Mar 29, 2011 at 11:02 am #1271338
So I got a pair of snowshoes for travel in the Olympics and I have no experience. I would really like to try them out, get my muscles use to the movement some etc… BUT I live in Georgia so there isn't any snow in the area. Do you think it would be safe to practice with them in soft grass? Any other thoughts?
Thanks!Mar 29, 2011 at 12:16 pm #1716669
It won't do much good for the soft grass.
Yes, you will learn that it is pretty easy to walk in snowshoes. You just walk with a wider stance so that they don't bump together much. The rest of it will have to wait until you get on snowy hills.
Cross country skiers tend to contour around and zigzag their way up a hill. Snowshoers tend to go straight up or straight down, but that depends a little on the style of the snowshoe.
–B.G.–Mar 29, 2011 at 6:30 pm #1716845
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
Especially when snowshoeing in deep and/or variable snow, you certainly use muscles in unique ways. It'd be hard to directly replicate this without snow, maybe go to the beach and snowshoe around on sand dunes?
Generally, snowshoeing is harder and slower than hiking. Being in good shape before your trip will probably ensure you have the most fun and don't strain a hip flexor or the like. Hike lots of steep hills (up and down) and uneven terrain.Mar 29, 2011 at 6:45 pm #1716860
Snowshoeing has some advantage over cross country skis if you are in really rough terrain, or with bushes half-covered in snow. The advantage of the skis is that you can get some glide, but it takes a while to build up the skill. Either one is slightly different from walking, so your walking muscles are stressed a little more, and you can easily get muscle cramps unless you become an expert.
–B.G.–Mar 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm #1716866
You'll use a slightly wider gait, more resistance to raising your leg due to more weight, and will often have to raise your legs much higher if breaking trail in new snow.
So, wear heavy shoes and climb steps two at a time for a workout. It's really not hard to get used to.Mar 29, 2011 at 7:20 pm #1716894
Remember, that if you are going to run with the big dogs, you have to learn to lift your leg very high.
–B.G.–Mar 29, 2011 at 7:28 pm #1716897
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
" Hike lots of steep hills (up and down) and uneven terrain."
+1 Preferably with heavy boots. Maybe even 1-2# ankle weights to simulate the weight of the snowshoes. Being in good shape is really the key. Basic snowshoeing technique isn't that hard to learn; a lot of it is intuitive, but if you're not in pretty good shape it won't be much fun because it is a lot of work. And a lot of fun.Mar 29, 2011 at 9:02 pm #1716952
Golf course at night. Watch out for sprinklers. That's how I tried out my first pair of snowshoes many years ago. this particular course had a lot of up and down so it was great. Maybe add some weight to the shoes to simulate the snow that will pile up on top?Mar 30, 2011 at 5:42 am #1717067
Thanks to everybody for the input – once again I was overwhelmed with the response!Mar 31, 2011 at 11:09 pm #1718188
@jumpbackjackLocale: Armpit of California
How about in shallow water, never tried it, but it might give you the same resistance as snow.Apr 5, 2011 at 5:16 pm #1720593
@paulmagsLocale: People's Republic of Boulder
Hiking of course on the weekends…and workouts in general during the week. :)
Some prisoner squats probably help (work those legs) and burpees for legs and core strength.
The beauty of prisoner squats and burpees is that you need no equipment, they are kick-ass work outs and help with the winter sport activities (cardio, legs and core stength). Needs little space, too!Apr 5, 2011 at 5:28 pm #1720607
Anybody who can walk, can walk with snowshoes. (With shallow snow, flat ground…)
On the other hand a heavy pack with slippery slush on a 40 degree slope and buried rocks and willows to posthole into it's a different story. (The North Fork of Lone Pine Creek on Whitney last weekend for example)
I trained with walking lunges to help condition my hip flexors. Going up stairs with ankle weights would be good too (elevator down or take off the ankle weights if you're walking). Double-unders with a jumprope (if you have enough rhythm), squats, burpees, all good.
JimApr 6, 2011 at 7:31 am #1720854
Thanks again for the additional input guys! I'm going to keep up with my weekly training hikes, but try to work in some strength training.
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