Preventative Ski Conditioning Exercises
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Preventative Ski Conditioning Exercises

The snow has been falling in record amounts in Whistler this season and we’re all chomping at the bit to get out there. Maybe you’re here for a week-long ski vacation, you’re here for the season or Whistler is your home and you know this place like the back of your hand. The question remains the same, have you been preparing your legs for the experience you have been dreaming about?  Perhaps a little, or maybe not that much. Regardless, of your situation, there is no doubt that after your first couple days getting after it in this winter wonderland, sore muscles, aches, and pains will start to slow you down – don’t fret it happens to us ALL, every year, and because of this we know exactly how to deal.

 

BEFORE YOU SKI

We are not just talking about the coffee and muffin you grab at Lift Coffee Co. while checking the snow report before loading the chairlift kind of “pre-ski” actions. We are talking about warming up, getting strong being physically ready to hit the mountain. Have you asked yourself if your body has the stamina, the fitness, energy, and endurance to last an entire day, week or season on Whistler Blackcomb when the snow doesn’t relent and just keeps falling? If you want to know the answer to that question, download the SKIRAD (Ski Ready and Avoid Damage) app developed by Whistlers own physiotherapists.  We like these guided SKIRAD videos from Back in Action because the team there is amazing at doing just that – getting you back in action!

Whether you need some pre-ski season/vacation training to get your legs strong for the many pow days ahead, you want to know with 100% certainty that you could pass a snow fitness screening and are physically strong/flexible enough to get on your skis or boards without injuring yourself, or you want a couple warm-up exercises so you can hit “full send” mode the second you get off Peak chair, the app has got you covered.

The SKIRAD app offers ski conditioning exercise programs.

HOTEL HOW TO’S

The gym may not be your jam and that is ok. There are plenty of proactive things you can do from the comfort of your own home/hotel room. 10 minutes now can help you avoid a back or ACL injury when taking a tumble later in the day. Take some of that downtime before or after skiing to do some simple stretches or ski specific exercises without even leaving your hotel room. Some of our favorite examples from Back in Action include:

PRE-SKI/BOARD

EXERCISES

AFTER YOU SKI

For those of you who get more out of a group/guided workout and stretch it might be worth checking out The Core, located in the heart of the village. Between spin, fitness, core and yoga classes, personal training and the rock climbing wall, you will have no problem working on what is slowing you down

Sometimes it’s just a bit of R & R that our bodies need after a day on the mountain.  In this case, consider taking a yoga class, getting a massage or visiting the spa. Whistler’s Spa guide will help you find your perfect spa experience and there is certainly no shortage of Yoga studios in town. We especially like:

Loka Yoga – Creekside

Y yoga -Function Junction

Yoga Cara – Village

Yoga is an important part of ski and snowboard body maintenance. Photo by Abby Cooper

LOCAL RESOURCES

Whistler is the home to many hardcore mountain lovers so you can rest assured there are lots and lots of resources for any and all of your needs for getting strong, staying strong and dealing with the mental and physical side of those pesky injuries as well.  Here are few of our favorites:

GYM: Meadow Park sports center and Opus Athletics Cross Fit Gym

PHYSIO:  Back in Action and Lifemark Whistler Physiotherapy

COUNSELING: Whistler Community Services

MASSAGE/CHIROPRACTOR: Whistler Chiropractic, Blue Highways and Back in Action.

Hydrotherapy at Scandinave Spa is a great way to recover. Photo by Abby Cooper.

Once the season or your vacation begins it’s inevitable that the snow will keep falling, but you’re tired, your body is tired and the snow report is saying 30cm in the last 12 hours. Can you even consider taking a day off? Yes! You do it by thinking of the winter or your vacation as a big picture. It’s long and there will, no doubt, be other 30cm days, as hard as that is to believe in the moment. Be kind to yourself and your body and take a day off to do something different. Struggling with other down day ideas we’ve got a whole list for you in the  Whistler Winter Activities.  Bear in mind that whether you were or were not on the mountain any given day, this holds no implications on your ability to participate in Apres. So hop on down to the Longhorn Saloon at the base of the mountain, grab an Apres Lager and bask in the Whistler life unfolding before you.

If taking a full day off that’s unfathomable to you, sleep in and come up a bit later, or simply do a few laps in the morning. We are human after all and we all need to rest. If that little voice in the back of your head is telling you it’s tired, trust us, you should listen. It will thank you for the day off with an entire season of radness!

Meredith Eades

Usually found in the mountains, on the water or somewhere in between, getting her fix of adrenaline in one form or another. Meredith is a skier and mountain biker soaking up Whistler living, but is certainly not one to shy away from trying something new and adventuring down the path unknown.