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Fitness

The Ultimate Stretch for Skiers Who Don’t Stretch

If you want to have good days on the hill, you can’t get away without stretching entirely. But you can get away with just one stretch.

We’re not here to harp on how you should be warming up before every ski day and cooling down with stretches after you get off the hill. That’s what this article is for.

This article assumes that we’re all too busy (ahem, lazy) to dedicate 30-plus minutes a day to stretching, even when we’re on a ski vacation. So we’ll cut right to the chase: If you want to have good days on the hill, you can’t get away without stretching entirely. But you can get away with performing just one stretch—The World’s Greatest Stretch (WSG)

The WSG is a three-position active stretch that fires up major muscles used in skiing while simultaneously lengthening them to promote better mobility. Translation: This stretch can be used before skiing to help prep the body for action on the hill, and after the ski day to elongate muscles that have been contracting all day.

So, no more excuses—hit the floor or mat for just 5 minutes before and after the ski day, and your body will thank you.

The World’s Greatest Stretch

  • Stretches: Glutes, Hamstrings, Hip Flexors, Calves, Upper Back
  • Activates: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, Core
  • Directions: WSG is a three-position dynamic stretch in which each position should be performed back-to-back, in sequence. The goal is to move seamlessly between positions until you return to Position 1. That’s one rep. Perform a minimum of 5 reps, holding each position for 3 seconds.
Athlete performs World's Greatest Stretch
Photo: Tory Powers

Position 1: Runner’s Lunge

Athlete performs runner's lunge move
Photo: Tory Powers
  • Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  • Lunge forward with right leg to land in long lunge position. Make sure right knee is tracking directly over the right ankle.
  • Lower right shoulder to bring right elbow to the floor just inside your right foot. Allow left knee to soften if you need to.
  • Hold stretch for 3 seconds, then move to Position 2.

Position 2: Pyramid Pose

Athlete performs pyramid pose
Photo: Tory Powers
  • Keep feet planted where they were in Position 1.
  • From here, rock hips back and up and extend left leg straight into pyramid pose.
  • Reach hands to floor on either side of right foot to stretch hamstrings and calves. Make sure to keep hips squared to front wall.
  • Hold stretch for 3 seconds, then move to Position 3.

Position 3: Standing Lunge

Athlete performs standing lunge
Photo: Tory Powers
  • Soften right knee to return to standing lunge with right foot forward, left foot back.
  • Place hands on hips and slightly push hips forward to stretch hip flexors.
  • Hold stretch for 3 seconds, then push off right foot to return to original start position.
  • Begin sequence again and repeat 5 times.

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