Q. “WHAT STRETCHES SHOULD I DO BEFORE AND AFTER I SKI?”
Sports physiotherapist Kusal Goonewardena of Melbourne clinic Elite Akademy reveals dynamic stretches that activate muscles used in skiing – the thighs, shoulders and spine are key areas – to boost performance and reduce your risk of injury, plus essential cool-down moves to ease stiffness after a day on the slopes.
BEFORE DYNAMIC ADDUCTOR STRETCH
This works your inner thigh muscles and generally activates your lower body. Stand with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart and pointing out at 45 degrees. Lunge sideways to your left, making sure your knee doesn’t extend past your toes, then shift your weight and lunge to the right. This is 1 rep. Do 20 reps.
TWISTS & CIRCLES
These mobilise your spine and shoulders. From a standing position, gently twist your torso to the left, then the right, letting your arms swing loosely by your sides. This is 1 rep. Do 20 reps. Then do 20 alternating front-to-back arm circles on each side ( as if you’re doing backstroke standing up).
AFTER QUAD & HAMSTRING STRETCH
These release tightness in your legs, which you’ll certainly have after a day on the slopes. Stand left-side-on to a wall, with your left hand on it for support. Reach your right hand back as you lift your right heel to your butt and grab hold of the toes. Hold for 30-90 seconds, keeping the knees as close together as possible. Release and place that foot on a table or bench, toes up, and lean towards it so you feel the stretch up the back of that leg. Hold for 30-90 seconds. Repeat both moves on the other side.
Lie on your front and come up on your forearms or hands to create a gentle back bend. Hold for 30-90 seconds.