Jog, walk vigorously, skip, bike, swim etc. for 5 - 10 minutes. Your heart rate should be slightly elevated and you should have a light sweat at the completion of the warm-up.
These exercises are selected to improved flexibility in the muscles primarily used in skiing. Feel free to supplement these exercises with additional ones that you are familiar with. Stretches must only be done with warm muscles. Slow and steady is the key for effective stretching. Move through the stretch to the point where you feel a slight pull or tension in the muscle. Hold the stretch for 20 - 30 seconds. Do not bounce.
Sit on the floor. Keep your right leg straight in front of you. Cross your left leg over the right leg so your left foot is flat on the floor outside of your right knee. Twist the torso to the left so you are looking behind you over your left shoulder - place your left hand behind your body to help you balance. Hold for 20 - 30 seconds. Switch legs/sides and repeat.
2 Hurdler Stretch
Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of the body. Bend your left leg so your left foot is resting against your right knee or thigh. Slowly lower your chest towards your right knee. Keep your chin tucked towards your chest. You can reach towards your right foot with both arms or let them hang beside your torso, whichever is more comfortable. You will feel the stretch in the back of the right thigh and the lower back. Hold stretch for 20 - 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
Lie on your back with your legs straight and chin tucked to your chest. Bend your right leg and using both hands gently pull your right knee towards your chest. You will feel the stretch up the back of the right leg (hamstring). Hold for 20 - 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
4 Low Back Twist
Lie on your back with both legs straight. Bend your right leg so the knee is at a 90 degree angle. Roll to the left so the right knee touches the floor on the left hand side of your body. Try to keep your shoulders flat on the floor. You will feel the stretch through the lower back and torso.Hold for 20 - 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
5 Figure 4
Sit in a chair or on a bench so your thighs are parallel with the floor. Place your right foot on your left thigh or knee. With your hands, gently push your right knee towards the floor.You will feel the stretch through the thigh and hip. Hold for 20 - 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
6 Track Start
Kneel on the floor. Place your right foot in front of your body so your thigh is parallel with the floor. Gently lean forward until you feel the stretch in the left thigh and hip. You can place your hands on the floor by your right foot for balance. Hold for 20 - 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
7 Cat Stretch
Stretches the lower back and abdominal muscles - Kneel on the floor and place your hands 2 to 3 feet in front of your knees so your back is parallel with the floor. From this position, curve your spine towards the ceiling and hold. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds then return to the starting position and relax. Arch your back so your stomach is lower than your hips and shoulders. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds then return to the starting position and relax. Feel the stretch in the lower back and abdomen. Repeat several times.
8 Calf Stretch
Stand approximately 2 feet from a wall or vertical surface. Facing the wall, place your right foot close to the base of the wall. Keeping your left heel on the ground, lean towards the wall until you feel the stretch in the calf of your left leg. (Note: You may need to experiment with different distances from the wall in order to stretch the calf muscle.) Hold for 20 - 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
Standing or seated, raise your right arm above your head, bend your elbow so your right hand is touching your right should blade. With your left arm, gently push your right arm backwards. Feel the stretch along the back your right arm. Hold for 20 - 30 seconds. Switch arms and repeat.
Slowly and gently roll your head towards your right shoulder, then to your chest and then towards your left shoulder. Keep your shoulders relaxed and low. From the left shoulder, roll your head back towards your chest and then your right shoulder. Repeat this semicircular motion 4 to 5 times. Feel the stretch in the opposite side of the neck from the side your head is leaning towards.
Having a strong stomach and lower back will help you to stay in balance when you are skiing. Do each of the following exercises in sets of three (i.e. 3 x 12 for crunches, 3 x 10 for supermans etc.). Move steadily as you perform each exercise, i.e. count to 2 while rising up and count to 2 while lowering.
1 Core crunches
Lie with your back on the floor and with bent knees so your feet rest flat on the floor. Your lower back must be firmly pressed into the floor and your chin tucked to your chest. With your hands folded on your chest or straight by your side, raise your shoulders off the ground, curling towards your knees, until your shoulder blades are free from the floor. Slowly lower your body to the starting position. Repeat 12 times or until your stomach muscles are tired.
Lie stomach down on the floor with your arms extended above your head and your legs straight out behind you. Slowly raise your arms, head and shoulders off the floor. Keep your legs on the ground. You will only be able to raise your shoulders a few inches off the floor. Slowly lower yourself to the starting position. Repeat 10 times or until the muscles in your lower back are tired.
Fitness routines created by Leslie Morgan(CSIA), a Level 4 Instructor with the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance, working currently at Whistler / Blackcomb resort. Leslie is also a member of the National Demo Team.
Disclaimer: Consult your physician prior to undertaking any of these programs, if you have concerns whether these exercises are appropriate for you. Iglu.com Ltd. accepts no responsiblity for any accident or injury resulting from our fitness advice