I was invited to give a presentation on the best stretches for downhill ski instructors last week. As we talked about to the Blizzards instructors; the most loaded muscle group in downhill skiing is the hip flexor group. On top of that, most of us here in Minnesota aren’t making our living on the slopes. It’s a part time hobby. Most money making is happening while sitting at a desk. Prolonged sitting causes chronically shortened hip flexors.
Chronically shorted and stressed hip flexors cause lower back pain, knee pain and all sorts of other pains.
Here are a couple stretches you can do to stretch your hip flexors.
This is me in the picture and I will be the first to admit that the picture does a poor job of representing that your pelvis, shoulders and head should be facing forward. Make the correction on yourself and see how different it feels.
Here is another great stretch for downhill ski instructors. It is vital for people with chronic knee pain. If you need a modification, grab on to your pant leg, use a band around your ankle or put your foot on a chair. If you have balance issues, you can also do this one lying on your belly. If you have balance issues you should however work on standing on one leg.
This is the stretch I was demonstrating this weekend on top the circular table. It is a great IT band stretch for people with knee pain and hip pain. IT bands are notoriously hard to stretch so if this one doesn’t work for you, change the angle a little bit and see if you can find your stretch point.
If you want to take these stretches to the next level, here is a little video to follow along with that I put together specifically for hip flexors stretches. http://activefamilychiropractic.com/wordpress/index.php/hip-stretches-for-bikers-and-runners/ It is more related to runners and bikers but really the stretches aren’t much different.
As I stressed in our talk, you want to start the ski season healthy. If you have nagging injuries that you’ve been ignoring or stiffness and soreness that is causing you to feel old before your time, call me. I would love to be your chiropractor and help you feel better. Like you, I want to be still enjoying my sports 20 years from now and taking care of small injuries before they become big injuries is the best way to do that.