Set for The Slopes?
There is still a lot of winters left and with February break coming up I know a lot of readers will be hitting the slopes. Whether you’re Olympic Gold Medalist Chloe Kim or a newbie headed for the bunny hill proper warm-ups and cool-downs are incredibly important. They will reduce the chance of injury and decrease soreness throughout the ski vacation.
Before heading out wake up about 20 minutes early to start the day. Spend 5 minutes doing something that gets your heart pumping. It can be skipping rope, running in place, jumping jacks, etc. This will get your body used to use ions essential for muscle contraction and health more efficiently. More efficient muscle contractions mean more muscle pliability. Think about jumping and landing on a sidewalk vs. landing in a swimming pool. More pliable muscles are like landing in the pool.
After you have a sweat going get into a stretch sequence. Skiing is a very front dominant sport so make sure you spend time stretching your quads and hip flexors are important. In addition, you can stretch anything that is normally tight on you: calves, hamstrings, glutes, and shoulders would be helpful.
Next get into some muscle activation drills to get the major muscles of the hips and knee firing. Getting the glutes firing is an absolute must! Exercises such as glute bridges, hip hinges, chair squats, and the lateral band walks with a theraband will be invaluable for protecting the hip, knee, and low back. Do 10-15 reps of each exercise. The warm-up is done! Go enjoy yourself.
You made it back injury free! Now it’s time to cool down before you relax in front of the fireplace all night. Drink plenty of water and try to replenish your electrolytes. Using a supplement such as a Catalyst from Thorne is just what the doctor ordered. It’s high in electrolytes and B-vitamins, but very low in sugar. Wearing compression socks for the evening will help pump any lactic acid out of the legs preventing the soreness. Utilizing a lacrosse ball to lightly work into the glutes, calves, hip flexors and the arch of your feet will leave you feeling like you have new legs in the morning.