Now that we are into the 2018/19 winter season, everyone from weekend warriors to ski bums is starting to realize the toll skiing and snowboarding takes on your body.
Although turns look effortless when done well, skiing and snowboarding requires core strength for balance and uses muscles in a way that they would never be used during a regular day. As a result, anyone who is riding for more than a few days this season has probably realized that if they don’t find a way to prepare their body for long days on the hill then their season won’t be as long as they dreamed about in the middle of July.
To help keep you on the mountain all season long, the team at ASO Mammoth has put together a quick list of simple stretches and exercises for skiers and snowboarders. While you should do further research specific to your own physical needs, this list should be a great warm-up!
Parking Lot Stretches
No matter what kind of riding you do on the mountain, it is incredibly important that you stretch beforehand so you don’t put you muscles and joints in the terrible position of being in high-use while still cold.
While each person prefers their own stretches for their own reasons, you’re going to want to focus you stretching on your hips and your core. Whatever stretches you’re comfortable enough with to perform with proper technique will work, but some popular ones are the supine stretch for you core and lunges or the knee to chest stretch for your hips.
It’s also important that you stretch at the end of the day as well to cool down your muscles and to let the recovery process begin. While the same stretches you do for your warm-up will work here, this is the time to unwind so there is no need to push sore muscles or joints. Not surprisingly, there are several yoga poses that are recommended for skiers and snowboarders for before and after the mountain. Do yourself a favor and take some time to find out which ones bring you the most relief.
While on the Mountain
Just like how you can protect your body while running by avoiding potholes in the sidewalk, how well you ride determines how long it will take you to recover. General safety guidelines like skiing in control should always be followed, but you should also keep in mind that the faster your ride the harder your turns are going to be on your body. While fatigue is natural, it becomes dangerous as the day goes on because the more worn down your muscles and joints are the more likely they are to be damaged in an accident.
Pay attention to your body and listen when it tells you to take a break or call the day early. Otherwise, your season may be over way too early.
When You’re Away from the Mountain
If you sit at a desk for 8 hours a day and then try to ride for 20 hours over a weekend with no preparation, you’re going to end up waring yourself down way before you’re ready to go home. Whether it’s a week out from a big trip or you’re looking to stay in shape during the off season, simple stretches and exercises at home will make a world of difference on the mountain. Running, swimming, lifting light weights while targeting the muscles needed to ride, and stretching daily will not only keep you ready to ride at a moment’s notice, but are all-around excellent habits for your general health. If you need to, use skiing and snowboarding as an excuse to force yourself into healthier habits and routines!