Best Stretches for Skiing
Posted 1/2/2015 by UHBlog
Time on the slopes can leave you exhilarated – but exhausted, and even prone to injury. The right stretching routine will help keep you limber so you’re less likely to hurt yourself.
But don’t worry about making time to stretch before you ski. “There’s no evidence that stretching beforehand reduces injury,” says pediatric sports medicine specialist Amanda Weiss Kelly, MD. “In general, my suggestion is to warm up with the activity you’re participating. Go for a couple of easy runs before you head into the harder ones.”
Stretching afterward is a better idea. “You’re already warm, and you tend to stretch better when you’re warm,” Dr. Weiss Kelly says. Try these skiing-specific stretches to improve your flexibility, prevent injuries and boost your performance.
Quadriceps Stretch 1
Stand upright. Then, using a chair or tabletop for support, grab your foot with your hand and pull it toward your buttocks until you feel a good stretch. Hold for 30 second. Switch legs. Repeat three times on each leg.
Hamstring Stretch #1
Sit on the ground. With legs in front of you, tuck your right heel into your left leg, making sure your left knee is straight, and bend at the waist. Reach your left hand toward your toes, making sure not to hunch over or round your back. Hold for 30 seconds then switch legs. Repeat three times with each leg.
Hamstring Stretch #2
Standing, place one heel up on the edge of a stair. Straighten your leg, and then bend at the waist. Do not round your back. You should feel a gentle pull at the back of your leg. Hold for 30 second. Switch legs. Repeat three times on each leg.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Sitting, place your bent left knee in front of you and then place your right knee on the ground behind you. Sink down so you move your pelvis closer to the ground. You should feel a pull in the front of your right thigh. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs. Repeat three times on each leg.
Pigeon IT Band Stretch
Start in the hip flexor stretch position. Then move your front knee toward your midline. Sink your front hip toward the floor. You should feel the stretch in your buttock-hip area. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides. Repeat three times on each leg.
Lower Extremity Stretching
Lie flat on your back. Bring both knees toward your chest. Cross your right ankle over your left knee. Grab behind your left knee and pull it toward your chest. Hold 30 seconds. Change legs. Repeat three times on each leg.
Illiotibial (IT) Band Stretch
Stand upright. Cross your right leg in front of your left leg. Lean to your right, pushing your left hip out to the left as you lean. Take your left hand overhead to deepen the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs. Repeat three times on each leg.
With the ball of your foot, balance on the edge of a stair. Lift the other leg behind you, using the railing for support. Keep your knee straight. Let your heel drop down until you feel a stretch in your calf. Hold for 30 second. Then bend your knee. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs. Repeat three sets on each leg.
Amanda Weiss Kelly, MD, is Division Chief of Pediatric Sports Medicine at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.
You can request an appointment with Dr. Weiss Kelly online.