The weather is getting colder and with colder weather comes skiing season! Ski season is a great way to get out, get active, and spend time with friends and family.
When you get to the bottom of that hill and are gearing up for another round, you might notice a pain in your calves. Hurt calves and skiing pain can take all the fun out of skiing. It impacts everyone, from beginners to long-time skiers.
Figuring out how to avoid hurt calves after skiing is easier than you think. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to prevent future pain in your calves and keep you skiing all winter long!
Table of Contents
Why You’re Experiencing Skiing Pain
Skiing is an active activity that uses your legs the entire time. You have to have a lot of control over your feet when you go skiing. To control your feet, you have to contract and stretch your calves.
You spend a lot of time bent over, putting pressure on your legs to support the rest of your body. Your muscles work hard to against the external forces coming at you while you ski.
Since your body is resisting force, you will feel more skiing soreness than other sports where your body is the one generating force.
All of this stress over a long period is what causes soreness in your calves. Depending on how you prepare to ski, you might also be experiencing cramping.
Bad boots, lack of flexibility, stiff ankles, or weaker muscles can all lead to sore calves.
Prepare Your Body Before You Ski
Even though skiing takes place in the winter, there are things you can do year-round to make the winter months more fun. The more you prepare before ski season begins, the longer you can ski and the more places you can ski on.
The best thing you can do is strengthen your leg muscles. The stronger your calves and other leg muscles are, the more powerful you will be when skiing.
Stair exercises are a great way to strengthen your legs. This workout can start at two minutes a day and as you get better, slowly escalate up to ten minutes a day. It’s important to remember it can take 6-8 weeks for your legs to get in shape for skiing, so it’s better to start sooner!
Stair exercises are really easy. You just walk, run, or jump up a set of actual stairs or stairs in the gym. This will help your body better absorb the force you deal with when skiing.
Cardio, like running, can improve your endurance. Getting a foam roller can also help loosen your calves. Placing your leg on the roller and moving your body back and forth is an easy exercise that can be done at home.
Your hamstrings need to be strong too to support your calves. Using a yoga ball or chair, lay on the ground and place your feet on the ball or chair. Placing your arms on the ground while you do this can also improve your core strength.
Lift your hips off the ground and back down. Doing three sets of 10 reps a day can help improve your hamstrings.
Finally, squats, where you go down as far as you can while keeping your knees over your ankles, will also improve the strength of your legs.
Getting the Right Boots
Ski boots are more than just a colorful addition to your gear! They’re a way to protect and support your calves when you ski.
Calves come in all different shapes, sizes, and lengths. Ski boots lean slightly forward to support a good position while you ski.
The more you ski, the angle of those boots might change, which will put more pressure on your calves. Getting your boots adjusted before you go skiing can help reduce the pressure on your calves.
If you’ve never gone skiing before, purchasing the right boots is vital to help your calves. Ski boots are based on the length of your foot in centimeters. The size of your calves can also help dictate the type of boot you should get.
It’s important to make sure you also have enough room in the boot so the boot itself is not causing any pressure against your calves. Many ski boots will have buckles on them you can adjust. Reducing these straps will help relieve tension, but you want to make sure they are still tight enough to use when skiing.
Many boots will have an inner liner. The inner lining of your boots can wear down over time. When this happens, it exposes your calves to the weather.
If you’ve had your boots for at least one season, check the liners. If there is any sign of tearing or you feel like they are starting to wear down, replace them before your next skiing session.
Every place you can buy ski boots will have a guide to help you better understand what type of boot will be right for your calves, feet, and skill level.
What you eat before and after you ski can have an impact on your calves.
Eating breakfast before you go is a must. You need your body to be fueled up and ready to go for a great day of skiing. Whether it’s eggs or a bowl of cereal, make sure to eat something before you go.
Carbohydrates and small amounts of protein as a snack can help reduce muscle soreness while you ski. Having snacks between meals while you’re skiing can provide your body with energy throughout the entire day. The more energy you have, the longer it will take for your muscles to get sore.
If you want to prevent muscle cramps, eat foods that are high in potassium. Potassium can help reduce muscle cramps. Foods that have electrolytes in them are also great for combating hurt calves.
Avacado, watermelon, bananas, and sweet potatoes are just some of your options for food that will help with cramping. You can easily bring them along for a meal before you ski or a great snack afterward.
What to Do While You Ski
Keeping hydrated is one of the best things you can do for yourself before, during, and after skiing. The more hydrated you are, the lower the risk of your calves getting sore. If you drink something with electrolytes, it can also help reduce muscle aches.
Skiing with the right posture is another way to prevent skiing pain. If you’ve never gone skiing before, taking professional lessons will help you learn and maintain good posture. If you’re an experienced skier, make sure to check your posture every once in a while to ensure it’s correct.
Skiing Aftercare for Your Body
After you finish skiing, there’s more you can do to avoid pain after skiing.
Going for a walk after you’re done skiing will help reduce muscle pain. A short walk will increase your blood flow and your muscles won’t stiffen. You want to take it easy after a skiing session, but you also want to keep moving so your body doesn’t get stiff.
Stretch your body after you’re done skiing. Calf stretching is done by placing the ball of your foot on an edge and slowly lowering your heel. This will gently stretch out your calves more after you’re done.
Selfcare Can Also be Skiing Aftercare
You need to take care of your body a few days after skiing to prevent your muscles from getting sore. Taking a nice, hot bath or shower can relax your muscles and help when you’re sore after skiing.
Epson salts can help combat fatigued muscles. A hot tub with jets will also help massage the muscles. Selfcare is a key factor in keeping your body in great shape for the skiing season.
Heat is always a great way to relax muscles. Using heat packs to relax your muscles is a great method since you can do it any time of day. You can also ice your muscles to reduce inflammation. Alternating between heat and ice can help relax your muscles and reduce inflammation in the same session.
Know How to Avoid Hurt Calves After Skiing
You now know how to avoid hurt calves after skiing. Taking care of your body at every level of skiing expertise will keep you skiing all season long. Working out before the season begins, keeping gear up to date, and doing some self-care after your session is done will keep you in perfect condition.
If you have more questions about skiing or you’re looking for great ways to get started learning, check out the rest of our blog. We have great tips and tricks to help you hit the slopes and have a fantastic skiing season.