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Wilderness Sports > Snow Sports > Snow Sports: Stretching, Injury Prevention & Rehab

Standing Iliotibial Band Stretch

Snow Sports: Stretching, Injury Prevention & Rehab

In skiing and snowshoeing, a full range of motion through the shoulders, hip flexors, and hamstrings enables high steps, awkward gait, double poling, skate skiing, ascents, and descents. Since some of these movements are not easily duplicated on dry land, a good stretching routine can help to prepare you for snow challenges as well as restore flexibility following a day of snow play. Stretches for the hamstrings, abdominals, and lower back are especially useful for the double-pole technique, which generates forward movement from the arms and torso. For details about putting together a targeted stretching program, please refer to The Outdoor Athlete, Chapter 14. See also the DVD Train to Climb Mt. Rainier or Any High Peak for motion clips of many of the stretches suggested below.

As in all sports, get moving the day after any snow outing, particularly if you feel stiff and sore, as a low-intensity recovery workout can reduce muscle soreness and restore flexibility. This workout can take the form of a short walk, a yoga session, a swim, or a bike ride, followed by a few of the preceding recommended stretches.

The Outdoor Conditioning Warm-up includes descriptions of how to do 5 quick movements to warm up the upper and lower body (including arm swings and shoulder circles with a dowel) along with 5 stretches for the front and back of the body.
Stair Calf Stretch
90-90 Quadriceps Psoas Stretch
2 Hip Stretches for Snowshoers: Psoas and IT Band
Piriformis stretches (for back, hip and butt pain)
Lower Back Stretches including band cat traction, prone cobra, hug a tree, and standing torso rotation
Climbing Conditioning Essentials includes descriptions of how to do the frog (entire leg) and road kill (lower back) stretches

Upper Body Warm-up how to prepare for upper body work
Lower Body Warm-up how to prepare for lower body work
Core Body Warm-up how to prepare for core body work

Restorative and Injury Prevention Exercises
Hamstring Stretches and Rehabilitative Strength: Downward Dog and Triangle Pose
Knee Pain Occurrence and Prevention (III): Free Weight Strengthening Exercises
Knee Strengthening Test: Do Your Knees Wobble on Steps?
Backwards Walking for Rehabilitation of Lower Extremities

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