Pre-Ski Stretches: Because Nobody Wants to Pull a Hammy in Paradise

by Amanda Ellis | April 9, 2024

What’s one surefire way to ruin your ski trip? Pulling a hammy on your first run. So, before you hit the slopes, let’s talk about the importance of pre-ski stretches. Because nothing screams “I’m a rookie” like hobbling down the mountain clutching your thigh.

Stretching: The Unsung Hero

Stretching is like the unsung hero of skiing. It’s not as glamorous as perfecting your turns or mastering the art of après-ski, but trust me, your muscles will thank you later. Not only does stretching improve flexibility and range of motion, but it also helps prevent injuries and ensures you’re ready to tackle those black diamond runs with confidence. Plus, it’s a great way to mentally prepare yourself for the epic day ahead. So, grab your yoga mat and let’s get stretching!

Squats: The Foundation of Skiing

First up, we have everyone’s favorite exercise: squats. Sure, they may not be as exciting as catching air in the terrain park, but squats are the foundation of skiing. Think about it: skiing essentially involves holding a squat position for an extended period of time as you navigate down the slopes. So, it only makes sense to strengthen those quads and glutes before you hit the mountain.

To perform a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out. Keeping your chest up and core engaged, lower your hips back and down as if you’re sitting into a chair. Aim to get your thighs parallel to the ground, then push through your heels to return to the starting position. Repeat for a few reps to really feel the burn in those ski-specific muscles.

Low Lunges: Activate Those Hip Flexors

Next on our pre-ski stretch menu: low lunges. These bad boys not only activate your hip flexors and glutes but also help improve your balance and stability on the slopes. Plus, they’re a great way to show off your flexibility to fellow skiers (or maybe just to yourself in the mirror).

To perform a low lunge, start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step forward with your right foot and lower your body down until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your chest lifted and your core engaged as you feel the stretch in your hip flexors. Hold for a few breaths, then switch sides and repeat. Ah, can you feel those muscles waking up?

Reclining Twists: Loosen Up Your Spine

After a few runs down the mountain, your spine might start to feel like it’s been put through a blender. That’s where reclining twists come in handy. This stretch not only helps rotate your spine but also targets those hard-to-reach back muscles that are essential for maintaining proper form while skiing.

To perform a reclining twist, lie on your back with your arms extended out to the sides in a T position. Bend your knees and lift them towards your chest, then slowly lower them to one side while keeping your shoulders glued to the ground. Hold for a few breaths, then gently bring your knees back to center before repeating on the other side. Bonus points if you can do this stretch while still wearing your ski boots.

Walking Straight Leg Kicks: Show Those Hamstrings Some Love

Last but certainly not least, we have walking straight leg kicks. As the name suggests, this stretch targets those pesky hamstrings that always seem to tighten up at the most inconvenient times (like when you’re trying to impress that cute ski instructor).

To perform walking straight leg kicks, simply stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Engage your core and lift your right leg straight out in front of you, keeping it as straight as possible. Flex your foot and reach towards your toes with your opposite hand, feeling the stretch in the back of your leg. Lower your leg back down and repeat on the other side, as if you’re gracefully kicking your way down the mountain.


So there you have it, folks: the ultimate guide to pre-ski stretches. Remember, skiing is all about enjoying the ride, and the last thing you want is to be sidelined with an injury before you even get started. So take a few minutes to warm up those muscles, loosen up your joints, and get your body primed for an adventure through powder paradise.

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