While warmer temps are on the horizon, the mountains are still receiving snow—which means spring skiing. After a great day on the slopes, we’ve all had those body aches that make you wonder: Why am I so stiff and sore? It mainly comes down to how well you’ve trained for your chosen sport and how well you’re restoring your body to continue supporting your activities.
Maintaining Mobility Through Spring Ski Season
It’s important to keep your muscles feeling good into spring ski season so you can enjoy numerous runs when Tahoe finds itself with fresh powder. Consider how you prepare for the day, along with how you recover and take care of your tissues after a long day on the slopes. If you find yourself feeling sore and tired from the day before, think about how you warmed up for that session and how that might affect the session you’re about to embark on.
You can complete a quick warm-up routine by wearing ski or snowboard boots. Think about the actions you’re about to complete as you embark down the hill. Some squats, lateral lunges, ankle flexions (driving the knee over the toe in the boot), and upper body stretches could encompass a complete warm-up that will help your body cope with the stressors being placed on it.
An excellent tool we use at Barton Performance by ALTIS is a foam roller. You can use one before or after your sessions on the hill to help you prepare or recover. A quick 10- to 15-minute session of rolling the right muscles can go a long way toward keeping your body feeling good.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
A final piece to consider is the intensity and density of the time you aim to spend on the slopes:
Intensity refers to the skill required to complete certain runs; for example, green and blue runs are for beginners and black
runs are for those more experienced.
Density refers to the number of runs in a session and the number of sessions in a week or month you want to complete.
Of course, this can be hard to predict, given the whims of Mother Nature. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a slow and steady increase in intensity and density as the season progresses will ensure your body is ready for the demands of the slopes – and reduce your risk for overuse injury.
Justin Danover is a performance coach at Barton Performance by ALTIS.