On Top of the World: Stretching

Lunge Stretch

If world Super G Champ Daron Rahlves can't whip you into shape, no one can.Rahlves' stretching message is simple: The looser you are, the better you ski. If Rahlves doesn't stretch, his hip and back get sore, the fallout of injuries incurred in '96 and '98. Here are three of his favorite stretches, each targeting key ski muscles.

Lunge Stretch
Stand with your right leg forward and your left leg back. Keeping your right foot flat and making sure the right knee doesn't go past the toes, drop your left knee to the ground. Lean forward until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat twice with each leg. What it stretches: hip flexors.

Per's Stretch
Get into a lunge position (see Lunge Stretch). Drop the right knee onto the floor in front of you, and bring the foot across in front of your body, keeping it as far forward as possible. Lean forward as far as you can, keeping your body over the right foot. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat twice with each leg. What it stretches: glutes, IT band (outside quad muscle).

Also Try: Spread Stretch not shown
Sit on the ground; spread your legs as far apart as you can. Keep your soles perpendicular to the ground. Slowly lean forward as far as possible. Hold for 15 seconds. Then stretch down to the left, reaching as far toward your toes as you can; then do the same to the right. Repeat each position twice, holding for 30 seconds each. What it stretches: lower back, hamstrings, glutes, groin.