If someone told you how much their body ached after a day of skiing, you’d probably never want to click into a pair of bindings and hit the slopes. Do not fret. Pain and agony are not the only words you need to describe the first day of your ski vacation. With a little bit of preparation and maintenance, freedom from post-ski day soreness can be yours.
The following are a few yoga-inspired tips and techniques that will help sharpen your fitness edge and get your body tuned up for some downhill fun.
Just say no to quivering quads
At least six weeks before a ski vacation, take every opportunity you can to strengthen your quadriceps. Perform wall sits, yoga chair pose, warrior lunges, and horse stance squats as often as you can, intermittently throughout the day. There is no need to try and fit a full yoga class into your already busy schedule. A little bit of time spent here and there will suffice. Just be sure and do it, or you will suffer the consequences of tired legs too early in the ski day.
Get better at balancing
Having a good sense of balance while skiing is a huge benefit to improving your skills on the hill. Aside from avoiding potentially painful falls, your unwavering stability will help you maneuver through uneven terrain in sharp and sprightly form, making you a better skier (or at least look like one!).
To get better at balancing, practice standing on one leg at a time during ordinary activities such as talking on the phone, doing the dishes, or folding laundry. If possible, close your eyes for several seconds at a time. This extra challenge will help train your internal muscle memory so you can put it to good use when you need it the most.
Maintain healthy hamstrings
Skiing is an active sport no doubt, but during the course of the day you will spend a fair amount of time sitting on a chairlift. Just as sitting at your work desk or on the couch can tighten your hamstrings, sitting on the ski lift will do the same. When you utilize your leg muscles while skiing and then sit, even for just two to three minutes at a time, your hamstrings will be affected.
To avoid pulling a muscle while skiing, it is important to stay limber with active stretching. After getting off of the chairlift, take a moment to lean forward, using your ski poles for support, and restore some length to the backs of your legs. It is quite simple, and takes just a few seconds. In fact, stretch a little bit every time you take a break. Your legs and low back will thank you for it.
November 12th, 2012