian and emerged from the old Norse word “skid,” meaning the edge of a wood.

Strength Training for Cross Country Skiing Exercise

As we know, cross country skiing can be integrated into an exercise schedule. Not only this, it is a fantastic option for strengthening and optimizing your core, arms, leg muscles (specifically), and all the other major muscles. 

Additionally, it is a well-known fact in the fitness world that any exercise that needs optimization of many muscles needs a warm-up or strength training more appropriately. Also, you can’t ignore your body muscles when they are working the most in this activity.  

So, what kind of exercises should you do to prepare yourself wholly for cross country skiing? 

There is no need to stress this because we have got you several easy peasy sets of exercises to prepare before your cross-country skiing schedule. 

What Is Included in the Schedule?

A blogging website Norwiski suggests that before jumping any random exercise, we should underline some essential things. Like, you should set out your days of schedule and the set of exercises (most importantly).  

And when we say days, we have to follow a chronological order of the schedule to get the maximum benefits. You should not work out for more than 3-4 days straight for muscle building for two weeks. 

Then, after completing this part of your schedule, follow the other part of the schedule, which is working out for 5-6 days a week. 

Remember that a person’s height, weight, age, and purpose must be considered before planning a schedule.

What Type of Exercises Should You Do for Cross country Skiing?

Since now you know the days you should exercise to achieve your goal, you should figure out the type of workouts you should do. 

To build up your muscle strength, you can always trust these basic workouts like squats, pull-ups, push-ups, deadlifts, planks, and treadmills.

You can even ask your trainer to add more exercise to these to get the desired results. 

Make sure you have a good warm-up session before working. This can help to flex and correctly open up your muscles for the workout. A warm-up helps remove any stiffness that can affect your body during a workout.

You can do any warm-up activity to flex your muscles. Warm-ups like simple walking, jogging or jumping, swinging, and stretching your arms and legs to feel the stretch in your body. 

You should not miss warm-ups if you don’t want to injure your muscles during the workout process.

Benefits of Cross-country Skiing You Should Know

Cross-country skiing is a great way to stay active and have fun outdoors. Not only is it a great aerobic exercise, but it’s also a great way to see beautiful scenery. If you’re thinking of trying cross-country skiing for the first time, here are six benefits you should know.

1. Full Body Workout

Cross-country skiing uses almost all the major muscles of your upper and lower body. The body uses the “pulling” and “pushing” muscles of the areas. The workout also involves all the rarely used muscles that are not actively used.

Professional skiers even say that this sport has the potential to involve every muscle in your body. Due to this reason, people also call it one of the most challenging sports in the world. 

Everybody part has their involvement in this sport. But the legs, triceps, and lats play a significant role in this. The legs keep your body and ski moving, and the triceps and lats help move forward by piloting the poles.

Your hips and glutes help keep your body stable, and the core transfers the energy of your upper body across the lower body to the skis. This significant involvement of the muscles helps burn many calories in your body. 

2. It Helps to Burn Calories

Due to the involvement of every major muscle in your body, this is an apt workout for losing weight and burning calories. 

It is a well-known fact that every activity done in cold weather requires an extra amount of energy from your body to maintain your body temperature. So, you can burn more calories through this activity as it is done in cold weather.

It is also said that one hour of cross-country skiing can burn the same number of calories as two and a half hours of alpine skiing. You can even burn up to 1,122 calories in one hour of solid mountaineering.

3. Good Cardiovascular Exercise

If you are searching for maximum heart-related health benefits of a sport, you are at the right place. Maintaining the increased heart rate can strengthen the working of blood pumping. 

This winter aerobic activity helps get the highest oxygen utilization while working out. This oxygen utilization can also be called as VO₂ max. The more the body utilizes Oxygen, the more energy it can produce, resulting in a longer performance time. 

In addition, a high value of VO₂ max is a sign of strong cardiorespiratory fitness. It means the ability of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels to pump oxygen-rich blood to muscles while you’re doing aerobic exercises for a longer time. 

It is essential to maintain this cardiorespiratory fitness because it can keep your heart healthy and reduce developing heart diseases. 

Not only this, but it can improve your overall heart efficiency also. You can do this for hours as it doesn’t overstress your body muscles. Cross-country skiing is an excellent opportunity to stay healthy while working out in winter. 

All the known cardiovascular exercises positively impact your body by reducing blood pressure, losing weight, and improving and strengthening your overall heart and lungs health. 

4. Good for Joints and Bones

This sport is a significantly kinder option for all your joints. The intensity of the impact of the movements done on the ground is significantly less than in other high-intensity activities such as running, dancing, and jumping. 

The impact is low in this sport because of your body’s sliding and gliding motions on the ground. The muscles tend to take an extra impact when we fall on the ground heavily with all our weight. 

Cross-country skiing has less impact on the hip joints than any other high-intensity sport. It is also believed that low-intensity activities put less stress on your body’s muscles (including those in arthritic conditions). This reduces the risk of injuries while doing such activities. 

5. Helps With Coordination

Coordination is the ability of your different body parts to work together (doing different things simultaneously) efficiently. Activities such as cross-country skiing help with this. 

Here your lower body helps maintain smooth balance and move forward, and your hands help control the poles of your hands. Both the body parts are doing different things at the time by coordinating together. 

This process includes the cerebellum, which is essential for better motor control. You can improve your motor control by performing such complex work. Cross-country skiing is one of the best activities to improve your motor skills. 

6. Boosts Mental Wellbeing and Mood

If you want an experience full of scenic beauty, loving nature, and a full-body workout, this is the best for you. Typically, we all know how nature positively affects stress and depression. 

Cross-country skiing helps to reduce the blood pressure level and stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Cross-country skiing increases the observation ability of the human body as well.  

In general, the human body needs breaks from its usual schedules to get rid of the toxins from its body. 

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