best offseason exercises for snowmobile readiness

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Keep your body moving!

Physically getting ready for sled season can cover a variety of different activities based on the type of riding you enjoy. Sidehilling in the trees will work your body differently than snocross or riding in the Iron Dog Race. Staying active in the off-season is a great way to improve your riding skills in winter. It also will help reduce the fatigue and soreness you may feel after the season’s first ride! Staying active year-round also reduces the risk of injuries by strengthening your muscles and bones.


The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and muscle-strengthening exercises on two or more days each week. This breaks down to at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week. The good news is snowmobiling is a healthy activity that can contribute to your 150 minutes each week!

• Helps prevent eight types of cancer (bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, stomach, and lung)
• Reduces the risk of: dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease), all causes of mortality, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, depression
• Improves: bone health, physical function, quality of life


Cardiovascular: These are exercises that raise your heart and breathing rates. They are important for mountain snowmobiling as you may often be riding in high elevations that naturally make it harder to breathe. Cardio also will increase your endurance for long trail rides. Consider the following for your off-season regimen: Cycling, running, swimming, rowing, elliptical trainer, stepping machine, treadmill, hiking, speed walking, etc.

Muscle-Strengthening: These are exercises that build muscle and develop strong bones. Consider the following: Lifting free weights, using a weight machine, body-weight exercises like: push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, burpees, triceps dips and core exercises.

Stretching: Stretching helps keep muscles healthy and flexible providing your joints a full range of motion. Inactivity can lead to tight, shortened muscles that are unable to extend fully, which can cause injury when suddenly shocked into activity. Regular stretching helps to reduce joint injury, pain and possible muscle strains and damage.

Don’t forget that nutrition also plays a key role in overall performance. Fueling your body with nutritious foods before and after your workouts or physical activity will help you perform to your best ability both on and off the snowmobile.

Additionally, you should make your off-season workouts as enjoyable as possible.

Find something you look forward to doing that keeps you in shape at the same time. Outdoor activities such as dirt biking, mountain biking and trail biking will help keep you in shape and at the same time develop your riding skills.

Remember to stay in shape all year, for in-season riding fun.

Shelley Balls’ credentials include: registered dietitian/nutritionist, licensed dietitian, pro backcountry rider, World-Champion Hillclimber. You can follow her on social
media! Instagram: @sballs17 Facebook: @shelleyballs17

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