inga wrote:I'm wondering how much warm-up excercies people do before they begin skiing/snowboarding? I usually do a few quick stretches, but this doesn't last more than a minute or so and I'm thinking I should do more. Is it dangerous that I'm not doing more? Also, I don't usually do any sort of stretching after I'm done, but is this also necessary?
Actually the "few quick stretches" have the potential for doing damage. Stretching exercises before skiing are good, but you should always stretch after your muscles are warmed up with some basic aerobic exercise. IOW, don't use stretching as a substitute for warming up. I'll dig up the appropriate citation when I have more time. Want those stretches to do even more damage? "Bounce" in the stretched position - it's like trying to get tissue to tear. Doing stretches at the top of the first lift ride doesn't really do much for performance and, if done poorly or on cold muscles, can cause damage.
What you really want are some quick aerobic exercises to warm up the muscles and increase blood flow. The problem with skiing is that the optimal time to do this - 10 minutes or so before making aerobic and strength demands - is the most inconvenient - walking from the car, booting up, etc. A brisk walk in ski boots? Jumping jacks at the top of the lift? The best single way to do this for skiing where it will have the most benefit is to take a relaxed first run on an easy groomer.
Stretching after skiing keeps muscles from tightening up. Do some simple, standing, ski stretches at the base of the hill after your last run or inside the lodge, or cool-down with a little walk. Even better is to do a complete set of ski stretches when you get back to your lodging - before dinner, before hot tub. After the hot tub, go for a half hour walk. The idea is to keep moving so your muscles won't become tight and stiffen up on you.