USA Water Ski & Wake Sports

Fitness - Tips To Reduce Early Season Soreness

This article first appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of The Water Skier magazine, the official publication of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports. If you are not a member of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports and you are interested in receiving the quarterly magazine, join now.


Written by Megan Lambert

Photography by Scott N. Atkinson

Megan Lambert slalom skiing

Spring is here, the water is getting warmer, boats are coming out of storage, and I am sure you are just as excited as I am to get back on the water.

As we begin the ski season, I want to share a few tips to help reduce the amount of soreness you might feel after your first ski sets of the year.

Plan Your Training

During ski season, planning your ski sets and gym days is crucial to prevent overtraining. This is especially true at the beginning of the season. Including rest days in your plan allows time for your body and muscles to recover.

Warmup On The Dock

It is common for skiers to use their first pass as their warmup. However, including even a 5-minute warm-up routine before you ski can reduce your injury risk as well as decrease muscle soreness after you ski. Dynamic movements like jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups, and squats prepare the body for skiing.

Warmup On The Water

Although it is tempting to start attacking the slalom course and attempting your goal line length or speed for the season, it is more beneficial for your body to start at a slower pace. You will get more benefits starting out at a slower pace.

Doing pull-out drills, free skiing, decreasing the boat speed, and lengthening the rope are beneficial ways to focus on body position and form at the beginning of the season. Not only does this help you focus on techniques that will help you reach your goals in the long run, but it also decreases the load and strain placed on the body.

Plan Recovery Sessions

As an athlete, I hate stretching. As a strength and conditioning coach, I highly recommend planning regular recovery sessions…yes even ones that include stretching. Modalities like massage, foam rolling, and static stretching are great ways to reduce muscle soreness, prevent injury, and prepare your body for a long ski season.

Megan Lambert, CSCS, can be found this summer working at the SkiSeth Waterski Training Center on John’s Island, S.C., and competing in local tournaments.