Five ski and snowboard fitness warm-up excercises

Chemmy Alcott explains five key ski and snowboard fitness warm-up exercises to take with you to the slopes this winter

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
chemmy alcott
Former Team GB Olympic alpine skier Chemmy Alcott Photo: Handout

Former Team GB Olympic alpine skier Chemmy Alcott brings you five key ski and snowboard fitness warm-up exercises to take with you to the slopes this winter.

Warming up properly is key to staying safe and avoiding injury on the slopes, so try these warm-up exercises used by the pros.

1) Standing leg swing

– Stand in a neutral body position not overly arching your back with your Transverse Abs switched on (these are your deep abdominals – you should be able to breathe freely and talk comfortably but feel like you are slightly sucking your belly button into your spine).

– Holding on to something secure, actively swing the leg as far forward and backward as you can. I say active as it should be a conscious mind to body swing of the leg not just gravity pulling it to and fro. The movement comes from your glutes and quads (bum and thighs!!).

– Remember to switch sides.

– Repeat until you feel the tensions ease and the legs are warm.

2) The rotating lunge

– Stand in the neutral position with Transverse Abs switched on.

– Lifting one leg step forward. You can play with the distance but the farther you go the deeper you can lunge and the more you get out of it – you will know if you have gone too far and in the deepest lunge position you should still be pushing your front knee over your front middle toe.

– In this deep position; gently, with intention, rotate your thoracic (core – torso) from side to side, making sure you breath deeply into the extreme limits.

– Step gently up to neutral and switch sides.

– Do as many as you can whilst maintaining good form but start with 8-10 reps each side. This is a full lower body warm up using all the different muscle groups and by adding in the upper body rotation, you start training the ski specific skill of separating the upper and lower limbs.

3) Round the world leg swing

– Lying on the floor on your back, bring your knees up to almost 90 degrees.

– Drop one leg down and circle across the body, twisting your lower torso.

– This exercise is a dynamic lying down leg pendulum.

– Continue until legs feel loose and warm.

4) Threading the needle

– Start on your hands and knees on the floor.

– Make sure your hands are underneath your shoulders and your hips above your knees.
Extend one arm.

– Whilst exhaling, thread through underneath the other arm, rotating your thoracic.
This should feel like a lovely release of the back.

– Repeat five times each side.

5) Dynamic hamstring stretch

– Standing neutral, step forward with one leg digging the heels into the ground, pointing the toes skyward.

– Keeping a flat back lower the upper body towards the ground till you feel a pleasant hamstring stretch.

– Alternate sides.

– Repeat up to 20 times.

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