The Right Way to Buy Boots Online

The Right Way to Buy Boots Online

You’ll hear nothing but warnings from brick-and-mortar specialty bootfitting shops about buying ski boots online. And for good reason—it’s fraught with trouble, and of course, they would rather be the one selling you the boots!

But there are strategic ways to utilize an online boot purchase that benefit both the skier and your local bootfitting shop. No, really! But to do it right, it pays to understand the essential problems with an online boot purchase.

First, the most critical fit zones of a ski boot are the flex feel along the shin produced by the combination of liner tongue and cuff design, and the instep fit at the throat of the boot (essentially the boot’s corner where the upper cuff turns into the lower shell). These two areas are of critical importance to both performance and an agony-free fit. These areas are also highly subjective fit zones that really require a physical “try-on” of the boot to assess a proper fit match with your body. Furthermore, these are areas that are absolutely the worst spots to work on for a bootfitter, as the solutions are not straight-forward, they’re more of a “trial-and-error, hail Mary” that often ends up in a shift to start over with a new, different model boot.

So really, the first rule in how to utilize the online boot purchase in a smart way is: just don’t do it.

But if you’re going to consider it, start with your friendly neighborhood bootfitting human to identify the right boot for you in the key areas including:

  1. foot fit
  2. instep fit
  3. leg/calf fit
  4. performance level
  5. specific application
  6. personal stance quirks
  7. potential needed modifications.

Even if you end up buying a boot online, you are going to need a bootfitter’s help, so start with him or her and pay close attention to how your local bootfitter will be able to streamline the process (and price) if you keep your purchase with their store. They can help you with answering important questions, such as,

  1. What’s the shop’s bootfitting policy in terms of costs of services?
  2. Is bootfitting included in the purchase price or is there a discount on services if the boot is purchased there?
  3. Is there a different price for custom footbeds? (You might want a fresh pair with your new boots).

It may simply make the most sense (financially and otherwise) to find the right boot by way of real human interaction, physical try-on and a purchase made right then and there. A bird in the hand, right?

However, most bootfitting shops would still like to keep you as a customer, even if the boot is sourced elsewhere, as their fitting services and accessory products remain valuable sources of revenue. They’d also like to maintain a positive ongoing relationship with you since your good word-of-mouth goes a long way to keep other boot-buying customers coming through the door.

If the conversations with your local bootfitter don’t seem welcoming of the sourced-elsewhere boot, then you may need to look somewhere else for a more relaxed boot service attitude.

So, before you hit the purchase button on that online deal, be absolutely sure you understand the return policy and process, so you can return the boot if necessary—you’ll likely have to return them. Also, if you’re trying to find the same boot you tried on (and liked) in a shop, but at a better price, make sure it’s the same boot model—usually the better deal is an older version or model that lacks the current year’s updates and features. If by chance you have found an exact match, show the link to your brick-and-mortar retailer to see if they’d be willing to match the price. This will save you on shipping costs and either way you’ll have at least done your part in trying to keep the transaction in the local shop.

6 Tips for a Better Ski Vacation

6 Tips for a Better Ski Vacation

This winter, thousands of people will head to Colorado and other Western states to hit the slopes for a ski vacation. Even if you’ve already booked your flights, accommodations and lift tickets, you can still do a few things to make your vacation more fun and relaxing, and less stressful. Sure, you can’t control Mother Nature and guarantee great powder. But, if you take advantage of a few helpful services, build a smart itinerary, and protect yourself from the elements, you’ll make the most of your trip.

As you’re prepping for your next ski trip, consider the following tips offered by ski resort employees and veteran travelers.

Skip the Car Rental & Hire a Ride

If you’re headed to a ski area out West for a ski vacation, you probably don’t need to rent a car, unless your destination is especially small and remote, or you just want the freedom to drive around and explore.

From the airport, you can reach most ski villages and towns via shuttles offered by hotels, ski resorts, private limo services, or even outfits like Uber. Once you arrive in town, you can explore the ski village and local area by using local shuttles and buses, which are often free or cheap. Also, you can use Lyft and Uber in many ski towns, including Aspen, Vail, Telluride, Steamboat Springs and Winter Park.

If you’re still thinking about renting a car, keep in mind that it can be a major expense. For example, if you plan to fly into Denver, it’s one of the most expensive car-rental markets in the world.

If you live in an area where there is little to no snow, there’s a good chance you’re not used to driving in icy mountain conditions. If you rent a car, you might add a source of stress to what should be a relaxing getaway.

Schedule a Day off the Slopes


Plan non-ski activities like visiting local distillers.

Colorado Distillers Festival

Your everyday routine probably doesn’t mimic the physical challenge of skiing or snowboarding for long periods at high altitude. So, you might be pretty worked after a couple of days on the mountain. It’s wise to schedule a day to relax or play away from the slopes on your ski vacation. In ski towns you’ll find a growing variety of off-mountain amenities, like spas, yoga studios and meditation centers. In some towns you can participate in creative workshops, visit art galleries or sample whiskey at distilleries. If you do something that requires tickets, reservations or advance notice, be sure to book it weeks in advance. Many people have the mentality that they’ll arrange something when they arrive, and they find that things are no longer available.

Take Advantage of Helpful Services.

In recent years, new services have popped up in mountain towns to make life easier for visitors on their ski vacation. For example, if you’re renting a condo in Breckenridge, you can order groceries prior to your arrival, and a grocery concierge service will deliver the goods to your accommodations when you arrive. By ordering your groceries, you relax at the end of a long travel day, rather than worrying about hustling into town to shop.

In the last few years, ski and snowboard shops have also added new services to make life easier for vacationers. For example, more retailers are offering a broader range of clothes for rent. If you live in the Southeast and don’t ski or snowboard regularly, you might not own a good pair of insulated pants. By renting this type of technical, high-end item, you can reduce the overall cost of your trip. Just be sure to reserve clothing a week or more in advance of your arrival.

Rely on the Pros for Lessons


Leave the lessons to professional ski instructors.

Michelle Rousell

Just because you’ve been skiing or boarding for years and you can tackle any terrain, it doesn’t mean that you’re a good instructor. If you try to teach your significant other to ski or snowboard on your ski vacation, there’s a good chance it will result in frustration, tension and arguments. So leave the lessons to professional ski instructors, who know the teaching techniques that are truly effective and can provide objective, expert advice and observations.

See article Get Schooled

Protect Yourself from the Sun

If you’ve grown up vacationing at Gulf Shores, you probably know how sunburn can wreck a vacation. When you’re skiing or snowboarding, sun exposure is just as big an issue. At high elevations, ultraviolet rays are more intense—even on a cloudy day—so you should apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen 30 minutes before hitting the slopes. And reapply it every two hours while outside.

Avoid Altitude Sickness


Take time to acclimate to avoid altitude illness.

Michelle Rousell

If you live at a low elevation, there’s a chance your visit to the Western mountains could become one big headache—literally—due to altitude sickness.

Typically, altitude sickness occurs when people move quickly from low altitudes to high altitudes where there is less oxygen in the air. A bad headache and a general feeling of malaise are the primary symptoms of altitude illness, which tends to occur when people are above 8,000 feet of elevation.

Skiers and snowboarders who live at low altitude are especially susceptible, because they arrive at the ski area and quickly ascend to high elevations without allowing time to acclimate.

To avoid altitude illness, you should stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. Keep in mind that at high altitude your body needs more fluids than it does closer to sea level, so drink more water than usual before and during your trip. Also, fatigue can make you more vulnerable to getting sick at high altitude, so it’s not wise to stay up all night packing before you fly and then immediately hit the slopes when you get to the ski area.

To prevent altitude illness you can also take medicines, such as acetazolamide (Diamox is a common brand), which stimulates your nighttime respiration so you get loaded up with oxygen at night. Typically, you take it two days before your vacation, and then one day after you’ve reached your altitude. Also, ibuprofen can be effective in preventing altitude illness.

If possible, sleep at a moderately high altitude before you ski. If you sleep at an altitude between 5,000 feet and 7,000 feet before you climb higher you’ll give your body time to acclimate.

If you do get altitude illness while on the mountain, you need to move to a lower elevation, so head to the lodge and drink some water and take ibuprofen. Fortunately, altitude illness won’t likely ruin your whole trip, as most people have it the first day, and then it doesn’t bother them.

Written by Marcus Woolf for RootsRated in partnership with BCBS of AL and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Featured image provided by Michelle Rousell

Ski Exercises To Get You Ready For The Slopes

Ski Exercises To Get You Ready For The Slopes

Prepare for the rigours of the downhills with this workout from personal trainer Jamie Lloyd.

When you consider what skiing involves – pelting down snowy inclines at 40km/h-plus with only your skill in using two thin planks strapped to your feet keeping you upright – it’s not surprising that it causes more than its fair share of injuries. That’s why ski exercises are so important. 

It’s not only high-speed crashes that can derail a ski holiday either. Sore muscles from the previous day’s exertions might not be as dramatic as hitting a tree at full tilt, but they can kill your ski spirit just as effectively.

Given that most ski holidays involve a hefty outlay to cover flights, accommodation and equipment hire, not to mention the money put aside for après-ski activities, it’s well worth spending some time in the gym prepping your body so it can handle the rigours of the trip. That way you can maximise your enjoyment without the fear of crippling DOMS come day two.

For some advice on the best exercises to help you prepare for a trip to the slopes, we enlisted fitness coach Jamie Lloyd.

“Skiers and snowboarders need stability, strength, power, endurance and flexibility, as well as good technique, which all needs to be built up over time,” says Lloyd. “I’d advise you to aim for 12 weeks of strength training and specific exercises, but even if you’ve left it late it’s still worth trying this routine three times a week, rather than just lifting some weights and doing a bit of cardio.”

One of the most demanding parts of skiing is the repeated twisting and turning of your body, which is why you can suffer a particularly acute case of DOMS, because you’ll be challenging muscles that are largely dormant during your day-to-day life.

To successful train for a ski trip, then, you need to mimic the movements of the sport by working in the frontal, sagittal and transverse planes. Frontal plane exercises are any that involve moving laterally, like a side lunge. Sagittal plane exercises move you forwards and backwards, as in a standard lunge. Finally, transverse plane exercises involve rotating your body, such as a woodchop.

Lloyd demonstrated a variety of different exercises in the frontal, sagittal and transverse planes to us at Fitness First in Covent Garden for our Facebook Live video. Check out the video and find out more details on form, sets and reps below to get into tip-top shape for the slopes.


Before you begin the workout, start with this gentle warm-up of mobility drills.

1. Shrimp roll

Reps 10

Lie on your back and grab your knees to your chest. Then roll back and forth on your back to mobilise your spine.

2. Glute bridge

Reps 10

Lie on your back with legs bent at the knees, feet on the floor and arms at your side with palms flat on the floor. Drive your hips up, then lower back to the start.

3. Downward dog

Reps 10

Start in a press-up position. Raise your hips towards the ceiling until your body is in an inverted V position. Then come back into a press-up position. Like the glute bridge, this mobilises the hamstrings, lower back and core.

4. Crab grab

Reps 4 each side

Sit with your feet flat and your hands on the floor slightly behind you. Tuck one elbow in to your stomach and raise your bum slightly off the floor. Push your hips up until your supporting arm is straight, then reach the tucked arm up and over, as if trying to touch the floor behind you (you won’t be able to). This will also help warm-up your hips.

5. Lunge and reach

Reps 5 each side

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise one knee, grab it with both hands and pull it towards your chest, then lunge forwards and reach your arms up straight above you. Bring your back knee forward, grab it and pull it towards your chest and continue, alternating legs.

6. Monster Walk I

Time 30sec

Hold a resistance band and stand on it with your feet more than shoulder-width apart. Pull the band up with both hands until it stretches up to your chest. Walk forward, moving each foot in and out again with every step.

7. Monster Walk II

Reps 6 each side

Hold a resistance band and stand on it with your feet shoulder-width apart. Pull the band up with both hands until it stretches up to your chest. Step out to the side with one leg, then return to the starting position.

Ski Workout

1 Bosu squat

Reps 10

How Stand on a Bosu ball with your feet shoulder-width apart. Carefully bend your knees, keeping your knees tracking in line with your feet, until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then push back up through your heels to a standing position. Look forwards throughout in order to help maintain a natural arch to your back. Take four seconds on the downward part of the movement and two seconds on the upward phase.

To make it harder try doing it barefoot. Once you get used to that, up the ante by turning the Bosu the other way up.

Why This is a great stability exercise in the sagittal plane that will also boost ankle stability.

2 Bosu lateral hop

Reps 5

How Place two Bosu balls side by side. Jump from one to the other. Build up to ten reps. Once that becomes easy, add a squat every time you land.

Why This movement will develop the quads, glutes, hamstrings and stimulate your core muscles. “Jumping on the Bosu trains your core and helps give you a strong centre of gravity, but be sure to keep your upper body upright while doing this to maintain proper spinal alignment,” says Lloyd.

3 Speed skater

Sets 4 Time 30sec Rest 30sec

How Stand on one leg, keeping your body upright. Then leap to the side and land on your other foot, swinging your arms in front of your body as you jump. Leap back again.

To make it harder you can leap with both feet at the same time.

Why “The speed skater is great choice for single-leg stability,” says Lloyd. “Be sure to use your torso and rotate back and forth during the exercise.”

4 Medicine ball slam

Sets 3 Reps 8

How Stand with a medicine ball on the floor in front of you. Bend your legs and pick up the ball, then raise it above your head with your arms straight. Slam it into the ground. When performing the movement, stay firmly on your heels and focus on contracting your abs and slamming the ball into the ground as explosively as possible.

Add sets as you get stronger. When you can do five sets of eight reps, move up to a heavier ball.

Why The medicine ball slam is a great pulling exercise which integrates the core, legs and upper body, as well as building explosive strength throughout your body. “It serves to develop strength in the exact opposite muscle groups from the squat,” adds Lloyd.

5 Gym ball hamstring curl

Sets 3 Reps 6

How Lie on your back with your calves resting on a gym ball. Lift your hips and bend at the knees to drag the ball towards you until the soles of your feet are on it. Roll it away and lower your hips to the starting position.

Build up the reps until you can do three sets of 15 reps with ease. Then move on to single-leg hamstring curls, where you keep one leg extended in the air throughout.

Why Even if you aren’t planning on going skiing, it’s worth incorporating this into your training sessions, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk. It’s great for training the glutes, back, hamstrings and core all in one go.

6 Medicine ball woodchop

Reps 10 each side

How Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, holding a medicine ball in both hands with your arms extended in front of you. Bend one knee and simultaneously reach down to that side with the ball so it ends up outside your knee, keeping the other leg straight. Twist your torso and lift the medicine ball with straight arms so the ball ends up above your shoulder on the opposite side. Twist back and down again. Aim for two seconds up and two seconds down as you move.

Why This is a great example of a training movement that to prevents injury, because it integrates the upper and lower body on the transverse plane.

7 Single-leg step-up

Sets 4 Reps 15 each side

How Find a box that you can step up and down from comfortably. Place one foot on top of the box and then drive up, raising the opposite leg until your knee is level with your waist. Step down.

When this exercise begins to feel easy to do, add weight – try a sandbag on your shoulders.

Why This move trains your quads, which are vital for skiing. They help straighten your knees and control them as they move from a straight position into a bent position.

Proprioception Drill

Proprioception is your body’s positional sense and it’s as vital for skiing as it is for other sports. As a daily challenge, stand on one leg with your eyes closed for one minute (make sure to hover your hands over something to grab in case you fall). Build up to two minutes on each leg.

Once you’re comfortable with that, add some small movements, like lifting the arms over your head.

Speed, Agility and Quickness (SAQ) Drills

Once you’ve built up a base level of cardio conditioning from cycling, rowing or running, and have developed your stability and strength with the workout above, add some SAQ drills to work on movement patterns until they become fast, dynamic and precise. Doing this will lead to improvements in your reaction times and your ability to move into the correct positions when skiing around sharp bends.

1. Letter T

Sets 3 Time 1min Rest 30sec

Set up cones to form a letter T. Start at the bottom of the T, then run to the middle of the top. From there do lateral hops to one side, hop back to the centre and run backwards to the starting position. Then run forward again and do a lateral hop to the other side and back.

2. Bunny Hop

Sets 3 Time 1min Rest 30sec

Lay a ladder on the floor. Hop over each rung with two feet. Absorb the impact as you land and try to keep your back straight throughout.

3. Speed Ladder

Sets 3 Time 1min Rest 30sec

This time you’re going to be side-stepping laterally through the spaces between the ladder’s rungs. Stand at the base of the ladder to one side, then put the foot nearest the ladder into the first space between the rungs. Bring in the other foot, then side-step out. Then move on to the next space between rungs. Move as fast as you can.

Written by Coach Staff for Coach and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Featured image provided by Coach

The World’s 10 Best Functional Exercises

The World’s 10 Best Functional Exercises

We get it. Ranking the “world’s best functional exercises” is an exercise in futility. Because really, what makes a thruster better than a jump squat or a handstand push-up? The actual rankings aren’t really the point. Our aim is to give you 10 incredible, valuable, time-tested moves to choose from that will improve your movement patterns, body awareness and total-body power. Debate the order if you want, but implementing the moves on this list into your programming will get you fitter, faster.

1. Dumbbell Thruster

Hits: Quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, shoulders, triceps, core Dynamic and explosive, the thruster engages your entire body from your legs to your delts as you work synergistically and fluidly to move a load while transitioning from a squat to an overhead press. You can use any implement you like — barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells — but any way you slice it, a thruster will spike your heart rate in seconds.

To Do: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a set of dumbbells at your shoulders, palms neutral. Bend your knees and drop your hips into a deep squat, bottoming out if possible, then keep your weight in your heels as you drive forcefully upward. As you come to standing, use that upward momentum to press the dumbbells overhead. Lower the weights to your shoulders and repeat.

Expert Tips: “This exercise needs to be done in one fluid movement,” says trainer Jennie Gall, owner of boutique Pilates studio Relevé in Ripon, California. “Also, it’s common to hold your breath, but you need it for power in this exercise. Inhale as you squat and exhale at the top.”

2. Turkish Get-Up

Hits: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, middle back, traps, shoulders, chest, core

This multi-part movement brings you from a lying to a standing position, all while holding a kettlebell perpendicular to the floor and engaging all your major muscle groups along the way.

To Do: Lie faceup with your legs extended and hold a kettlebell straight up over your left shoulder, elbow locked. Extend your right arm to the side and look up at the weight. Bend your left knee and place your foot on the floor close to your glutes, then use your right hand and left foot as support as you roll toward your right side. Bridge your hips and bend your right knee, sliding it underneath you and rising into a half-kneeling position. From here, stand up. To return to the start, reverse the steps until you are flat on the floor. Continue, alternating sides.

Expert Tips: “Keep your eyes focused on the weight throughout the entire movement, and take your time,” says Ilyse Baker, Los Angeles–based trainer and creator of Dancinerate. “Concentrate on each segment of the exercise without rushing and you’ll master it much more quickly.”

3. Jump Squat

Hits: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, shoulders

This simple bodyweight exercise combines the best overall resistance exercise (squats) with a plyometric component, training the fast-twitch muscle fibers in your lower body to fire as they propel you into the air and contract to decelerate you on the return.

To Do: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and quickly lower into a squat, kicking your hips back and bending your knees to load up your posterior chain while swinging your arms in front of you. Extend your knees and hips and explode into the air, reaching your arms back to generate height. Land softly and descend immediately into the next squat.

Expert Tips: “Always land with your knees slightly bent and aligned with your hips and ankles,” Sanchez advises. “If you add weight in the form of dumbbells, a weighted vest or a barbell, use no more than 10 percent of your maximum regular back-squat load.”

4. Crab Reach (Thoracic Bridge)

Hits: Back, shoulders, chest, glutes, hips, core The crab reach is the antidote for prolonged bouts of sitting, stretching and strengthening key areas, including your shoulders, hips, lower back and abdominal region. To Do: Sit on the floor with your knees bent, and place your hands behind you with your fingers pointing backward. Press down into your hands and feet to lift your glutes off the floor, then continue lifting your hips as high as you can. Reach your left hand overhead toward the floor and turn your head to look at your right hand. Pause, then return to the start. Continue, alternating sides. Expert Tips: “Start with your palms far enough from your feet so that you do not over-flex your wrist when you press up,” says Missy Reder, personal trainer, yoga instructor and creator of the AB-EZE core training tool. “Plus, the added space will allow you to get your hips even higher.”

5. One-Arm Kettlebell Snatch

Hits: Back, shoulders, traps, glutes, quads, hamstrings

When doing bilateral (two-limbed) exercises, the stronger, more dominant arm or leg often takes on an unequal amount of the load, creating imbalances. A functional, unilateral exercise like this kettlebell snatch can serve as a remedy for those deficiencies.

To Do: Stand behind a kettlebell with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your chest lifted as you push your glutes back and bend your knees to grasp the handle with one hand, extending the other arm to the side. In one smooth motion, stand up quickly to pull the kettlebell off the floor, bringing it straight up along the front of your body. As the weight comes above your shoulder and feels almost weightless, punch your arm up toward the ceiling and allow the kettlebell to roll softly to the backside of your wrist. Finish with your arm extended straight up over your shoulder, palm forward. Reverse the sequence to bring the kettlebell back to the floor. Do all reps on one side before switching.

Expert Tips: “Before attempting this with a challenging weight, it’s important that your movement fundamentals are sound and you have good shoulder stability,” says Patrea Aeschliman, CSCS, Power Pilates instructor. “If you can, have a kettlebell-certified trainer help when doing it for the first time.”

6. Sled Pull/Push

Hits: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, middle back, lats, chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps

Pushing and pulling are innate human movements, and as such recruit pretty much every muscle in your body. This combo using a loaded sled gets you both coming and going.

To Do: Attach a rope securely to one end of a loaded sled. Extend the rope along the floor and face the sled with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp the rope with both hands and bend your knees and lean away from the sled to pull the rope taut, back straight. Pull the sled toward you, hand over hand, until it reaches your feet. Then place your hands on the uprights and push the sled back to the start — hips low, elbows bent — taking strong, steady steps.

Expert Tips: “This is high-intensity training without the high impact,” Sanchez says. “Load the sled with heavy weight to build strength and power, or use lighter weight and move with more velocity for conditioning benefits.”

7. The Woman Maker

Hits: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, upper back, middle back, chest, shoulders

This move is a clever combination of several functional movements (burpee, renegade row, push-up, squat clean and overhead press), which add up to a challenging, rut- (and gut-) busting exercise.

To Do: Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides, then crouch and place them parallel on the floor in front of you. Keep your hands on the dumbbells as you jump your feet behind you into plank, then do a push-up. Hold at the top and do a one-arm row on each side, elbows in close to your body. Do another push-up, then jump your feet back underneath you. As you stand, pull the dumbbells up along the front of your body, shrugging as you reach full extension and flipping your elbows underneath to bring them to shoulder level. Drop into a full squat, then explode upward, pressing the weights overhead as you come to standing.

Expert Tips: “This exercise requires a good connection to your core and gluteal muscles,” explains Patricia Friberg, creator of the Bottom Line & A Core Defined and Belly Beautiful Workout DVDs. “Do some glute activation exercises in your warm-up, such as squats with a resistance loop above the knee, to prepare for this move.”

8. Pull Ups

Hits: Lats, upper back, middle back, biceps
Being able to hoist your bodyweight up to a bar is an essential component of everyday strength, and a functional, powerful body begins with a back primed with pull-up training.

To Do: Take a wide overhand grip on a pull-up bar and hang freely with your arms fully extended and your ankles crossed behind you. Draw your shoulder blades in toward one another, then drive your elbows down and back, pulling your body upward until your chin crosses above the bar. Hold momentarily, then lower slowly back to the start.

Expert Tips: “The pull-up is challenging, but you can make it even more so as you get stronger by using ankle weights, varying your timing or adding in knee tucks,” says Samantha Clayton, personal trainer, former Olympic runner, and vice president of worldwide sports performance and fitness at Herbalife Nutrition.

9. Wall Handstand Push-Ups

Hits: Shoulders, triceps, traps, core
Sure, it’s fun to show off by doing a free-standing handstand push-up, but if you don’t have a gymnastic bent, a handstand push-up done against a wall is just as effective, developing shoulder and triceps strength while also calling on upper-body and core stabilizers to help you maintain balance.

To Do: Place your hands about a foot away from a wall spaced shoulder-width apart on the floor. Kick up one foot at a time into a handstand position, or have a partner help you get there, and hold here with your heels touching the wall, body straight, feet together. Look straight ahead (not down at the floor) and slowly, under full control, bend both elbows to lower yourself as far you can without letting your head touch down. Keep your core tight as you press back up to the start.

Expert Tips: “Before going for a push-up, practice holding a handstand against the wall for 10 to 20 seconds for three to six sets,” suggests former IFBB Fitness pro Carla Sanchez, owner of Performance Ready Fitness Studio in Lone Tree, Colorado. Do this for several weeks until you’re comfortable upside down, then go for the push-up.

10. Farmer’s Walk

Hits: Grip strength, shoulders, quads, hams, calves

This is as basic as it gets, testing just how long you can lug heavy, awkward objects around without dropping them. This sort of long-winded grip strength comes in handy for chipper-style deadlift workouts or unrelenting reps of pull-ups — as well as for unloading all your grocery bags in one trip.

To Do: Pick up a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand and draw your shoulder blades down and back to stabilize your shoulders. Keeping your core tight, chest elevated and head up, walk forward with even, steady steps for time or distance.

Expert Tips: “When learning the farmer’s walk, use quick, short steps,” says Los Angeles–based trainer Teri Jory, creator of the Poise method. “As you get comfortable, you can move faster and lengthen your steps, leading with your hips.”


Wondering what to do with these movements? All of them can (and should) be peppered into your usual routine, but if you want some ideas for dedicated functional workouts, here are two samples to try.

Written by Michael Berg for Oxygen Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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6 Stretches to Improve Fascia Elasticity

6 Stretches to Improve Fascia Elasticity

Improve your performance and prevent injury by focusing on these flexibility highways.

In fitness, muscles tend to get all the glory. Not surprising, considering we’re visual creatures, and besides, a well-defined hamstring tie-in looks darn good. But if you want to understand how to move more efficiently, prevent injuries and get stronger, you need to look beyond your glutes — and triceps and biceps and quads — and consider the admittedly less sexy, but equally important counterpart, the fascia.

Fascia 411

Fascia is often characterized as the connective tissue that encapsulates your muscles, but its actual function is far more complex.

“Fascia helps mitigate forces on certain parts of the body so there isn’t overuse of muscle tissue in one region and the degradation of tissue in another,” explains Chuck Wolf, MS, FAFS, director of Human Motion Associates in Orlando, Florida.

In other words, fascia serves to distribute force throughout the body by reducing it in one area and absorbing it in another, thereby enhancing mobility and preventing injury.

After studying the way fascial tissues worked together as the body moved in different planes of motion, Wolf devised the concept of the “flexibility highways.”

Each of these six highways is made up of a chain of tissues that work together to perform a particular type of movement, including flexion and extension, which occur in the sagittal plane; abduction and adduction, which occur in the frontal plane; and rotation, which occurs in the transverse plane.

However, in everyday life (as well as in the gym and on the field), human movement is not exclusive to one plane of motion. “If even if you’re moving in just one plane, those tissues are still being affected by the other two planes,” Wolf says. Therefore, in order to move efficiently, we have to keep all six highways in working order.

Highway Patrol

For the highways to work effectively, all fascial tissue needs to be elastic, resilient and strong enough to accommodate movement patterns in all directions. According to Wolf, fascia adapts when exposed to movements that cover all planes of motion and include both concentric (shortening) and eccentric (lengthening) contractions.

Training on machines doesn’t offer the necessary stimuli to create adaptations in the fascia, so you’re better off using weighted lunges than you are seated leg extensions.

For each flexibility highway, Wolf outlines a stretch progression designed to improve the elasticity and resilience of your fascia.

Incorporating these movements into your warm-up or cool-down can help prevent injury, correct movement inefficiencies and give you more power in your favorite athletic activity.

Hold each stretch for 60 seconds and repeat on both sides.

Anterior Flexibility Highway

This highway runs along the front of your body, from your feet up through your quads and abs), through your chest and anterior delts to your triceps and all the way up to your fingertips.

You engage this highway when you reach your arms overhead and slightly behind you, as when winding up for a medicine-ball slam or when catching a high basketball pass with both hands.

Wolf explains that people who sit a lot often have tightness in this highway, especially in the hip flexors and and abdominals, which therefore inhibits extension movements as well as walking and running.

Keep your left foot on the floor and step onto a knee-high bench or box with your right foot. Shift your weight forward over your right foot, keeping your left heel down and your left leg straight as you open your arms to the sides at shoulder height and actively pull them behind you to open your chest.

You should feel this stretch in your left calf, quad and hip flexor as well as through your core, chest and shoulders.

Posterior Flexibility Highway

This highway runs from the bottoms of your feet up through your calves and hamstrings, through your glutes and up your back and rear delts, over your skull and down to your forehead. This highway is engaged when you perform deadlifts or when you reach down to scoop up a baseball from the ground.

“When you have tightness here, it will be difficult for you to sit down or squat,” Wolf says. Even simple flexion movements like bending over to pick something up off the floor can be challenging, and lower-back pain can become an issue.

Stand with your left foot on the floor, toes rotated outward, and place your right heel on a bench or box, leg straight. Rotate your right toes to the right, then hinge forward from your hips over your right leg and hold.

You should feel the stretch along the back of your legs, the inner part of your hamstrings and through your back, shoulders and neck. Stand upright, turn your right toes to the left and your left toes inward and repeat. This shifts the emphasis toward your glutes and the outer part of your hamstrings.

Lateral Flexibility Highway

This highway runs up the side of your calf, over the outside of your thigh and hip, through your side body, across your triceps through your forearm.

You use this highway when you toss a ball up for a tennis serve or wind up to spike a volleyball. Tightness here inhibits rotation, which is critical to walking and running and can cause pain and dysfunction in your knees, lower back and shoulders.

Stand sideways to a rig or post and cross your right leg behind your left, feet flat on the floor. Hold the pole at shoulder height with your left hand, then stretch to the side and reach your right arm overhead to grasp the pole above your head.

Push your hips away from the pole while keeping your feet flat to stretch your entire side from your calf up through your thigh, glutes, hips, abdominals, back, shoulder and triceps. Repeat on both sides.

Anterior X-Factor Flexibility Highway

This highway runs diagonally from your foot and lower calf up your inner thigh, then across your body to your opposite-side obliques and chest, up through your shoulder and biceps to your forearm and hand.

When you reach back with one arm as you step forward with your opposite leg to throw a baseball or pull a golf club into a backswing, you’re tapping into this rotational pathway. Tightness here could result in issues like biceps or shoulder pain.

Position a knee-high box slightly in front of a rig leg or pole. Stand with your right foot flat on the floor, toes rotated outward, and place your left foot onto the box, toes straight.

Grip the rig with your left hand and shift your weight forward over your left foot, keeping your right leg straight and foot flat on the floor. Reach your right arm behind you and open your shoulder to the right to feel this stretch in your calf, inner thigh, hamstrings, abdominals, chest, shoulders and forearm.

Posterior X-Factor Flexibility Highway

This highway runs from your calf up through your hamstrings and glutes and then across to the other side of your body through your back, rear delts, triceps and forearm.

This pathway is used in movements like the follow-through on a tennis serve or a baseball throw. According to Wolf, athletes who have dysfunction in this highway often experience back pain.

Stand sideways to a rig leg or pole and hold the back side of the pole with your left hand. Reach across in front of your chest to grasp the rig with your right hand, then bend your left knee and place your left ankle on top of your right thigh.

Sit back with your hips and bend your right knee until you feel a stretch in your calf, hamstrings, glutes, hips, back, shoulders, triceps and forearms.

Turnpike Flexibility Highway

This is the trickiest highway to visualize as it wraps completely around your body in a corkscrew pattern.

“Start at the left side of the back of your neck, then draw a diagonal line toward the right scapula and then around under your right armpit, down through your chest and abdominal complex and around to your left hip,” Wolf says.

Tightness in this highway could impair a wide receiver’s ability to turning back to look for the pass as he is running downfield or a jogger checking behind her for traffic before crossing the street.

Face a rig or a pole and stand with your feet staggered and your left foot forward, toes pointing toward the pole. Reach across your body with your left hand and grab hold of the right side of the pole at shoulder height.

Reach your right arm under your left and rotate your torso to the left and hold. Next, reach your right arm behind you and rotate your torso to the right, opening your chest. You should feel both stretches in the shoulders, upper back and neck.

Written by Jenessa Connor for Oxygen Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Featured image provided by Oxygen Magazine

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How to Spend 7 Days in Park City, Utah

How to Spend 7 Days in Park City, Utah

Park City is unique among winter vacation destinations because of the diversity that is created by having two world-class ski operations within minutes of each other. In some cases, Deer Valley Resort is separated by a rope on a ridge from Park City Mountain Resort, but there is no connection beyond that, so you’ll rely on the character, access, and infrastructure of the town to open the gates to both. You could easily spend 7 days at only one, but for this itinerary, buckle up for a whirlwind tour of both. For more information about Utah skiins, read our post Less Hassle, More Time on the Slopes: Why Utah Will Be the Easiest Ski Trip of Your Life

The High West Distillery & Saloon

Arrive at Salt Lake International Airport before noon, and it’s conceivable you could head straight to Park City and be on the mountain for a half-day of skiing/riding. Plenty of seasoned Park City visitors do it. But for this trip, you will be taking the long view, and there will be plenty of turns to come over the next week. Whether you are renting a car or taking one of the many shuttle services that will deliver you and your party from curb to condo, take your time making your way to where you’ll be spending our nights. You have plenty of choices, but a great one is Silver Star, which offers condo-style accommodations at Park City Mountain Resort. One of the nice things about Park City is that no matter where you stay, it’s an easy trip to hit either resort or the downtown area.

One of the nice things about Park City is that no matter where you stay, it’s an easy trip to hit either resort or the downtown area. After you get dialed into your digs, why not head to Main Street and start with some cocktails at High West Distillery & Saloon? If you like what you see on the menu (you likely will), either stay put for an early dinner, or take your pick of dozens of critically acclaimed eateries along Main and Lower Main Street to suit the mood.

Deer Valley Resort, UT

There is a lot of skiing to cover on this trip, and we’ll start with Deer Valley Resort. Start your day from Snow Park and you will be “Steining” hard, that is to say cruising some of Deer Valley’s legendary well-manicured mix of steeps and cruisers off of Bald Mountain. Take a few trips down Stein’s Way and the mixed terrain off of the Sultan chair. With amazing views of the Jordanelle Reservoir far below, you’ll find no shortage of selfie spots.

Lunch will be at the Silver Lake Lodge where the options will confound you, like Bald Mountain Pho. Seriously, where else can you get Pho on a ski hill? Dinner will be a reservation (highly recommended) for you and your group at Fireside Dining, a four-course, fixed-price experience that is more than just a meal. High up on the mountain at Empire Lodge, you’ll enjoy favorites from the European Alps like Swiss raclette, stews and roasted meats, and dessert fondue cooked right at the stone fireplaces at the lodge.

Stein Eriksen Lodge

Stop at the legendary Stein Eriksen Lodge for lunch or dinner. Photo courtesy Park City Chamber/ Bureau
The next day will be more of the same at Deer Valley, with an emphasis on exploring the terrain on the Empire Canyon and Lady Morgan side of the resort. You may or may not notice that while doing laps in Empire Bowl, you are literally just one rope away from Park City Mountain’s McConkey’s side, but hold those thoughts for a few more days and focus on Deer Valley.

If you are looking for steeps, try Daly Chutes. If there is a powder day in the forecast, you could spend half a day just lapping the trees off of the Lady Morgan chair. On powder days at Deer Valley it just seems like it doesn’t get tracked out quite as fast as other mountains. Use this wisdom to your advantage. For lunch, unbuckle your boots and sit down to a table at the legendary Stein Eriksen Lodge, just steps from the Silver Lake area. Resist the temptation to have a lunch blend into the apres hours. Get out there for some late afternoon runs, all the way until closing bell.

Dinner tonight will be a little more casual and ad hoc, you’ll head out on the town and see what feels right—maybe Southwestern at Chimayo, or locals’ favorite sushi rolls at Flying Sumo located on Lower Main in the Town Lift building. Pack up your gear and check out in the morning and shift focus to another part of town.

Day 4

Park City Mountain Resort is serviced by 41 lifts, enabling you to explore far from where you’re staying. Photo courtesy Park City Chamber/ Bureau

Nordic and Steak

After two solid days at Deer Valley, it’s time for a mid-week transition, but let’s not call it a rest day. It’s time to channel your inner Norwegian and sample some of the town’s other kind of groomed trails and get some cardio in. Check out the White Pine Touring Nordic Center, steps away from Silver Star. In the non-winter months, this is the home of Park City’s municipal golf course, but in the winter it’s transformed into the town’s cross-country skiing hub featuring a variety of groomed track for both skate and classic cross-country skiing.

All your gear needs can be handled right on site, and you’ll start off with a lesson from one of the many Nordic-certified instructors who will teach you things in an hour or two that would have taken a lifetime of trial and error to learn. When you’ve had enough, head back to your digs at Silver Star, because, you know, hot tubs. Dinner is at the iconic Grub Steak Restaurant in Prospector Square for a dose of old Park City. Enjoy the best in town for steaks, seafood, chops, and an epic salad bar.

Day 5

Park City Mountain Resort is serviced by 41 lifts, enabling you to explore far from where you’re staying.

Photo courtesy Park City Chamber/ Bureau

Park City Mountain Resort

There is nothing old about Park City Mountain Resort after Vail Resorts took it over and promptly pumped more than $50 million into capital improvements. The most noticeable of these is the Quicksilver 8 person gondola that connects the Park City side with the Canyons side, and the new Miner’s Camp day lodge and restaurant. From where these two are located, you could take the bait and hop on the gondola, but you could also spread yourself really thin riding lifts back and forth, so take a patient approach and ski the Park City side.

There are plenty of great runs off of the Silverlode and King Con lifts. High atop the ridge above McConkey’s bowl will likely be the iconic selfie spot on this day. If you are enjoying yourself on this side of the mountain, the historic Mid Mountain Lodge is a great place for lunch. After lunch you’ll be in the right place to make your way to the Jupiter lift, where the most challenging terrain on the mountain sits hidden from plain view. Ski down at the end of the day all the way to where your day began at Silver Star Village, for après at the Silver Star Café. Dinner will be at Red Rock in Kimball Junction. A favorite of the locals, this brew pub features excellent drafts, seasonally bottled varieties, and great pub food.

Day 6

The Quicksilver Gondola transports skiers back and forth from the Park City side of the mountain to the Canyons Village side.

Photo courtesy Park City Chamber/ Bureau

The Canyons

This is your day to focus on the Canyons side. You could get there in two different ways: either from the Park City side, by beelining it up to the Quicksilver Gondola, or consider lining up a shuttle (or the free public bus) in the morning to drop you off at the Canyons Village to start from there. Let’s assume you do that. You’ll ride the Orange Bubble, named for it’s orange-tinted “hoods” that can be pulled down to shield passengers from the weather. Oh, and it’s heated. The bubble gets you to the core terrain on the Condor side, which is where you will find the goods on a powder day.

As you work your way back towards the Park City side, and the recently completely renovated Red Pine Lodge will be your spot for lunch. Make sure you leave some time at the end of the day to navigate to the Quicksilver Gondola, so you can make it back to the Park City side for the last run down to the King Con lift, then back to Silver Star. Tonight’s dinner will be back in Canyons Village at The Farm, where fine dining is fused with a farm-to-table menu.

Day 7

See future generations of ski jumpers and bobsledders train and explore the state’s Olympic legacy at the Utah Olympic Park.

Photo courtesy Park City Chamber/ Bureau

Utah Olympic Park

Had enough? Not likely. There is no way to do it all in Park City on one trip, and this is all just a scouting mission for your next trip here. If you are the type that burns the candle all the way down and you have a later flight out, you can get another half day at either side of Park City Mountain. If an earlier flight keeps you off your skis for the last day, then check out the Utah Olympic Park on your way out of town. 

Park City hosted many venues for the 2002 Winter Games, and the Olympic Park is still an active training and competition venue for our next generation of Olympic ski jumpers, freestyle skiers, bobsledders, luge, and skeleton athletes. the Alf Engen Ski Museum is located here and definitely worth a stop.

One caveat about this ideal trip: If there are snowboarders in your group, Deer Valley politely remains a skiers-only mountain. If you want to stay together, you’ll have to do it at Park City Mountain Resort. Or split up when they want to hit the terrain parks. Of course, the great thing about Park City is how many different options are available. Plan out some of your favorites ahead of time, but you really can’t go wrong spending time at either resort.

Written by Thomas Cooke for RootsRated in partnership with Visit Park City and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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The Benefits Of Walking: Nine Reasons To Pound The Pavement

The Benefits Of Walking: Nine Reasons To Pound The Pavement

Walk it off – the weight, that is…

A recent survey found that one in five adults in the UK hadn’t walked continuously for more than 20 minutes in the past year. Pretty shocking when you consider walking is not only one of the easiest ways to get active, it’s by far the cheapest.

Forget pricy gym memberships and form-fitting Lycra – all you need are comfortable shoes. You don’t need to be scaling mountains or going on all-day hikes to see the benefits either.

If you need any more of an incentive to start walking more, sign up for Walk All Over Cancer this March. This fundraising event for Cancer Research UK asks people to commit to hitting an average of 10,000 steps a day for the whole month of March. The best way to do it is to hit the target each day, but don’t worry if you miss a day here and there – you can make it up with a long hike at the weekend.

London School of Economics found those who walked briskly for more than 30 minutes five days a week had smaller waists and a lower BMI than those doing other activities.

Taking part in Walk All Over Cancer is a great way to raise money for a worthy cause, but it’s not an entirely selfless act – by walking regularly you’ll benefit in at least the following nine ways.


Walking can help you maintain a healthy weight.

In fact, it might be better than the gym. Research from the London School of Economics found those who walked briskly for more than 30 minutes five days a week had smaller waists and a lower BMI than those doing other activities.


It can have benefits for your wallet.

Leaving the car at home or bypassing the bus and walking to work instead saves cash. And you’ll probably arrive in a much better mood than you would after your usual commute too.


Walking is a cardiovascular exercise…

…which can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.


Walking can improve your posture.

“Posture is a really big issue – everybody tends to have their shoulders hunched forward and their head drooping,” says Joanna Hall, founder of WalkActive. “If you do that your back becomes very stiff. When you walk properly, with good posture, you’re able to have a much more open line across your chest, which is better for your breathing and your back.”


You’ll live longer.

Research from the European Society of Cardiology found that the heart-boosting benefits of daily brisk walks can add up to seven years to your life.


It’s a social activity.

“Walking provides a great chance to catch up and talk to somebody,” says Hall. “It’s easier to have really meaningful conversations when you’re in nature, rather than in an urban area.”


It helps build muscle strength.

Walking uses more than 200 muscles and is particularly good for strengthening your thighs, calves and glutes. Plus, it’s low-impact so it’s good if you have any niggles or problems with your joints.


It boosts your mood…

…especially if you walk somewhere green. A report from mental health charity Mind found that walking in parks or the countryside reduced feelings of depression in 71% of participants and boosted self-esteem in 90% of them.


It’s a great way of getting to know your local area…

…and discovering shops, green spaces and hidden streets you may not even have known were there. Maybe the odd pub, too. “You’ve got all the National Trust and English Heritage [also Historic Scotland and Cadw in Wales] sites,” says Hall, “but there’s also the Thames Pathway, the coastal paths… and there are a lot of urban areas now where the cities are focusing on improving the quality of the walking areas.”

How To Walk Faster

An old saw says get off public transport a stop or so before your destination then walk the rest. All well and good, unless it takes you ages and makes you late. But there’s a technique that can help so you can hold your head high – literally – as you speed past gridlocked traffic. “Often when people increase their speed it becomes a powerwalk, which has a lot of tension in it,” says Hall. “This can create back pain and stiffness around the shoulders. Walking should look effortless and really smooth, but internally it should feel like you’re working quite hard.” Hall has three tips to sharpen up your walking technique. “We call these your accelerators. One is to push more through your toes. The second is to lift your head, which means that your stride length will increases because you have greater hip extension. “The third thing is to have greater back arm swing. The more your arm goes back, the more your body will be propelled forward. These three accelerators will help you increase your walking speed without it looking stiff.”

How To Walk More

Once you’ve nailed your walking technique, it’s time to put your skills into practice by doing more walking. Hall suggest getting a fitness tracker to help motivate you and also adding walking to your most common activities. “I encourage people to find something they do every day and give themselves a target to walk for ten minutes before they do that task. Whether that’s getting a coffee, or reading emails, or speaking to a friend or family member. Find yourself a task you do every day and piggyback ten minutes of walking onto it. If you do that with three tasks every day it’s a really good way to get walking into your day.”

Written by Charlotte Thomas for Coach and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

How to Prep Your Gear for Ski Season: 6 Pro Tips

How to Prep Your Gear for Ski Season: 6 Pro Tips

As ski season approaches, you may be more than ready to hit the slopes—but is your gear?

For some pro tips on prepping your equipment, RootsRated spoke with Zach Yates, gear guru and repair shop manager at Footloose Sports, a popular ski shop in Mammoth, California. The bottom line, Yates says: “You want everything as predictable as possible,” in order to prevent injury and set yourself up for a kick-ass season on the slopes. Here, Yates’ tips on how to make that happen.

1. Start with your skis.

First things first: Make like the Karate Kid and start waxing. You’ll be waxing off first—as in, removing that grubby layer of wax you (hopefully) rubbed on at the end of last season to prevent oxidation and damage to the base of the ski. Then, grab some new wax—it’s designated for various temperatures, depending on where you’ll be skiing—and don’t skimp on applying it.

“You can never over wax a ski—the more wax the better,” Yates says. “For World Cup racers, their skis are prepped 20-30 times before they hit the snow. And beginners will sometimes say, ‘I don’t want a lot of wax, because I don’t want to go too fast,’ but wax really helps to just make the ski glide better. Whenever a ski glides very well, you won’t have any resistance, and it will make everything easier.”

2. Drop the cash on detuning.

A few words on detuning (which basically means removing burrs and blunting the edges of tips and tails to prevent them from hooking into the snow): You can do it at home, but Yates points out that you can never get back the material you wear off. Detuning generally costs around $50, and as Yates says, “it’s worth spending the money to get it done right, just like with anything.”

We tend to agree. But if you must attempt it yourself, check out YouTube for videos that show the process step-by-step.

3. Give your boots plenty of love.

Your boots are your most important piece of equipment, so be sure they’re in tip-top shape before the season starts. Start by removing the liners and foot beds, making sure no creepy-crawlies made them their summer home. After airing everything out, put it all back in and buckle the boots, to help maintain the shape.

Considering buying new boots? Start shopping now, when selection is still good, and keep in mind that boots should be snug. “Everyone has a misconception that, if my boots are too tight, it’s going to hurt,” Yates says. “But it’s actually the opposite. If there’s too much movement, you’ll get a hot spot.”

But expect your new boots to be uncomfortable for the first few days. And, if you notice any trouble spots, a professional fitter can use a technique called punching out, which involves heating and stretching the plastic shell where necessary. (Don’t even think about trying it at home). Check out to find your perfect boot and local bootfitter. 

4. Give your bindings some love too.

Two words here: function test. This is a critical run-through that gear specialists perform using a torque wrench on the binding to make sure it’s releasing properly. It’s crucial to get a function test on a regular basis—at least once a season, or between 15-30 days of skiing—as the factors that influence the binding setting (more on that below), including body weight, fluctuate (like that weeklong après feast of fondue and beer, for example).

“The most common injury in skiing is a knee injury from a slow, twisting backward fall, and if your bindings are set too high – say you lost weight over the summer—then you can blow out your ACL,” Yates says. “A function test costs about 20 bucks, and ACL surgery is at least $5,000.”

5. Know your number.

If you’re renting gear, be sure to ask the rental shop what your DIN setting is, if you don’t know already. Generally, the DIN setting refers to a calibrated standard that indicates the force necessary to release your bindings and reflects several factors, including your age, weight, skill level and type of skier. It will be displayed on your paperwork as well as the binding itself.

Why is it so important to know your DIN number? Because it’s a good point of reference if you need your bindings adjusted. And, as Yates points out, “At a shop that’s doing everything by the book, legally they have to tell you your DIN setting, and if they don’t, a red flag should go up.”

6. Get the skinny on your skins.

Don’t overlook prepping your skins for the season, too (no judgements if you just tossed them into the closet after your last backcountry excursion). To remove old glue and all of the gunk that sticks to it, Yates recommends cutting or tearing a paper bag in pieces, placing them along the length of your skins and running a hot iron over them. Slowly remove the bag pieces, which will also pick up the old glue and grime. (Here’s a quick video tutorial ).

Follow all these steps, and your gear will be as ready as you are for ski season. See you on the slopes.

Written by Blane Bachelor for RootsRated and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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The Ultimate Home Workout Plan

The Ultimate Home Workout Plan

It can sometimes feel like the fitness industry is in a constant rush to find the next big thing – the new diet, workout class or item of training kit that will get amazing results. In the process, everyone ends up overlooking tried-and-tested tools that do an outstanding job. Take the dumbbell, for example. The chances are you already own a pair that are gathering dust in a cupboard or under a bed. They’re not innovative and they don’t use amazing technology – but you know what? They work. So go dust them down and do this four-week plan. The kit may not be new, but the physique you’ll have after 28 days certainly will be.

How To Do The Plan

Do the following two workouts once a week (on Monday, and Friday) for four weeks, following the set, rep and rest counts indicated. Try to increase the weight you use each week so that you’re completing more work as you progress.

Workout 1: Monday

Dumbbell Swing

Sets: 3 Reps of 10; Rest 60 seconds

Send the dumbbell between your legs by hingeing at the hips, then push your glutes forwards powerfully so you use hip drive to raise the dumbbell to shoulder height. Reverse the movement to the start and go straight into the next rep.

The Ultimate Home Workout Plan

2. Overhead Squat

Sets: 3 Reps of 10; Rest 60 seconds

Start with both weights held directly overhead, then simultaneously bend at the hips and knees to lower into a squat, without letting the weights come forwards.

The Ultimate Home Workout Plan

3. Side Lunge

Sets: 3 Reps of 8 each side; Rest 60 seconds

Start with a dumbbell in each hand, then take a big step to one side and bend your leading knee, keeping your foot pointing forwards and your knee in line with your toes. Push off your leading foot to return to the start, then take a big step the other way to repeat the move. Alternate sides with each rep.

The Ultimate Home Workout Plan

4. Press-up

Sets: 3 Reps of 8; Rest 60 seconds

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, perform a press-up then at the top, row one dumbbell up to your side. Lower the weight, then row the other dumbbell up to complete one rep.

The Ultimate Home Workout Plan

5. Leg Raise

Sets: 3 Reps of 10; Rest 60 seconds

Hold a dumbbell in one hand between your legs with your knees bent. Explosively extend your hips, knees and ankles to raise the weight overhead. Once your body is straight from head to toe, drop into a half squat to “catch” the weight overhead, then stand up straight.

The Ultimate Home Workout Plan

Workout 2: Wednesday

Like the first workout of the week, this session focuses on functional movements. And you can’t get more functional than a power snatch, which involves shifting a weight from a low position to above your head in one explosive move. The next move is the jump squat, which is a safe way of improving power just as you start to fatigue in the workout. The two abs moves at the end of the session are among the most effective exercises you can do in your quest to develop a rock-hard six-pack.

1. Power Snatch

Sets: 3 Reps of 10; Rest 60 seconds

Hold a dumbbell between your feet with your heels raised slightly off the ground. Keeping your legs straight, raise them until they are vertical, then lower slowly under control without letting your heels touch the floor.

The Ultimate Home Workout Plan

2. Squat Press (or Thruster)

Sets: 3 Reps of 10; Rest 60 seconds

Start with the dumbbells at shoulder level and lower into a squat, then stand up and press the weights directly overhead. Lower the weights and return to the start position.

The Ultimate Home Workout Plan

3. Jump Squat

Sets: 3 Reps of 6; Rest 60 seconds

Start with the dumbbells by your sides and lower into a half squat. Jump straight up off the ground, land softly and go straight into the next rep.

The Ultimate Home Workout Plan

4. Windmill

Sets: 2 Reps of 10 each side; Rest 60 seconds

Hold a dumbbell overhead, then bend at the waist by guiding one hand down your leg. Make sure you keep looking at the weight throughout the move.

The Ultimate Home Workout Plan

5. Roll-out

Sets: 3 Reps of 10; Rest 60 seconds

Kneel with the dumbbells below your shoulders. Roll the weights forwards as far as you can, using your abs to control the movement, then return to the start.

The Ultimate Home Workout Plan

Written by Men’s Fitness for Coach and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Featured image provided by Coach

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Sharpening Skills

Sharpening Skills

Like their bases, your skis’ edges require regular maintenance to ensure they’re running as smoothly as possible in all snow conditions. Leif Sunde, ski technician and cofounder of the Denver Sports Lab, recommends getting into the habit of inspecting your skis’ edges at the end of every ski day to make sure they’re free and clear of any nicks and burrs. “If you find any major damage from rocks, especially on your base edges, take your skis to a shop and have the technicians address it with their machines,” says Sunde. Unless you’re an accomplished and confident ski technician, sharpening base edges should be left to the pros.

Minor scratches, burrs, rust, or dull patches on the skis’ side edges, however, can be easily addressed at home. The trickiest part is figuring out which file guide to use, as this depends on your skis’ factory side bevel. Skis generally come with a 1- to 3-degree factory side bevel, which means the skis’ side edges have an 89-, 88-, or 87-degree angle. Before tuning your edges, check your skis’ side edge bevel and use a file guide with the appropriate bevel angle. 

Pro tip: While adjustable file guides can be set to varying bevel angles, Sunde recommends working with a fixed file guide for a more accurate tune. 

How to remove rust and minor burrs from ski edges

Ski Magazine

To remove rust and burs, use a spring clamp to affix a diamond stone to the file guide.

Tool: File guide with diamond stone
Step 1: Using a spring clamp, affix diamond stone to the angle-indicated side of the file guide so that the smooth and clean side of the guide is in contact with the base.

Step 2: In a light and feathery motion, move the file guide with diamond stone down the length of the side edge. Allow the file guide to do the work—you shouldn’t be getting an arm workout while polishing your edges. Ensure constant contact between the file guide and the ski’s base.

How to sharpen skis' side edges

Ski Magazine

To sharpen edges, affix a bastard file to the file guide.

Tool : File guide with bastard file
Step 1: Using a spring clamp, affix bastard file to the angle-indicated side of the file guide so that the smooth and clean side of the guide is in contact with the base.

Step 2: In a light and feathery motion, move the file guide with file down the length of the side edge in sections to remove some of the edge material. Again, work in a feathering motion to take care not to take off too much material.

Step 3: Once edges are sharp, affix a diamond stone to the angle-indicated side of the file guide and work down the length of the edge to give it a polished finish.

Meet the technicians

Leif Sunde and Sam Petty are are highly experienced ski technicians who cofounded the Denver Sports Lab in Golden, Colo., to make Olympic- level tunes available to the public. 

Written by Jenny Wiegand for Ski Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Featured image provided by Ski Magazine

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