One of the most neglected areas for recreational athletes is proper preparation and warm up before skiing and even more so leading up to an event.
Not only will your performance suffer you also have a higher risk of injury. Many studies have shown how important it Is for your body and mind to prepare by using specific exercises that will allow your muscles to perform at their best and you to be 100% focused for the task.
In our Part I we talk about warm up and cool down before a ride or event. The important BUZZ word is Dynamic warm up.
What does this mean and what should you do?
During warm up you should move your whole body through a round or two of movements that fire all the muscles and increase your mobility.
For years it was believed that static stretching is a good way to prepare, latest studies have proven that static stretching has the opposite effect of "warming up" ! The benefit of static stretching is to get your muscles relaxed not fired up. It can decrease the performance by up to 30%!!
Start the joint and muscle activation from the bottom up with a Join by joint approach.
Each exercise can be done on Dryland or snow, in your boots, and you don't need any equipment but poles can be incorporated in the warm up.
- Ankle circles
- Squats variations
- Hip side to side & circles
- Thoracic spine rotation
- Elbow & Shoulder
This way you ensure you moved and prepared each joint and most muscles needed for the task ahead.
Another great way to activate and increase mobility is Muscle Foam Rolling. There is a difference to muscle being shortened or tight. Shortened muscles need to be stretched that's why we use static stretching in our cool Down. Tight muscles, mostly caused by knots in the muscle fibers, need a different approach and rolling is the most effective way. We use a foam roller & spike/tennis ball.
Important is that you develope a routine you can follow each time, 5 to 10 min. before you exercise but spend more time on your warm up if you nurse an injury or your body needs that little bit longer.
Next Step is to get moving :) Run or ski whatever the exerxise ahead!
Once you finished your workout it is time for the Cool Down !
As previously mentioned this is now the time to wind down, bring your heart rate back to normal and stretch your muscles. Muscles may be tight but mostly likely shortend due to the work load.
This is the time where a static stretch routine is most effective. Approach it similar to the warm up and work from bottom up or top down. Spend a bit more time on the extra "tight" areas.
Hold stretches min. 15-20sec. depending on the area. Also in the cool Down a few minutes on a foam roller would help you to recover and feel better post workout.
Stay tuned for our Part II Ski Fitness Strenght & Conditioning.
For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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