Stretch to Success: The 6 Best Pre-Ski Exercises
There’s nothing more invigorating than hitting the slopes on a crisp winter’s day (and then heading to the spa for après-ski hot-cold contrast therapy or ski-inspired treatments!), but before your next downhill run, remember that it’s important to stretch to prevent injuries. Our friends at Montage Deer Valley, a spectacular Park City, Utah, resort and spa with ski-in/ski-out access, share with you six simple stretches and exercises to do on the mountain — even with your skis and boots on!
Squats: Stand on a flat surface. While fastened into the skis, place the inner rails together and slowly bend the knees, coming into a squatting position. Stand up and squat down several times to stretch and work the quadriceps. Replicate the different ski positions by squatting with skis touching and then performing squats with skis about shoulder-width apart. To engage the core muscles, perform the squat without the use of ski poles.
Hamstring stretch: Perform before you hit the slopes but after you get into your ski boots. This exercise can also do on the mountain between runs to keep hamstrings stretched. With the insides of the skis touching, reach down and touch the outside of the ski boots, keeping both legs nearly straight. This stretch targets the hamstrings but also helps the body adjust for the extra height gained by the boots & skis. The extra height typically causes the body to have a slight lean and stretching out the muscles slowly before getting on the slopes can help the body recognize the small change in the hamstrings.
Side-to-side walks: In the ski boots take a small squat position so your knees are slightly bent. Without the use of your poles, step side to side. This motion activates the hip joints and the buttocks, as well as raises the heart rate.
Hip rotations: In the ski boots, take a small squat position so your knees are slightly bent. Keep both feet on the ground and shift your body weight to your left foot as your drive your hip to the left. Rotate side to side. Move the hips in circular motions to keep the hips loose and the low back engaged.
Upper body rotations: Stand feet hip width and arms loose. Turn to the left and then rotate arms and hips to the right. Swing the arms side to side. As you come to the center, bend and straighten your knees into a slight squat, warming up the quads and the upper body.
Side bends: Reach down the side of your leg towards your ski boot as your opposite elbow is bent and reaching the elbow towards the sky. This exercise warms up the obliques and the upper back muscles.
Plus, if you’re lucky enough to visit Montage Deer Valley during the winter season, try some of the resort’s ski-ready classes:
Yoga for Skiers: A practice dedicated to stretching and strengthening your skiing muscles
Pre-Ski and After-Ski Stretch Classes: Every a.m. and p.m., prepare and relax from a day of skiing with stretches and exercises that will stretch, soothe and strengthen lower body muscles. Spend time on the Free Motion Vertex Vibration machine.
Skiers Bootcamp: Use plyometrics, cardio, strength, and a variety of equipment and exercises to get ready for the slopes.