Pre & Post Ski Tips for the SJAM Trail

Although we may not be able to partake in our usual winter activities this year, we’re fortunate to have access to the great outdoors and the beautiful SJAM winter trail!    For seasoned and for first time skiers, it’s important to ease back into activity slowly.  That first ski of the season can leave you feeling sore and achy, but with a dynamic warm up, appropriate volume (hint: don’t go crazy on the first day!), and a good post ski stretch, you can minimize some of those discomforts.

Pre-ski, plan your route ahead of time and start with a shorter distance to allow your body time to adapt.  Increase progressively from there.   Upon arriving at the trail, try to incorporate a dynamic warm up.  You can do a short walk, some dynamic movements such as squats, knee lifts, arm reaches and hip circles to warm up, or start skiing at a slower pace to prepare.

Post ski, try these stretches to help release tension, improve mobility and boost circulation.

1. Hip flexors: Step 2-3 feet back into a lunge position, bend both knees and tilt/tuck your pelvis under. This pelvic tilt is key to putting the hip flexors on stretch. Use your poles for support or hold on to your car, a bench or tree.  This stretch can be done with your skis on too.

Hold for 30 seconds each side.

Hip Flexor Stretch demonstrated by Continuum Fitness.

2. Hip Extensors/Abductors: Cross one leg over the other and sit back. Bend the standing leg and lean forward with a straight back. Stop when you feel a gentle stretch in the outer hip area.   Use your poles for support or hold onto to a bench, car or anything secure.

Hold for 30 seconds each side.

Stretch demonstrated by Continuum Fitness

According to national guidelines, Canadians should aim to accumulate 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity activity each week for optimal health.  Exercise can help boost mood and mental health, reduce risk of heart disease and some cancers, improve brain health, strengthen muscles and bones, optimize sleep and more.  Exercising outdoors provides us with a safe opportunity to stay active and healthy.   Whether it’s skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, skating, sledding or walking, the opportunities are endless.  Start small, progress slowly, plan ahead and enjoy the winter wonders.

Happy skiing!

Sarah Zahab is a Registered Kinesiologist and Clinical Exercise Physiologist with over 20 years of experience.  She’s the co-owner of Continuum Fitness, a multi-disciplinary clinic providing movement coaching and manual therapy to help you move better and feel better.  Find out more at