We are now in the middle of ski season, which includes a mix of training and competition. As such, it is vital for skiers to learn how to properly mix recovery sessions into their training programs, in order to benefit their performance.
The demands placed upon the body during competition, on-hill training, powder days and hours spent on the groomers can affect the way your body recovers, which is why recovery days are vital. For Alpine racers and avid skiers, preventative movements are also a necessity.
Activities on these days help the athlete physically overcome the stress of on-hill training or skiing. This is also called passive recovery.
During recovery days, we have a variety of aids to help enhance the recovery process, including:
• Structural Massage
• Foam Rolling/Massage Stick
• Hydrotherapy [Hot and Cold Tubs]
Here are some movements to help enhance recovery:
1. Foam Roll IT Band [shown below]
2. Foam Roll Quadratus Lumborum
3. Massage Stick Calf
4. Massage Stick Quad
This is a planned phase that helps the body recover from heavy training days on the hill. It is also known as active recovery.
For maintenance days, which are incorporated into in-season strength phases, we believe light movement is more beneficial than no activity. This includes aerobic activity as well as floor mobility and stability movements. Maintenance programs should be administered two to three times per week.
Here are some maintenance movements to help enhance the recovery:
1. Overhead Squat Mobility With Mini Band [shown below]
2. Full Kneeling Lat Stretch With TRX
3. 90/90 Hip Stretch With TRX
4. Quad/Hip Flexor Stretch With TRX
Recovery and maintenance days are critical for the success of recovery during in-season phases of skiing. Just keep in mind your body’s response will depend on your commitment to the recovery and maintenance phases of the program.
Photos: highschoolsports.mlive.com; exercise images courtesy of Marc Digesti
Marc Digesti is a Reno/Tahoe native. He received his bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology from Chico State University in 2004, and is certified as a USA weightlifting sports performance coach. Digesti’s professional experience in the performance field includes serving as head strength coach for the U.S. Disabled Ski Team, a performance specialist for numerous top training facilities, and trainer to pro NBA and NHL athletes. In January 2010, he founded PerformancEDU with the goal of merging performance and education.