Ski Stretches: The Best Way to Warm Up For Skiing

Like any form of exercise, you should use ski stretches to warm up for skiing (and to warm down afterwards) to ensure you are performing at your best, and to give yourself the best chance of avoiding injury.

Published on Mon 04 Mar, 2019

If you are learning how to ski or are a pro, ski stretches are important. Think about the time you spend walking or travelling to the lift, waiting in a queue, probably outdoors, then time spent going up the lift. You are inactive, in the cold, for probably 15 minutes or more before you start skiing. There is a sharp contrast between standing inactive in the cold, and skiing, putting harsh stresses on your body, so injury risk on the first run of the day is high.

It is best to use dynamic stretches to warm up for up to 15 minutes before skiing. But don’t just take our word for it, take a look at this video with warm up advice from Chamonix based physiotherapist Neil Maclean-Martin which explains.

If you only do one ski warm up:

Before you put your skis on, using your poles either side of you to balance, stand on one leg and swing your other leg backwards and forwards 10 times. Do this for both legs, helping to warm up your hamstrings, gluteal muscles and hip flexors.

Do the same again but this time swinging your leg across the front of your body, again for 10 times on each leg.

It is good idea to do some torso rotations and planks to get blood flowing to the upper-body too. Take a look at this Warren Smith Ski Academy tutorial, which shows these and some other useful moves.

If you are really against warming up, the least you should do is take it a bit easy on the first run of the day, ski slowly and deliberately and allow your body time to warm up through the action of skiing.

Had enough of that soreness you feel when you drag yourself into your ski gear in the mornings?Doing some static stretches after you get back to the chalet in the evening will help alleviate muscle tension and soreness the next day. Areas you will want to target are:

  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Calves
  • Quads
  • Hip flexors
  • Lower back

This tutorial shows some ideal stretches for post ski if you need some inspiration.

And remember - Spa treatments are not just for feeling pampered whilst on holiday - having a massage and going for a swim will also help relieve sore muscles, and keep you on your skis all week.

Looking to get the most out of your ski trip? Book qualified and experienced ski instructors through Ongosa. We use our network of over 250 ski schools to recommend and book the perfect ski lessons to help you progress.

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