By Claire Challen
The U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain, Colorado was teeming with athletes this past November. From the World Cup to the littlest U-10 groms, racers were raring to get on with their early season training. I spent some time reintroducing my legs to skiing at this race-training Mecca, among the swarms of athletes.
At the base of the mountain surrounded by every conceivable level of skier going through their own versions of a pre-ski warm-up, it’s obvious that wakening one’s body before tackling the race course, double blacks, or even the bunny slope is integral to any kind of ski day. Now I know you’ve got your eye on that perfectly groomed corduroy or untouched powder underneath the lift, however I’d rather you didn’t slide into that lift line just yet. Take 5-10 minutes. Boots on, skis off. If it’s good enough for the best skiers in the world, why not make it a part of your routine?
1. RUN 1 MINUTE
With quick steps, dig in your toes, pump your arms rapidly and travel up a moderate slope.
2. RICOCHETS 30 seconds
Perform quick hops off both feet pressing through the balls of the feet.
3. SQUATS 10 REPS
Squat down to touch boots, stand up and clap hands overhead.
4. LEG SWINGS FRONT-BACK & SIDE-SIDE 10 SWINGS EACH DIRECTION, EACH LEG.
Keeping upper body still, swing leg in front and behind. Move into side swings with the same leg. Switch legs.
5. HIP FLEXOR & QUAD 30 SECONDS EACH
Part 1: Kneel down with left leg in front. Tuck right glute under and raise right arm. For a deeper stretch, lean to the left. Hold position.
Part 2: Reach behind with your right hand and grasp the cuff of your ski pants. Gently pull your heel toward your glute. Hold position.
6. TORSO TWISTS 10 TWISTS
Keeping hips square/facing forward, gently rotate your torso side to side.
7. ARM CIRCLES 20 CIRCLES EACH SIDE
Rotate one arm for 10 forward and 10 backward circles. Repeat with other arm.
Stand with feet hip width apart. Place your poles out to the side and move your ankles, knees, and hip laterally, keeping hips square/facing forward. Push back up to standing. Start small and progress into deep angulation. Repeat 5-10 times each side. *EASIER OPTION: Instead of using your poles, place one hand on a wall and move into position with this added support.