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Essential Post-Ski Warm-Up Exercises
23rd November 2016
Before hitting the slopes, it’s important to carry out some warm-up exercises. While this is true for most sports, a good warm up is particularly essential when it comes to skiing – the rapid change from being cold and static, to exerting body heat and moving at high intensity can have a serious impact on your muscles, joints and circulation.
When it comes to skiing, there’s a lot to be said for effective, low-impact aerobic training.
Did you know, knee injuries account for ⅓ of all skiing injuries?
Whether it’s for pleasure or participating in a sports competition, with this guide you can maximise your safety when skiing in Verbier or anywhere else by protecting yourself against potential injury and harm.
We have compiled a warm-up programme designed to reach all muscle groups used during a ski session. Furthermore, if your aim is to use skiing as an activity to become stronger, or if you are looking to take higher routes or move faster this season, these warm-ups may just be your saving grace.
Why warm up?
An effective warm up also increases both your heart rate and your respiratory rate. This increases blood flow, which then expands the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles, helping to prepare your muscles, tendons and joints for skiing.
The Static Stretch
This dynamic warm-up is a great way to loosen up and prepare for the physical intensity of skiing. We recommend spending at least 15 minutes repeating this move.
1.Stand on one leg and support yourself with ski poles
2.Swing the other leg back and forth in a slow motion 20-30 times
3.Aim for 20 reps on each leg
The Standing Leg Swing
This activity can be performed at home or even on the mountain with your ski boots on! Benefits include warming up and stretching the hip flexors, hip extensors and hip adductors.
1.Stand in a neutral position, keep the body balanced and stable
2.If you are finding it difficult to maintain balance, use a chair or wall for support.
3.Actively swing your left leg from front to back as far as possible
4.Reposition and repeat on the opposite side
5.Next, stand on right leg with both hands on a chair or wall to aid in balance
6.Swing left leg from left to right, moving across the body
7.Reposition and repeat on left leg
8.Complete all four moves for 20 reps
When the exercise is complete you should feel warmth on each leg.
The Rotating Lunge
This exercise helps to balance out hamstrings. While many remember to stretch the backs of their legs, people are prone to forgetting the front. The rotating lunge stretches your upper body and hip area while preparing your muscles.
1.Clasp your hands behind your head, lift one leg and lunge forward – the further the distance. The more you’re likely to get out of it
2.In this deep position; gently rotate your thoracic (core – torso) from side to side, making sure you breathe deeply into the extreme limits.
3.Gently switch sides and begin lunging with your other leg.
4.Perform 8-10 reps on each side
Thread the Needle
This pose stretches the shoulders, upper back, neck and arms. Place a folded blanket under your knees to protect them from any stress and pressure.
1.Begin with your hands and knees on the floor and slide your right hand between the left hand and the left knee. Slide your arm out to the left so that the side of your head and your right shoulder rest comfortably.
2.Ensure that your hands are underneath your shoulders and your hips above your knees
3.Extend one arm
4.Whilst exhaling thread through underneath the other arm, rotating your thoracic
5.You should feel a great sense of release in your back
6.Repeat 5 times each side
The Chest Stretch
This workout is essential when it comes to increasing flexibility within your neck and chest musculature.
1.Place your left hand on the wall with your finger pointing behind you
2.Slowly walk backwards until stretching your forearm
3.Take small steps turning away from your left arm until you can feel the stretch in your chest and bicep
4.Switch sides and repeat the above steps
The Dynamic Hamstring Stretch
This exercise will help with posture, and will assist with hamstring flexibility. This type of stretching should be done after the muscle is warmed up.
1.Stand in a neutral position and dig one heel into the ground with your toes pointing skyward
2.Keep a flat back and lower your upper body towards the ground until you feel the hamstring stretch
3.Reposition and switch sides
4.Repeat this action 5 times each side
The Leg Swing
This dynamic movement targets both the inner thigh and the hamstring muscle group.
1.Stand on your right leg with your right hand on a chair/wall to aid balance
2.Swing your left leg front to back, this equals one rep
3.Reposition and repeat on the opposite side
4.Stand on right leg with both hands on a chair or wall to aid balance
5.Swing left leg out to the left and then across your body to the right, this equals one rep
6.Complete all four moves for 20 reps each
Don’t ignore the warming down process
Apres ski doesn’t just mean indulging in food and drink! First, it is important to cool down and recover from an active ski session. Once you’re off the slopes and have given yourself 10 minutes to take a breather, spend some time doing static stretches, focusing on the calf muscles for best results.
Further warming down tips
– Go for a swim or a massage to relieve muscle pain
– Stay well hydrated
If you’re looking to embark upon your next skiing adventure, no matter what your fitness level or experience with the slopes, we provide stunning accommodation in Verbier and Le Chable. For further information, please contact us.