Yoga For Snow Sports
It can be so fun and exciting to get out into the snow for a day of skiing or snowboarding. Planning ahead of the season by conditioning is also a wise idea, since winter sports require use of the whole body to participate as we travel down the hills. Yoga is an excellent way to reduce the chance of injuries by bringing you more in tune with body. What limits of motion do you notice? How strong do your muscles feel? What changes have you noticed about your body since last season? How is your endurance - are you short of breath after one run? A short yoga practice can be a great way to keep you on the slopes by preparing your body to be ready instead of sore and injured. Yoga can be a great way to condition between days on the mountain or even a cool down after a hard day on your legs.
Muscles that tend to be overworked are the quads and hip flexors. Skiing and snowboarding puts you into a bent over position which causes these muscles to be overworked. Being constantly tight in these muscles can cause the hamstrings, core, and glutes to become weak. A few yoga poses can create symmetry in your body by working on flexibility, stamina, strength and balance. On off days from snow sports, you could find your way to a yoga class to get you ready for your next time to play in the snow.
Here are a few yoga poses that I would highly recommend to keep you on the slopes feeling great.
A stretch for arms, back, legs, and calves while activating the core muscles.
How to perform: Start on hands and knees. Curl toes under, lift hips up, and use the muscles in the shoulders to press into your hands and away from the floor. Extending the back and hip away from the hands. Knees can be slightly bent depending on your hamstring flexibility. Hold and breath in and out 5x.
This position strengthens the upper and lower body, while challenging the balance since the back heel is lifted from the floor. It allows the core to remain engaged while integrating mobility of the hip.
How to perform: Stand tall and step your right foot behind into a lunge position. Rotate your chest and hip to face forward and inhale, raising the arms overhead. Relax shoulders away from the ears. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds before switching sides.
This position focuses on powerful balancing skills while strengthening the core, gluteal, and leg muscles. The inner and outer thighs on the stance leg are required to activate to keep the pelvis stable and neutral.
How to perform: Stand tall and place your right toes on the floor behind the body. Raise arms to shoulder height. Start to hinge forward from the hip, keeping the head and foot as a counterbalance. Once your body is near parallel to the floor, extend arms overhead. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds before switching sides.
Triangle increases strength in the legs and mobility in the hip, inner thighs, and chest region. It overall enhances flexibility and strength, which is beneficial for various planes of movement, especially in skate skiing.
How to perform: Stand with feet three to four feet apart. Turn your right toes forward and keep the left parallel or with the heel slightly kicking out. Inhale while bringing arms to shoulder height and exhale while arms reach toward your right shin or the floor. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds before switching sides.
This pose deeply strengthens the legs and core while integrating mobility between the hip and thoracic spine.
How to perform: Stand with feet three to four feet apart. Turn your right toes forward and keep the left parallel or with the heel slightly kicking out. Inhale while bringing arms to shoulder height and bend your right knee to 90 degrees. Slowly, reach the right arm and chest forward to place the hand on the ground. The arm will be in front of the leg and next to the shin.