Ski Training Zermatt – Sore Legs (DOMS)
Post workout muscle pain is also called DOMS: delayed onset muscle soreness. This pain is caused by microscopic tears to your muscle fibers following intense physical activity. It then results in inflammation of the muscles, which will need a few days to recover. One point we can already take home is that this pain does not depend from lactic acid! While the pain during the work out is the lactic acid, the sore legs after skiing do not depend from it, but from the inflammation within the muscle.
Treating Skiing DOMS
Here are a few tips on how to minimize DOMS after skiing.
1- Light aerobic activity. Walking (or cycling) can alleviate a certain amount of pain. Mainly because fresh blood can flush the muscles of the metabolites and clean things up a bit. It is important to keep it short (around 20 minutes) and not too intense (it’s not another workout!).
2- Hot shower or bath. After skiing or after the cool down walk. Again, it’s a way to recall blood to the legs and let it clean the muscle quicker.
3- Cold and hot combination. Another way of alleviating soreness is by combining cold (ice or cold water) with hot. Ice helps mitigating inflammation in the first few hours after the workout, so it’s very popular in many sports. Though, because skiing is often performed in cold weather, a hot shower is probably more welcomed than ice!
4- Foam roller/massages. Straight after skiing, a session on the foam roller or on the massage bed can be of great help. Less so if done too late from the end of the workout, since the muscle has already ended the cool down process. While the foam roller is cheap and easy to use, the masseur is able to work on the muscle far better than the tool. A mix of the two is probably the most affordable…
5- Correct posture. A correctly aligned body will carry less tension and have improved circulation. By having a correct posture (or improving the existing one) we can avoid some chronic DOMS! Posture correction exercises should always be given by a posture qualified coach only, has incorrect advice can have severe impacts on the health of the athlete.
6- Active Clothing. Some clothes can enchance the body’s ability to recover quicker. Of course, a quicker recovery of the muscle, through an improved oxygenation, should ultimately reduce the time we spend suffering of DOMS. Today’s leading brand in this high tech field is KYMIRA Sport. Studies and results are available to the pubblic and can be found on their website.
What actually doesn’t work for DOMS recovery
Here are some miths that go round ski schools and gyms.. Which don’t actually make a difference in treating DOMS (at least according to sport science).
1- Stretching. It is a necessary exercise to practice to reach high performances, but it does not reduce DOMS or muscle inflammation.
2- Passive rest. Sitting or laying for long hours does not help recovering from pains. To be honest, inactivity doesn’t help for anything.. Active rest has proven to be the solution for a number of issues, including DOMS.
3- High sugar drinks/food. Many studies show how sugar is one of the main responsible for high inflammatory responses from the body. As well, high sugar drinks contrast correct hydration. Always prefer water to sodas and pre-made sport drinks to avoid conflicts between energy and hydration.
Conclusions ski instructor training sore legs DOMS
DOMS are in direct proportion with the effort we go through and our fitness level.
The fitter we are the more our body will be able to sustain bigger efforts. If we calibrate training to our current physical state we could reduce DOMS greatly. Though, if we want to increase our current performance, going through sore muscles is inevitable.
Being able to manage the DOMS well, will be of great help in reducing the time we spend in pain!
This article is part of our education programmes for ski instructors. This is an abstract of a lectures series and should not be considered fully comprehensive of the subject. It does not substitute a medical opinion. When undertaking a sport discipline we suggest asking the advice of an expert coach to minimize risks of injuries.
Subzero Coaching is a company dedicated to ski instructor education and coaches development. Based in Zermatt, Switzerland, where we run season long courses, we also deliver training camps across Europe year round.
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