Importance of Warming-Up/Stretching to Prevent Injury & Increase Performance

Brian DetrickInstructional Articles

Hey World!

The season is just around the corner. I am sure most of you have been thinking about dusting your ski off and getting back on the water and some of you already have. Depending where you live, temperatures are still a little cold or it is starting to get cold. This is the time of year when it is extremely important that you warm up before you ski. By not warming up, you increase the probability of pulling, straining or evening tearing muscles, ligaments or tendons.

Warming up and stretching your muscles before doing any activity is important, shouldn’t that include skiing as well? It is too often I see skiers walk on the dock, change and get on the water without warming up. I have even seen people drive 2+ hours to get to their lake; they get out of the car and ski immediately. Your muscles are stiff from sitting in the car, being at your desk all day or driving the boat for the past hour. The probability of pulling or straining a muscle increases when you do not warm up.

A warm up does not have to be intense but it should get your blood flowing and warm up your muscles. This applies to beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers and to all disciplines; including slalom, trick, jump, wakeboard, barefoot etc. Below are a few warm up options:

Step 1: Get moving:
– ride a bike (1 mile)
– take a jog (1/2 mile)
– jump rope (5 min)

All of these activities will warm up your body and get your blood flowing

Step 2: Actively stretch:
– hamstrings
– quads
– hip flexors
– shoulders
– ankles/calves

Step 3: Pull/Lean on the Handle:
– It is important to get your skiing muscles going as well. I like to pull/lean on the handle to warm them up so they are not totally shocked on the first pass.

By doing these three steps, you will reduce the probability of injury and will have greater success on and off the water.

Here is a typical warm up I do before skiing. I like to focus on stretching my hip flexors, quads and hamstrings.

Brian DetrickImportance of Warming-Up/Stretching to Prevent Injury & Increase Performance