2013 Ski Nationals - Day 7 - Rest Day

If you're not in a position to get a massage, the next best thing is stretching.  Chris Manhard, CVTC coach, is a registered massage therapist and a huge advocate of stretching and flexibility for athletes.  We caught up with him on the last rest day of Nationals to inquire about the best body parts to stretch to recover from the past days of hard classic racing.

Hip Flexors - The muscles that get sore after your first classic ski sessions of the year, the hip flexors are a great area to stretch.  The hip flexors extend from your abdominal area toward your calves.

Quads - The big muscles on the front of your legs.  As these are connected to your hip flexors, they're also an important area to focus on.

Shoulders and Chest - Classic skiers tend to round the shoulders a lot so it's important to work on opening up the chest after a bunch of classic skiing.  This can be done using a wall or a ball.

Calves - The calves are important for stabilizing during classic skiing and also the foot and ankle flexion.  Stretch both the "upper" and "lower" calves.

Lower Back - The best way to reach into the lower back is with a roller or a ball.  Be gentle to start but go deep and make sure there's good mobility in all the joints.

Lats - The lats are the big muscles under your arms, in your upper back, that are used for double poling.  These are not easy muscles to stretch, but are very important to keep limber!

The best tools to use are a foam roller, exercise ball and a floor hockey ball.  Use these in progression to reach deep into your muscles. 

For specific stretches, try a google search or ask your coach!

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