Hey WILDR folks! Have you ever been so sore after a day of skiing that you avoided stairs at all costs?
These three things make my first day skiing easier on my body and can do the same for you.
What Causes Muscle Soreness?
Even with all of the research being conducted around strength and conditioning at universities all over the world, we still don't know exactly what causes soreness.
We know it's connected to new activities, particularly eccentric ones where your muscles are resisting lengthening. This happens on the hill when skiing moguls, on really steep slopes or anywhere with high forces.
By exposing your brain to similar movements and demands before ski season, your muscles aren't going to send the “You need to stop!” signals. Performing movements that mimic the duration and the range of motion that you would see on skis will drastically reduce muscle soreness or, even worse, delayed onset muscle soreness (which starts 24 to 48 hours after your activity).
The trick is to start a little bit easier and gradually increase the weight in your workouts. By the time you get to your first ski day, you're already accustomed to more muscle load than you will see on that first day.
In our online pre-ski program, we do this in two phases:
In Phase 1, we focus on power and strength. In Phase 2, the focus is on strength and endurance. These demand different amounts of reps and sets while performing dynamic movements that involve slowing yourself down and moving eccentrically.
In both phases, we're gradually making workouts harder before your first day on the snow. And on your first chair lift up, you’ll know you’ll have a great time on the hill without worrying about hobbling out of bed the next day.
But Let's Say It’s The Day Before Your First Run Of The Year
It's too late to do a workout. There's no time to build up strength or to cram in a last-minute workout. You're just going to be fatiguing yourself instead of strengthening.
Tip 1: Hydrate
Research has shown that if we are more hydrated and have higher blood volume, we are going to be less sore after we do a new movement or activity.
Tip 2: Caffeinate
Caffeine can also have a protective effect against muscle soreness. In fact, coffee can hydrate just as well as water!
You need about five milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight – before your first run of the day – for it to be effective. That’s about 2 cups of coffee for the average male.
And finally, let's say that you didn’t work out before ski season started and forgot about hydrating. There's still hope at the end of the ski day!
Tip 3: Do A Simple Cool Down
I know that after the last run, you just want to take off your boots and go to après. But I would encourage you to do 20 minutes of light activity that gets your blood flowing once your ski day is done.
Doing light activity increases your heart rate and getting your blood moving is going to naturally help move along the inflammatory process.
If it's the end of the ski day and you are worried about that delayed onset muscle soreness kicking in later, check out my favorite post-ski day mobility
It’s incredibly simple, gets your blood moving and helps you recover after a day on the hill. It is only one move, but it gets harder as the minutes go by!
If you want to get into skiing shape, check out our WILDR Ski Training 8-Week Online Program.
I hope you have a WILDR day and I can’t wait to see you on the hill!