3 Stretches To Improve Your Skiing And Flexibility
Stretching is great blah blah blah. If it’s so fantastic, why don’t people carve out more time to stretch? The answer, in my years of coaching, is more a lack of time and less a lack of desire. With kids, work, life, dinners, and meetings, it can be tough to find the time to get on the floor and stretch. I get it.
To make your life better, I’ve chosen just three super necessary stretches that every skier should be doing when they get home from a long day on the hill. The more frequently you ski, the more crucial these moments are.
Each of these stretches is aimed at loosening up the hips, abdomen, and hamstrings. These three areas take the brunt of the damage during long days on the mountain. Here’s what I do everyday:
- Set a countdown timer for 10 minutes.
- Find a space on the floor where you can lay fully extended without running into anything
- Grab a band, or towel and lay down
- Complete the stretches!
You honestly won’t know how much better you feel until you start to incorporate this each and every week. It’s a game changer. You can also check out MOBILITY LEVEL II which is a unique program designed specifically for skiers looking to improve their flexibility and range of motion. The program has video breakdowns and time recommendations for each stretch.
Now let’s get to the good stuff:
1. Knee Extension with “Straight Leg Resistance”
Target: hamstring, calf, glute
Duration: 1-2 minutes per leg with locked out knee (knee extension)
Loop the band around one foot, then roll to your back. Extend both feet up in the air keeping one foot in the loop and one foot out of the loop. Then, drop the unbanded leg to the floor and squeeze your opposite quad so that your knee locks out. If you have to lower your foot a little to get a full lockout, that's fine. But this stretch only functions IF the banded leg has a locked out knee.
The end goal is to achieve this position. However, in a perfect world, you achieve a leg position completely perpendicular to the floor. Here i'm demonstrating a modification by allowing my banded leg to drift toward the floor, in order to allow full lockout (extension) at the knee.
2. The “Bretzel”
Target: glutes, mid back (rotation), low back (decompression), quads
Duration: 1-2 minutes per side
Lay on the floor and cross one leg over the other. With the hand opposite the leg on top, reach up and grip the backside of your knee.
Then, with your opposite hand, grab the ankle of the leg underneath.
On a very slow and long exhale, lay back and pull your ankle toward your shoulder while pulling the opposite knee to the floor. This is an incredibly effective stretch to improve flexibility at the quad, glute, and thoracic spine.
3. Seal Pose
Target: hip flexors, psoas, abdomen
Duration: 1-2 minutes per hold
Lay flat on the ground, then press your hands in front of you slightly. Angle your pointer finger to point 45˚ off of your shoulder, making a "V" to your belly button. Then, keeping your hips on the floor, press through your palms to lock out your arm. Make sure to look upward to ensure you feel the stretch all along the front of your body.
At the end of the day, we’re all trying to spend more time on snow, less time being injured, and more minutes enjoying our favorite sport. Taking a small 10 minute break each time you get done skiing can do wonders, not only for your flexibility, but for your longevity.
You can sign up for our training programs HERE. Once you complete the questionnaire and begin a program, I suggest selecting a mobility program to do alongside your strength training program for best results.
If you found this article useful, please send it to one skier friend who you think will appreciate the message.
In Good Health,