The resorts might not be open yet, but snow is already on the ground across the high country in the Rockies and westward.This means it’s time to dust off your skis and snowboards and change your tires. Another machine to get prepped, that’s arguably just as important, is your body and getting it ready for the rigors of another active winter. Much of the training most people do the rest of the year is focused on moving forwards and backward, up and down or from side to side in a straight line. But these aren’t the only planes of motion your body moves in on the mountain. You’ve also got to be able to create and resist rotational force. Here are three exercises that will help:

I’ve missed you Medicine Ball! For next week. #medicineball #medicineballworkout #tabataworkout #supersets

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Seated Slam/Medicine Ball Twisting Toss

Here’s a rotational go-to you can do with a partner or, if you have access to a bouncy slam ball and a solid wall, when you’re working out solo. If you’re training with someone else:

— Sit next to each other about two or three feet apart
—The person sitting on the left places a slam ball by their left hip
—They then pick up the ball and, making sure they keep their torso upright and abs engaged, twists to their right
—Once they’ve rotated, they release the ball, tossing it to the other person
—The training partner catches the ball, rotates with it to their right side, and then tosses it back as they twist to the left
—Partner #1 catches the ball, twists to the left (their initial starting position), then turns back to their right and throws the ball back
—Repeat for one to two minutes
—Experiment with a differently weighted ball, starting with a 10 or 12 pounder and going up or down as needed

Weight Plate Woodchopper


—Stand straight up with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed straight ahead
—Grab a weight plate and hold it above your head with arms extended
—Maintaining core tension, move the weight plate down and across your body until its just behind and below your left hip
—Twist back to the starting position and repeat on your right side
—Do 10 to 15 reps on each side
—You can vary the exercise by doing a quarter squat at the bottom of the movement, and by speeding up as you feel comfortable
—Adjust the weight as needed based on how explosive you want to be and how heavy it feels. Some people find a medicine ball or slam ball easier to grip.
—If you have a wood-fired stove or just like getting outdoors with a bloody big blade, recreate the exercise with an ax and a pile of firewood. Please take all necessary safety precautions!

Single Arm Kettlebell Swing

Now that we’ve done a couple of exercises to train generating power through rotation, let’s add in one that does the opposite – developing power while resisting rotation. The single arm variation of the KB swing does just that, requiring you to resist your body’s urge to twist as you swing the weight and instead keep your shoulders square and torso aligned. To do it:

—Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a kettlebell on the ground between them
—With your inactive arm out to the side, hinge at your hips to pick up the weight
—Hike the kettlebell between your legs like a football center
—Powerfully squeeze your glutes (butt muscles) and quads to initiate hip extension that takes you back to the standing position
—Keep your active arm straight as you use the momentum from the previous step to swing the bell out in front of you until it’s at eye level. Use just enough force to get the bell moving upwards and then it should feel weightless at the top position
—As the bell starts to descend (yay, gravity!), hinge at the hips again and swing it between your legs
—Repeat for five (power and speed) to 20 (endurance) reps. Rest for two to five minutes and do another set.
—Throughout the movement, focus on keeping your torso upright and abs engaged, and on resisting rotation by keeping your shoulders squared


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