Wellness Articles

Stretching for the Slopes

Treatment and Prevention Advice Provided by Vancouver Chiropractor, ART, and Sports Therapy

Winter is almost here and as promised, here are a few guidelines for hitting the slopes to avoid unnecessary injury.  While skiing and snowboarding come naturally to some, others spend most of their time unsuccessfully negotiating the equipment and terrain.  Whatever your level of experience, either sport can be hazardous and contribute to injury.  Prepare youself for the slopes by minimizing your risk of injury through spinal alignment treatments, sport specific strengthening, and warm up and cool down programs.  This approach will maximize your time on the slopes.

To avoid injury this snow season, consider the following:

“Prehabbing” for the slopes

Begin to incorporate chiropractic treatments and sport specific exercises into your regular exercise routine at least eight weeks prior to the season.  This will promote proper use of the muscles and joints required for your preferred sport.  Strengthen the muscles specific to snow sports (quads, hamstrings, gluts, core stabilizers, and triceps) to reduce the risk of injury and increase your enjoyment and endurance on the slopes.

Look after your back

A neutral spine and strong core are essential for minimizing injury.

Here are a few general stretches of the lower back, hamstring, and psoas and quad.*

low back stretch  hamstring stretch to increase flexibilitypsoas stretch to prevent low back injury

Warm up, stretch, and cool down

Before hitting the slopes, warm up like you would with any other sporting activity.  Stretch your thigh, calf, and arm muscles.  Ensure you are adequately warm prior to taking to the slopes (make sure you also do this after each rest break.)  Once you have finished skiing or boarding for the day, remember to cool down, especially if you’re travelling home in a vehicle.  These activities will better prepare your body to avoid injury.

Ski or snowboard within your capabilities

Beginners should take advantage of a ski lesson and not succumb to the pressure of keeping up with experienced skiers/boarders.  Don’t be afraid to rest when you find yourself getting tired.  Fatigue can certainly increase your risk of injury.  Injuries often happen on that last run of the day!

To avoid injury on the mountain this winter, consider booking an appointment to discuss how to best prepare your body and ensure your season is injury free!

Enjoy the week,


Dr. Crysta Serné

Chiropractor and owner of Vitality Clinic


*If you have an injury, or have never attempted to perform these stretches before, please consult with your health care provider.  Vitality Clinic and Dr. Crysta Serné accepts no responsibility.

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