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Billy Corbett, a fitness trainer who often works with skiers in Colorado, offers the following stretches to help ease muscle tension that builds up throughout a ski day. Hold each for 10 to 60 seconds, and repeat two or three times.
1. Standing upright, lunge forward with your left leg. Keep your back and head upright throughout the stretch. Drop down until your left thigh is parallel to the floor, and keep your left knee aligned above the ankle (1A). To stretch slightly different muscles, keep your left leg still and slowly drop your right leg until your knee touches the floor (1B).
What it stretches: quad, hip flexor
2. Standing upright, put your left foot out in front on you with your heel on the floor and your toes pointing upward at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Keep your left leg straight, but don’t lock your knee. Bending at the waist, lower your upper body toward your left leg until you feel a solid stretch in your hamstring and calf. (If you don’t feel a stretch in your calf, point your toes even higher in the air.) Keep a slight bend in your right leg, and keep your right foot flat on the floor. Repeat with the other leg.
What it stretches: hamstring, calf, lower back
3. While standing (you can support yourself with chair or wall, if needed) cross right foot over left foot (baby toe to baby toe). Place right hand on right hip and lean/stretch to the left. You can place left hand on wall, if you need it for balance. Now try it on the opposite side.
What it stretches: hips, gluteals
4. Put your body in a downhill racer position with back flat, knees slightly bent (4A). Now extend your knees and straighten the legs until tension shifts to hamstrings (4B).
What it stretches: lower back, hamstrings.