There is nothing better than having a ski holiday to look forward to. Striking mountain views, superb snow conditions, vivid colourful skylines, cosy chalets, lively après ski, friendly and helpful in resort staff and an unbeatable atmosphere are some of the ingredients that make a Mark Warner skiing holiday fantastic and so attractive to plan! Planning a getaway to the mountains with friends or family will leave you with so many memories to cherish.
Skiing is a really good workout and a sport that does require some warming up, in order to avoid injury and aching muscles the next day. Warming up tends to be overlooked sometimes, but by taking a tiny bit of time to warm up before you hit the slopes, it will make the world of difference to your ski holiday and will make you less prone to injury.
We spoke to Olympic Skier Rowan Cheshire who shared her tips and inside knowledge on how to avoid injury on your next skiing holiday. She also talks about what you can be doing in advance of your ski trip, that you may not have considered.
Like any holiday, there is always a bit of preparation and planning involved; as it’s not just all about the packing. Knowing how to warm up in the correct way and by having a routine in place will ensure you can travel to your ski resort ready to hit the slopes feeling confident. Many people do fret and worry about injuring themselves during their ski holidays, but once you follow Rowan’s advice below, it’s less likely to happen.
1. What is the very first thing you should do before you set off skiing?
RC: It is important to always warm up before skiing, it should be must! Dynamic stretches are key and using bands to add resistance. Always make sure you have adequate layers and protective gear before you set off to keep warm and prevent injury!
2. Can you explain the importance of warming up before hitting the slopes and warming down after a ski?
RC: People often overlook skiing and don’t consider it to be intense exercise. This is often where people fall short and end up hurting themselves. It is important to prepare your muscles for exercise in order to prevent injury. Cooling down afterwards is important as it helps recovery and prevents soreness.
3. Which is more significant – warming up before your ski or warming down after your ski?
RC: I would say warming up is more significant. It is important to get your muscles properly ready for the movements, especially doing mobility exercises for your knees, including stability exercises around the joints to prevent injury.
4. Can you give details on your 10-minute muscle wake up/warm up?
RC: 10 of 10 for 10 minutes.
- Leg swings – forward and back laterally, 10 each way on each leg
- Squats – 10
- Lunges – 8-10 each leg
- Windmill with arms – 8 – 10
- Crab walk – 10
- Fire hydrants – for hip rotation – 5 on each leg
- Leg raise with pulse – 10
- Knee rolls – 10
5. How long should you ideally spend on warming up and warming down?
RC: 10 minutes is plenty of time for both warming up and warming down.
6. Have you got any tips for kid-friendly warm-up exercises?
RC: The warm ups above can be done by any ages. They are also kid friendly. I have been doing these since the age of 12!
7. What is the most common mistake that people make during ski trips that causes injury?
RC: There are lots, but the key mistakes I would say include; trying to do a run above their skill level, going off-piste when there aren’t signs and not staying in classes for long enough and developing bad technique.
8. Reveal the 5 key packing essentials to pack in your suitcase to make sure you maximise your skiing and avoid injury?
- Foam roller- warming up
- Thera Band- warming up
- Massage ball- cool down (particularly for feet)
- Heat pads- to keep your hands and feet warm
- Aromatherapy essentials muscle relaxer
9. What is the longest amount of time you should be skiing for before you take a break?
RC: Everyone’s different; when you feel tired just take a break. Fuel and drink lots between the day which keep you hydrated.
10. Is there anything else you can be doing other than warm-ups to avoid injury whilst skiing?
RC: Training beforehand, spinning or cycling are excellent ways to prepare your body for the slopes. Weight lifting is brilliant to build strength in legs and arms for stability and mobility. Yoga and pilates are also very good to improve flexibility. If you do any of these exercises, you’ll be be stronger on the slopes and less likely to experience an injury.
So whether you’re a first-time skier or a regular skier, we’re sure you’ll find Rowan’s tips helpful for your next skiing holiday. Check out our range of ski resorts in France and Austria and you may even get a great last minute ski deal. Get ready to take on the slopes like a pro!