17 Mobility Warm Up Moves Before Cross Country Skiing

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17 Mobility Warm Up Moves Before Cross Country Ski Training

Challenge the Whole System!

Cross country skiing, and all the off season training you do, challenges every part of your body, especially your moving parts: joints, ligaments, muscles. Nordic skiing also challenges your flexibility, mobility, strength and stability. What’s more, nordic skiing challenges this whole system all at once!

Dynamic Stretching

For optimal performance on and off the snow, you MUST incorporate some dynamic stretching, aka mobility stretching, into your pre-exercise routine. You should move your whole body through a round or two of movements that fire all the muscles, rotate the joints and warm-up the tendons.

Static Stretching, No Good

Multiple research studies show that static stretching actually slows you down and reduces your peak force capacity and reduces your performance during exercise. Instead, limited mobility plays a more vital role in achieving peak performance.

15 mobility warm up movements and exercises before cross country skiing. All but one exercise is dynamic which is much more likely to prevent injury and increase performance. These 15 warm up movements take your body through all the planes of movements needed to ski at your best.

17 movement based dynamic stretching exercises

Here, I’ve crafted a quick and easy routine of 17 movement based dynamic stretching exercises that are cross country skiing specific to increase your mobility. The list will move you away from static stretching toward mobility moves that warm-up the whole bodily system.

The list also incorporates as many balancing moves as possible since cross country skiing mostly occurs on one ski at a time.

Lastly, the list is quick and short so you will actually do it!

Start from the feet up. Use a prop for balance if you need it. Eventually, try to do the balancing moves without a prop.

  1. Ankle roll - roll your right foot then your left foot around with the heel up to move the ankle joint. 5-10 seconds each foot
  2. Knee circles - place your hands on your knees and roll your knees left and then right to move your knee joints in all the planes. 5-10 seconds each direction
  3. Hip swings - place your hands on your hips and roll your hips left and then right. 5-10 seconds each direction
  4. Spinal twist - twist from your stomach, twisting your spine left and right to loosen the spine. 5-10 seconds
  5. Side bends - with hips level, hands by your side, reach down along your leg with one arm to the side of your knee creating a bend in your side. About 5 times each side
  6. Shoulder rolls - arms extended out to the side, roll your arms forward and then back. About 5-10 seconds each direction
  7. Neck circles - roll your head from chin on chest to ear on shoulder to back of head on back to other ear on should to chin on chest. About 5-10 rolls
  8. Sun Salutes - touch your toes for about 5-10 seconds, slowly roll your spine up, keeping your chin on your chest, straighten your spine, slowly lift your head as you bring your arms out to the side, palms up, pulling your shoulders back, reaching up over your head lengthening your spine and legs. About 5-10 times.
  9. Squats - squat 10 to 15 times
  10. Push ups - 5 to 20 push ups
  11. Planks - front plank 10-20 seconds, side plank right 10-20 seconds, side plank left 10-20 seconds
  12. Diagonal stride swing - stand on one leg, swing your arms and offside leg like you are diagonal skiing. About 30 times each side
  13. Lateral leg swing - stand on one leg, swing the other leg out to your side, let it swing back in front of the foot you stand on and repeat. About 10-15 each side
  14. Toe jumps - jump up and down on the balls of your feet. About 5-10 seconds
  15. One foot toe jumps - jump up and down on one foot on the balls of your feet. About 5-10 seconds each foot
  16. Diagonal stride swing with jump - stand on one leg, swing your arms and offside leg like you’re diagonal skiing, add a jump/hop every time your hands pass your hips. About 15 jumps each side
  17. One leg squat with skate jump - stand on one leg, bend down into a one legged squat and then laterally jump onto the other leg, bend down into a one legged squat and then laterally jump onto the other leg. Repeat. About 10-15 total jumps.