Staying in shape through winter.
When exercising indoors during the winter, Bozemanites fall into two camps: those cross-training to shred the slopes with more finesse, and those keeping their fitness high to attack their favorite summer activity once the snow melts. Either way, crowdsourcing your motivation is the best way to go. Whether you spend 100 days a year on the hill or you consider moving to Belize every October, here are some top picks to keep your blood pumping during these cold, dark months.
The balance, stability, flexibility, and mind-body connection of Pilates can greatly improve winter sports performance and help you get more out of your winter activities. Pilates exercises focus on the core muscles, which are more prone to harm and overuse.
The core is key to how the body balances—whether you’re on skis, skates, a snowboard, or on foot. Pilates also balances the muscles around joints, minimizing the risk of injury and helping rehabilitate past injuries. For winter sports like skiing and skating that use certain muscle groups repetitively, Pilates can work the antagonist muscle groups as well as helping with the endurance of those muscle groups most utilized in the sport.
In an effort to work on alignment, Pilates creates movement that is more fluid, reducing effort and stress on the body. By practicing exercises similar to squats, lunges, and leg extensions, you can transfer the same principles of the alignment of the hips, knees, and ankles directly to your outdoor sports.
Flexibility—especially in the Achilles tendon and hamstrings—is important in all winter activities. It improves range of motion and can maximize the way the body handles unusual twists and positions inherent in winter sports. Pilates also focused on strengthening the mind-body connection, establishing better proprioception and awareness of how well our body is functioning.
Pilates can be incorporated into your routine by adding it in as a warm-up or cool-down, or as a workout on days you can’t make it outside. By reducing the risk of injury and stress on the body and increasing balance, strength, flexibility, and awareness, you’ll be able to perform better in your winter sports and have more fun doing them. – Jamie Bartley.
Want to get in the best shape of your life? CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program utilizing functional movements that are constantly varied and executed at a high intensity. Ever heard of a burpee, snatch, or thruster? You will—and you’ll love them (eventually). CrossFit is designed to give you a broad, general, inclusive fitness that will keep you in shape for biking and climbing, or help you tear up the slopes.
Be advised: CrossFit is not for the faint of heart. But the hard work pays off. Besides, there’s nothing more encouraging than the positive energy generated by everyone working together. Whether it’s your first day or you made top ten at the CrossFit Games, as long as you’re trying your best, your partners will cheer you on. -Natalie Murphy
Whether you’re an avid cyclist looking to escape the drudgery of icy roads, or you want to broaden your training regimen with a low-impact workout, indoor cycling is a great workout to add to your winter routine.
Here at the Ridge, our cycling program is led by certified instructors who offer lively classes and a variety of music to keep you motivated. The dedicated cycling room has ceiling fans and ambient lighting to set the mood for the ideal ride. The majority of classes last 45 minutes and follow an interval program, a power program, or a free-ride program.
Instructors guide students through the class and provide options for riders to modify the workout to meet their training needs. Every instructor has a slightly different style—it might take a few different classes to find the best one for you. Classes take place Monday through Saturday; for a full schedule, check out ridgeathletic.com.
Sometimes you need the motivation of a group ride and the camaraderie of like-minded people to become better, faster, and stronger. Indoor cycling offers a supportive group environment where everyone gets to the destination together. –Suzanne Lynch
Jamie Bartley is the owner of Reform Studio in Bozeman, Natalie Murphy owns Bridger CrossFit, with locations on Gold Ave and Huffine Lane, and Suzanne Lynch is a certified spinning and AFAA group instructor who has been teaching indoor cycling for 10 years.