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You’ve heard it from every coach you’ve had since Pee Wee and Little League: You gotta warm up. We know we should; few of us actually do. But there’s no quicker (or more effective) way to learn the importance of treating your body right than by injuring yourself. Take it from professional big mountain skier John Collinson, who spent last season recovering from his second ACL tear and reconstruction.
“You can usually get away with just being athletic and good at sports. But after my ACL surgeries, I learned that warm-ups and cool-downs are key to performance,” says Collinson. “It’s important to get everything warmed up and activated to get muscles working together so that one muscle doesn’t overwork to compensate for another.”
So, one more time for the cheap seats: You gotta warm up. And we don’t mean with old-school static stretches. The best way to prime the body for skiing is with dynamic moves that engage the whole body.
Warm-Up Moves for Skiers
With back against floor and arms out to sides, bring feet under you so knees are bent to 90 degrees. Raise hips into bridge. Hold for 10 seconds, engaging glutes and hamstrings, then lower. Repeat.
Added challenge: From bridge, lift and extend one leg in line with body. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat and lift other leg.
Plank with Leg Extension
From forearm plank, lift one leg off the floor while keeping it extended. Keep head and neck neutral. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat with other leg.
Added challenge: When lifting leg, extend opposite arm in front of you.
Place looped resistance band around feet. From standing position, bring one leg to 90 degrees at hip height, stretching resistance band between feet. Hold for a beat, then repeat with other leg, marching in place while tensioning resistance band.
90/90 Leg Extensions
Lay on floor, arms out to sides and legs raised to 90 degrees above hips. Keeping one leg straight and pointed towards the ceiling, slowly lower the opposite leg to hover just above the floor. Slowly raise leg back to 90 degrees above hips, then lower other leg.
SKI teamed up with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail’s strength and conditioning coach John “JC” Cole to design an in-depth ski injury prevention course. Enroll in this online course to get a comprehensive training plan that focuses on ski-specific mobility, strength, and power exercises.