On-Hill Warm-Up for Skiers
For most field and gym sports there is a culture of warming up with your team through a practiced and organized exercise progression done before practice and games. However, as ski racers, we tend to skip any kind of on-hill warm-up and jump into our skis and start ripping as soon as we can. We can blame it on the perfect corduroy or powder that awaits us, but in reality, it’s just as important as our off-hill warm-ups, and all it takes is a little discipline and 10 minutes.
Here are my three reasons to always include an on-hill warm-up before you take that first run.
- It will get your body ready for the challenges and rigors of skiing on the edge, so you don’t get injured. Injuries are common enough in skiing, so take the time to reduce the risk by getting your blood flowing, your muscles warm, and working your joints through a full range of motion. I credit the fact that I was only injured twice during my 8 year World Cup career to both my fitness level and commitment to an on-hill warm-up. I ALWAYS took the time to do a full warm-up before my first run.
- You will ski faster. Studies show that you will perform better if you complete a warm-up routine. Your muscles will be ready, your body will be more reactive, and contraction and reflex times are improved. If you know you will ski faster if warmed up, why wouldn’t you take that extra 10 minutes???
- Mentally you will be more prepared to execute the challenging, risky and intense movements that ski racing demands. Feeling positive and ready to attack is critical to performing. Completing an on-hill warm-up feeds into your mental strength and boots your confidence before you even click into your skis.
All it takes is 10 minutes and can be done at the top of the chairlift before you take your first run. Find a flat area, take off your skis and perform the following exercises, or pick your own favorites.
- Leg Swings front & side: 10 of each (on each leg)
- High Knee Skips: 20 reps
- Trunk Twists: 20
- Lunges: 20 (10 each leg)
- Jumping Jacks: 20
- Plank Reaches: 10 (5 each side)
- Slalom Jumps: 20
- Burpees: 5