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Original Issue

Ski Tip

QUESTION: I find the first two or three runs of the day are usually my worst. By the time I begin to ski well the morning is half gone. How can I ski better during my early runs?

ANSWER: Do warmup exercises after you get off the lift. In the early part of the season, and particularly during the cold mornings of January, your reflexes are not quick and your muscles are unresponsive. Bad skiing and accidents may result. The four exercises below, all done with skis on, are designed to loosen the leg and body muscles. Take two minutes in the early morning to do these warmups and you will ski better—and with greater safety—the rest of the day.

Stoop squat: with skis held six inches apart, squat slowly, elbows going between the knees. Then bounce up and down in this position, slowly, until the elbows can be made to touch the skis.

Trunk swivel: hold poles behind back. Bend forward and rotate upper body until poles point at snow. Rotate in opposite direction until other ends of poles point at the snow. Repeat rapidly for 30 seconds.

Leg slide: push left leg back and right leg forward. Bend right knee to take the weight. Return to standing position, legs together. Then slide left leg forward, right leg back. Continue exercise one minute.

Leg lift: stand erect and raise right knee until you can grasp lower leg. Pull leg gently upward. Repeat pulling motion more and more quickly until knee comes up almost to shoulder. Repeat with other leg.