Snowsports warm-up

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Snow Sports

Four stretches to get you and your section ready to hit the slopes.

This activity contributes to the following badges:

Snowsports Staged Activity Badge

Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Instructions

1. Discuss with the section about why we should warm up before exercise. Warm-ups can elevate the heart rate and increase blood flow to the muscles, which helps prevent strain or injury.

2. Explain that they’re going to try some warm-up exercises perfect for skiers/snowboarders, similar to ones that athletes in the Winter Olympics use. Lead your young people in these four exercises to warm up the upper, middle and lower body. They don’t have to be for snowsports – use it as a quick warm-up before any physical activity. Leaders take part too!

3. First up is leg swings.
This is done by putting one hand against a wall or chair for balance, standing up straight and swinging the outer leg (furthest from the wall or chair) gently back and forth. Do five swings on each leg, getting a bit higher each time. Repeat once for each leg. This warms up legs and hips.

4. Next is arm circles, which stretch the arms, upper back and shoulders. This is done by stretching up the arms and moving them both in forward-motion circles 10 times, slowly and with control (no flinging). Now circle them backwards 10 times.

5. The back takes a lot of strain during exercise, and is vital for balance in skiing, snowboarding and other sports. To do a back stretch, stand up straight, bend your knees slightly, then slowly bend forwards until you can touch your toes (or as near as possible without strain). Gently straighten your legs, stretching your back and hamstrings (backs of the thighs). Hold for 10 seconds. You will feel a bit of a burn in your back and legs – that means it’s working!

6. The last one is a toe hop. On the slopes this is done on a snowboard, but you can do a version without snow or equipment. It helps with balance and warms up the legs. Stand on the balls of your feet, lean forward slightly, bending a bit at the knees, and hold your balance. Start with some small ‘hops’, gradually jumping higher and landing back on the balls of your feet each time. Repeat 10 times.

7. You can adapt some of the warm-ups so that young people with limited mobility can enjoy snowsports. ‘Sit skiing’ was designed for wheelchair users and para-alpine skiing is part of the Paralympic Games. There is equipment that can aid in ‘adaptive skiing’, like outriggers: forearm crutches that can help people who only have the use of one leg. For those with limited mobility, it is especially important to warm up the arms. Learn more at paralympic.org/alpine-skiing.

This would be a great activity for Explorer Scout Young Leaders to run.

Illustration by JamesPop.

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