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Warm up and cool down

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Warm up and cool down

Postby inga » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:18 am

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?
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Re: Warm up and cool down

Postby Marc_C » Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:17 pm

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.
-marc
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Re: Warm up and cool down

Postby rfarren » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:53 pm

What is one to do on a powder day, when taking an easy groomer is out of the question?
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Re: Warm up and cool down

Postby Marc_C » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:15 pm

What I and pretty much everyone else does - ignore any warm up or stretching.
There's the ideal thing to do and then there's reality.
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Re: Warm up and cool down

Postby rfarren » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:49 pm

Marc_C wrote:What I and pretty much everyone else does - ignore any warm up or stretching.
There's the ideal thing to do and then there's reality.


I actually once read in ski magazine that is the best thing you can do, and that stretching actually increases the risk of injury. It also said stretching was only beneficial after your ski day during your warm down period.
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Re: Warm up and cool down

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:08 am

I agree that after (to prevent tightening up) is more beneficial than before. Nonetheless it is part of the entrenched culture at many of the cat/heli remote lodges (Wiegele and Chatter Creek in particular) to have an early morning stretch class, typically led by one of the masseuses. The masseuses are also popular after skiing.
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Re: Warm up and cool down

Postby jossecarr » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:59 pm

Stretching is not ideal thing to do when your muscles are still cold. Warm up by doing a 10-15 minute walk through snow carrying your skis.
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