Getting Ready for Ski Season

Arapahoe Basin is already open and others will be opening soon behind it. Is your body ready? Three main areas you can work on to prepare your body include strength training, flexibility, and hydration. Start with these tips so you can have fun on the slopes, and avoid injury.

Strength Exercises to improve power and core strength:

               Start with a dynamic warmup of high-knees, butt-kickers, hip openers and soldier walks.

Ice Skaters:

  • Begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart
  • Jump to the right foot with a slight bend in your knees and your left leg behind your body
  • Next, in the same motion, reach down and toward the outside of your right foot with your left hand. ...
  • Repeat this movement on the left foot with your right leg behind your left
  • Smoothly alternate between right and left foot for 15 reps on each side

Mountain Climbers:

  • Start in a high plank position with abs engaged, neck neutral and toes flexed
  • Both feet leave the ground as your drive your right knee forward and extend your left leg back.  Now your left leg is fully extending behind you and your right hip is flexed with your right foot on the floor.
  • Keep your weight evenly distributed on both legs. Do not shift all your weight forward into your front foot.
  • If you have limited range of motion in the hips, place hands on a step or platform.
  • For an extra challenge, perform on an inverted Bosu ball
  • 10-15 reps

Goblet Squats:

  • Choose a challenging weight you can hold for 10-20 reps
  • Hold dumbbell or kettlebell close to chest
  • Keep the elbows close to your rib cage and your torso straight
  • With your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, throw your hips back and lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground
  • Push through the floor and return to standing
  • For an extra stability challenge, perform on an inverted Bosu ball

Flexibility

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch:

  • From a kneeling position place the left knee on the floor (or stretch mat) directly under the left hip, and place the right foot in front of the right hip so that the right knee is directly over the right ankle and the right hip is in a position of ninety (90) degrees.
  • Pull your shoulders down and back without arching your low back.
  • Engage your abdominal/core muscles to stiffen your spine and keep your pelvis level (and stable).
  • Lean forward into your right hip while keeping your left knee pressed into the ground, do not allow your pelvis to rotate to the anterior (forward).  To increase the stretch to the left hip flexors, squeeze and contract the glute muscles of your left hip.
  • Hold for 30-45 seconds on each side

Figure 4 Stretch:

  • Lie on your back with knees bent
  • Cross one leg over the other, resting your ankle over the opposite knee.
  • With both hands pull your lowered leg toward your chest.
  • This will stretch your hips and glutes
  • Hold on each side for 30-45 seconds

Supine Spinal Twist:

  • Lie on your back, bend one knee and cross it outside of the opposite foot. Use your hand to put slight pressure on the bent knee to push down toward the floor.
  • Keep both shoulders squared and rooted to the earth. Extend the opposite hand and gaze toward the hand.
  • For a deeper stretch, start to straighten the bent leg.
  • Hold for 30-45 seconds on each side

Hydration:

The most important thing is to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water a few days leading up to your ski day and stay hydrated on the slopes.

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