Our friend Jason, a qualified ski instructor previously in Val d’Isère for 6 years and Ski/Hardware manager at a leading ski shop chain in the Tarentaise Valley sheds some light on the ‘alternative’ après-ski. Leave the 20 somethings in the bar and do these ski stretches, you'll leap out of bed in the morning with fresh legs, and, a clear head.
If you want to have more fun, ski longer, ski better, then you need to do stretches
Why stretch? Well… as muscles are used they contract, shorten and get tight. When you stretch your muscles, you lengthen your muscles keeping them flexible and strong. In turn your joints become healthy and flexible, which results in fewer injuries. Stretch regularly and the chances are you’ll ski harder and happier than ever before, whether you are skiing the finely groomed pistes, deep in the powder, or taking on some challenging downhill race pistes.
Follow these seven stretches, pieced together so they flow and become easy to remember. For best results stretch each muscle 30 to 60 seconds après ski and as soon as you’ve removed ski boots.
- Front of shoulders, arms and chest stretches. 30 seconds
Why? Because your arms and shoulders take a beating from poling, falling and getting up.
How? Seated with legs straight in front of you. Arms straight, place hands as far behind you as possible, hands as close to each other as possible.
- Glute stretches (your butt my friend). 30 seconds each cheek.
Why? Pretty much most of your time is spent in the squat position. Glutes are used intensively every turn.
How? Lie flat on your back. Left leg bent, left foot on the floor. Place right ankle at the top of left thigh. Draw left thigh towards chest. Repeat right side.
- Back of shoulders, back stretches. 30 seconds
Why? Your back is used dynamically when poling and is under tension all day.
How? Roll over onto your front. Arms straight, place your hands out in front of you. Come up onto your knees and send hips back to meet heels.
- Hip flexor stretches. 30 seconds each leg.
Why? You’ve been flexing your hip in and out of a dynamic squat all day. These muscles will be super fatigued. Should feel this stretch at the top of the trailing leg and around groin and stomach.
How? Push yourself up onto your left knee, right foot a big step forward. Keeping torso vertical, lunge torso towards right foot. With straight arms raise hands in the air (like you just don’t care). Repeat on right knee.
- Back of thigh (Hamstrings). 30 seconds each leg.
Why? Just like your glutes, hamstrings are used when you turn and during the skating phase of poling.
How? From standing. Place left foot in front of right foot. Keeping left leg straight, push hips away from feet whilst bending at right knee. Repeat with right foot.
- Thigh stretch (Quads). 30 seconds each leg
Why? You’ve been pressing with these bad boys every time you turn, and they’ve been burning like hell in the schushh!
How? Steady yourself with right hand. Take hold of left ankle with left hand and draw left heel towards butt. Repeat for right leg.
- Calf stretch. 30 seconds each leg
Why? Even within the tight confines of a ski boot the calves are worked super hard and during every skiing movement.
How? Left leg straight, place left heel close to wall then lever yourself forwards towards wall. Repeat with right leg.
Jason Bridgeman is a Personal Trainer in West Sussex, UK. Preparing people physically for events and active holidays, Jason has worked for six ski seasons in Val d’Isère, France.
You can contact Jason by email: firstname.lastname@example.org