Warm Up & Stretch: Best Ways to Get the Most from Your Ski Muscles
Posted on Wednesday, 9th of July 2014
A snow dump like the Kosciuszko National Park has seen over the past week can certainly come out of the blue like manna from heaven. Now’s the chance to take advantage of Thredbo accommodation deals, pack your bag and hit the road to catch the best snow stashes Thredbo can offer.
While it’s great to be spontaneous, you don’t want to miss one vital step, and that is muscle preparation. To get those muscles in shape, and the best value out of your Thredbo lift tickets, we turn to Paul Grey, a Sydney personal trainer extraordinaire from Sydney, for advice.
Paul recommends that “a proper stretch and cool down routine can help to reduce injuries, and enhance your skiing performance. Stretching it out while muscles are warm and relaxed is preferable (in a warm room rather than cold outdoors)”.
Even getting to ski slopes from your Thredbo accommodation forms part of a warm up. Paul says a very general all body warm up can be done usually for 5 to 10 minutes to allow blood flow into the working muscles, and brisk walking is effective for this.
For best performance use walking shoes or running shoes rather than damage soles of your ski boots. Less slip, more progress.
If there is any window of opportunity to do any muscle preparation at all prior to a Thredbo holiday, the rule of ‘more the merrier’ applies. Whether it be a month or more, a week, or just a few days, coupled with as much other fitness (tennis, walking the dog, gym classes or going for a jog) it all helps.
Paul has devised the following program for skiers who do not have any current injuries or individual stretching needs:
– Abductor/Adductor Swings
Swing one leg out to the side, then swing it back across your body in front of your other leg. Repeat 10-15 times on each side.
– Butt Kicks
While standing tall, walk forward with an exaggerated back swing so that your heels come up to your glutes.
– Walking Lunges
Step forward using a long stride, keeping the front knee over or just behind your toes. Lower your body by dropping your back knee toward the ground. Maintain an upright posture and keep your abdominal muscles tight.
– Thoracic Rotations
Standing upright, place your hand on your opposite shoulder like you are giving yourself a hug, rotate both the left then to the right, repeat at least 10 times per side.
– Shoulder Stretch
Standing tall and relaxed, rotate the shoulders in a big smooth circular motion, bring the shoulders back then up towards the ears and then forward down as low as possible.
Standing tall and relaxed drop the chin towards the chest, and gently roll the head toward one shoulder in a semicircular motion, roll it back to the front and around to the other shoulder.
Leading up to the Ski Holiday
Paul stresses that “skiing uses muscles from your toes to your head as well as cardiovascular endurance, a tailored whole body approach to a skiing holiday program needs to be performed in order to maximise ability and minimise injury possibilities. Here are a few exercises I recommend prior to going away”:
– Interval training on either bike, running or elliptical to increase cardiovascular ability
– Jumping split lunges
– Side to side lunging
– Squat jumps
In between snapping off ski or snowboard equipment and hitting the bars Thredbo restaurants or bars, a cool down is recommended to allow the body to gradually return to its resting state.
Paul says “a proper cool down allows any waste such as lactic acid that has built up during exercise to dissipate and may reduce your chance of having Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)”.
Cool down should be performed by gradually reducing your skiing intensity, taking a long, easy slope for your last run, and/or walking for about 5-10 minutes and doing some static stretches.
Commence your stretching regime directly after a short cool-down, before the muscles have cooled completely.
Great stretches I’d recommend would include:
– Shoulders and back
Skiers and snowboarders are familiar with the feeling you get after that first day on the slopes, aching muscles in the neck, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and outer thighs to name a few. If we take time to do a few of the recommended stretches before and after exercising, we maximise our action time and that is the name of the game.
Best Thredbo accommodation for your ski warm up!
Lantern Thredbo Apartments are the go-to accommodation specialists for warm and cosy apartments to ensure you have the maximum comfort and space before and after skiing.
Check online for current Thredbo holiday packages or contact Jill and Ian, and speak to them about whether a one, two, three or four bedroom apartment will better suit the needs of your family or friends this 2014 snow season.
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