Katie’s Quick Stretch
Hi SkiPost! Katie Feldman from the Sun Valley Gold Team here. As a long-time racer and reader of SkiPost, I’m excited to be working with EnjoyWinter and contributing content here. I’m entering my fourth season of professional skiing, and I’m really looking forward to the training and racing opportunities we will all have this year. So far, the Gold Team’s summer training has been a classic blend of challenging and enjoyable. We started out the summer with an on-snow camp in Bend, Oregon, and have been in Sun Valley for the past month keeping things rolling with the transition to dryland season. A good mix of rollerskiing, running, biking, swimming, and strength keeps us all motivated and the risk of overuse injuries low. Nonetheless, we still have to spend plenty of time taking care of our bodies through various recovery modes. While we’re all familiar with the basics of stretching and rolling, I want to share a quick stretching routine I like to help keep my body aligned and as pain-free as possible. I tend to get an achy middle/upper back from lots of double pole work paired with slouching at a desk, so anything I can do to keep my shoulders aligned/mobile and my chest open will help. I hope it helps you, too!
- Warm-up. Standing up, curl the top knuckles of your fingers towards your palm and place them on your temples. Roll your knuckles against your head until your elbows touch in the front, and then squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your elbows back as far as you can. Do 10 reps of this pairing to get everything moving and the blood flowing.
- Tricep stretch. Put your right hand on your right shoulder, your left hand on your right elbow, and raise your elbow up as high as you need to feel a stretch. Keeping your right hand on your right shoulder ensures you aren’t twisting your shoulders. Usually, I feel this in my tricep, but when I’m really tight or sore I’ll feel it up into my trap! Hold for a count of 20 and switch sides
- Dynamic eagle arms. With your elbows bent at 90 degrees, cross your right arm over your left and then try to touch the palm of your other hand or, if possible, interlace your fingers. Hold this for a few seconds, and then raise your arms up together and lower them back down to starting position. 10 times on each side.
- Eagle arms hang. Returning to the first side, cross your arms into eagle position again and bend over to hang down. Relax your head and let everything hang. Hold for a count of 20 and switch sides.
- Upper spinal floor twist. Laying on your right side, bring your knees up to 90 degrees and straighten your arms out on the floor directly in front of you with your palms stacked. Bring your left arm up and over to your left side at shoulder height and breathe as your hand/arm rests on the floor. Use your right hand to keep your knees stacked if necessary. As you breathe into it, you’ll notice your hand gets closer to the floor or, if you’re flexible here, more of your arm rests on the floor with each breath. 5-10 deep breaths and switch sides.
- Cat/cow. Time to get everything back in alignment after that big twist. On your hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under hips, drop your shoulder blades and arch your lower back towards the floor. Then curve your back and drop your head. 10 reps of the pairing.
Remember to breathe during each exercise, and I hope this leaves your upper back and chest feeling a little better!