Injuries are an inherent risk of our sport. While you can’t prevent all of them (like those sustained in a crash), you can reduce your risk of injuries that result from fatigued or overworked muscles. Especially if you add a regular warm-up routine to the start of every ski day.
After all, when you click into your skis in the morning, you’re asking a lot of your body to perform powerful movements (movements that aren’t a part of your daily routine) over extended periods of time in freezing temperatures. Skiing is a shock to your body’s system if you don’t spend a few minutes priming it for activity with dynamic warm-up moves. A few of our favorites: this quick and easy mini band circuit designed by former U.S. Ski Team strength coach Chris Miller. All you need is a lightweight, looped resistance band and some floor space, and you can fire up the major muscles in the hip, glutes, and legs responsible for turning your skis and protecting your knees.
Watch: 4 Resistance Band Exercises to Fire Up Your Ski Muscles
Bent-leg lateral walk
Place the looped resistance band around both feet and get into your base athletic stance with feet hip-width apart, knees bent, back straight, and chest upright. From here, step one foot laterally out to the side while the other foot trails slightly behind. Maintain your base athletic stance throughout the movement and make sure that the movement comes from your feet, legs, and hips, not your upper body. Alternate stepping out to the left and to the right for a total of 10 steps.
Straight-leg lateral walk
Again, place the looped resistance band around both feet, with your feet hip-width apart. This time, keep legs straight with just a soft bend in the knee. Perform 5 steps to the right, then 5 steps to the left.
Begin with the resistance band around both feet in a base athletic stance. From here, alternate stepping one foot out behind you diagonally. Once you’ve tapped your foot behind you, immediately bring it back to the starting position. Maintain your base athletic stance throughout with all movement coming from the lower body while keeping your upper body still. Perform for a total of 10 reps.
Begin with the resistance band around both feet, feet slightly narrower than hip-width apart. From here, slowly march in place while stretching the resistance band between both feet. Keep your knees and ankles stacked directly over each other and focus on keeping your toes flexed so the resistance band stays put. You should feel this move in the front of your hips. March in place for a total of 10 steps, focusing on slow, controlled movements to also work your balance.