6 Lower Body Moves to Get Winter Sport Ready

6 Lower Body Moves to Get Winter Sport Ready

Reading 6 Lower Body Moves to Get Winter Sport Ready 7 minutes

It’s full-blown winter right now and we’re all out there exploring the slopes, skating the rinks, and otherwise discovering how challenging it is to exert ourselves in the cold. To get you prepped, we’re putting on our X-Games athlete hat (tune in for the actual games starting 1/29) and sharing our favorite TRX® Suspension Trainer™ moves for training our lower body—because as every winter athlete knows, leg strength and stability is key to explosive power in your sport.

Bulgarian Split Squat

The move everyone loves to hate, we love it for its trifecta of training: 1) unilateral strength, which is so important 2) balance, and 3) muscular endurance. It works not only your powerhouse quads and glutes, it targets all the hip stabilizers, from your adductors to your TFL—all while making you sweat as you try to balance and bust out reps. 

Strap setup: Full length 

Your setup: Stand facing away from anchor point. Back foot presses in strap..  

What it does: Works single-length strength, stability, stamina. 

How it works: 

Lunge on your front leg, keeping back foot pressed into the strap.

Go down as low as you can then press through your foot to come back up.

Complete reps on one side then switch sides. 

Pro tip: Lean forward to work the quad more; keep your torso upright to focus on the glute. Need a challenge? Add a hop and turn it into a plyo move. 

Pistol Squat

A strong body is a mobile one, which is why working on your pistol squat—getting those hips and adductors loose yet strong, while building up major quad strength—is key to feeling strong in any sport that requires kicking off one leg. Good news—with our Suspension Trainer, the pistol squat is accessible to beginners. Just use your arms to help pull you back up.

Strap setup: Mid length 

Your setup: Stand facing anchor point. Hands holding straps.   

What it does: Works single-length strength, mobility, range of motion 

How it works: 

Hold straps, stand on right leg, left foot hovers in front of you a couple inches off the ground.

Sit back into a squat. Try to lower down until glutes rest at your heel.

Push through your right foot and leg to come back up, using your arms to assist as necessary.

Complete reps on right side, then repeat with left side.

Pro tip: Use your arms as much as you want to get used to the motion, then gradually rely on your leg more as you get stronger. Brace the core!

Glute Bridges

We might joke about everyone working on their “peach” these days, but it’s for a good cause—glute strength is crucial for everything from single-leg stability to powerful (and efficient) sprinting mechanics. Glute Bridges are the perfect way to isolate and target them. Experiment with one-legged versions when you’re feeling strong with the two-legged approach. 

Strap setup: Almost full length

Your setup: On ground face up, facing anchor point. Heels in straps.   

What it does: Improves glute strength and endurance

How it works: 

Lie on back, knees bent at 90 degrees, heels in straps.

Squeeze glutes, dig heels into straps, and lift up into a bridge.

Slowly lower back down to start position.

Pro tip: Try to form a straight line from knee to shoulder when at the top of your lift. Think strong core and fired-up glutes. 

Hamstring Curl

This move is similar to the Glute Bridge, but it focuses on the hamstrings—another large muscle group that’s vital to strong sprinting, as well as warding off knee injuries, which are all-too-common in winter sports. Instead of lifting straight up as in a glute bridge, focus on pulling the straps in with your hamstrings. The burn quickly adds up.

Strap setup: Almost full length

Your setup: On ground face up, facing anchor point. Heels in straps.   

What it does: Improves hamstring strength and endurance

How it works: 

Lie on back, legs almost straight, heels in straps.

Squeeze glutes and hamstrings to lift up into a bridge while simultaneously curling your heels to your glutes.

Slower lower back down to start position. 

Pro tip: Think mind-muscle connection. Actively think about your hamstrings as you curl. 

Copenhagen Plank

Our adductors (read: inner thighs) are overlooked in most training plans, but they’re the MVP of hip stability and strength—many hockey, soccer, and tennis players deal with groin injuries throughout their career, and adductors play a key role in this. The Copenhagen move is definitely advanced, but feel free to keep your bottom leg on the ground to take some of the pressure off your top, working leg. 

Strap setup: Almost full length, handle should be level with your hip in a plank position.

Your setup: On ground in a side plank, top ankle resting in strap.   

What it does: Improves adductor strength and stamina.

How it works: 

Get in an elbow side plank with your top ankle resting in the strap.

Brace your abs, obliques, and glute and lift into a side plank, top leg pushing into strap. 

Keep bottom leg on ground to gently assist or lift it if you’re feeling strong. 

Hold for 20 seconds. Work your way up to a 45 second hold. 

Pro tip: Use your bottom leg as much as little as you need to take some of the load off the top leg. As you get stronger with your holds, make them dynamic for more of a challenge—lift your lower foot to meet your top foot for reps.  

Lateral Curtsey Lunge Jumps 

Because plyo is so, so necessary. Work on your explosive lower body power while also building up muscular and cardio endurance for long days of sports. It helps that it also fine-tunes your proprioception (which is just fancy talk for landing that leap on one leg with ease).

Strap setup: Mid length

Your setup: Stand facing anchor point, hands in straps

What it does: Improves cardio, single-leg balance, coordination, overall power

How it works: 

Stand facing the anchor point, slightly out to the side. 

Shift onto outside leg, draw inside leg back in a skater movement for leverage.

Leap out with that inside leg to the opposite side, landing cleanly in a curtsey position.

Leap from side to side for the reps you choose. 

Pro tip: Think mind-muscle connection. Actively think about your hamstrings as you curl. 

Spend plenty of time practicing these moves and your lower body endurance will thank you. And, of course, we recommend rounding out your winter training with some low-intensity, steady cardio to build up your aerobic base—all so you can stay out longer doing what you love, from skiing to playing an intense game of ice hockey.