Stretching Guide for Ski & Snowboard Season
Stretching is an essential part of a successful snowboard and ski day. Whether you're a total beginner, an experienced skier, or a professional skier, a proper stretching routine is vital before you hit the mountain. Stretching regularly improves flexibility, range of motion, and reduces injury risk, ultimately improving your performance on the mountain. Below are Hayley Poland's PT, DPT favorite stretches she likes to implement into her routine before she hits the slopes.
Piriformis Stretch- The piriformis is a flat, narrow muscle. It runs from your lower spine through your butt to the top of your thighs. Your piriformis muscle extends to each side of your body and aids in almost every movement of your lower body. Below is the ankle-over-knee piriformis stretch.
Sophia demonstrates the Piriformis Stretch.
1. Lie on your back and bend your knees.
2. Partially cross your legs by placing your left ankle on top of your right knee.
3. Place your left hand on your left knee.
4. Gently push your left knee away from you (just until you feel a gentle stretch)
5. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
6. Repeat using your right ankle on top of your left knee.
Hip Flexor Stretch- The hip flexors are a group of muscles that help you move your lower body. You have hip flexors on each side of your body. This is a great stretch to implement into your routine. Below is the kneeling hip flexor stretch.
1. Kneel on your affected leg and bend your good leg out in front of you with that foot flat on the floor. If you feel discomfort in the front of your knee, place a towel under your knee.
2. Keeping your back straight, slowly push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the upper thigh of your back leg and hip.
3. Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
4. Repeat 2 to 4 times. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Calf Stretch- Stretching your calves activates the muscles, stimulates blood flow, and can increase your short-term range of motion and flexibility. Below, Sophia demonstrates a calf stretch on the wall.
1. Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at about eye level.
2. Put the leg you want to stretch behind your other leg.
3. Keeping your back heel on the floor, bend your front knee until you feel a stretch in the back leg.
4. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times.