Are you ready and raring to get your ski on? If you want a long and pain-free ski season, you’d better hit the yoga mat before you hit the slopes.
With the help of yoga teachers, Laura Martini and Pam Rader, we’ve got the 5 yoga poses you need before you crush some pow.
Tip: If you need a visual click on the name of each pose
1. Supine Pigeon (AKA Figure Four)
Not only is this a great pre-season stretch its one you can do before you get out of bed in the morning of or, heck, even midday day in the comfort of a snow bank. It’s going to stretch out those hip and bum muscles that you need to really shake those hips while you do the sexy-shush down the hill. And remember, loose hips leave great tracks.
2. Gate Pose
There’s nothing worse after a day of skiing or boarding than a seized up back. Make sure you loosen up the spine and open up your side, back and belly with the gate pose. It just feels so good. Plus, this pose will help you cartwheel right out of that caught edge and leave you looking like the slope superstar.
You didn’t think it was going to be a list of easy stretches, did you? Before you hit the slopes, you want to build up those core muscles. Not only will this improve your form immensely, but it’ll also help you when you’re struggling to stay upright. We don’t think about needing tight abs for skiing but every turn, every bump and every jump make demands on your core. And those old T-bars? Forget about it – staying on is all about the core, baby.
4. Chair Pose
If there is one yoga posture that most closely resembles a skiing position it has to be chair pose. Go ahead, get into a ski tuck. Now, do an Utkatasana. See? Even if you aren’t speeding downhill like an Olympic racer, the chair pose is a great pre-season posture because it’s going to strengthen those legs and build up your endurance. Put a twist on your chair pose and you’ve added spine mobility and core strength to make the perfect asana for skiers. More chair poses, more runs in the day.
Consider this your powerhouse pose for skiers. It’s a great overall body stretch that also strengthens the legs and core. Oh, and it’s pretty good at opening up those hip flexors. If you don’t know where your hip flexors are now, wait until after a day of skiing and they’ll reminder! By doing a few crescent lunges each day in the pre-season, you’ll build muscle endurance and keep those hips nice and loose. When the lifts open, you’ll be ready for some tight sous-bois skiing.
This is the one we love to do after a full day on the slope but why wait until your hips are tight? Get into this pretzel of a pose before the day ends and really focus on breathing into your twist. It’s great for the spine, relieving low-back pressure and giving those hips the flexibility they’re going to need on the hill.
These stretches will have you primed and ready to attack the slopes this season. Happy shushing.