The Benefits of Stretching & Massage for Heli Skiers

Massaging a heli skiers shoulder.There are huge benefits of stretching and massage for heli skiers, as it’s no secret that heli skiing and boarding is not like ordinary resort riding. With longer runs and quick turnaround times in the helicopter you may find yourself experiencing more muscle fatigue than you are used to. Add in the fact that you will be partaking in several days of consecutive high activity exercise and you may find your muscles crying out for some help.

While many people know the benefit of pre-trip preparation; practicing resistance training and aerobic exercise prior to their heli ski vacation (see Pre Season Heli Ski Exercise), it’s important not to overlook the importance of flexibility and muscle health during your stay. A regimen that includes stretching prior to skiing or boarding each day and post activity massage can help ensure you feel stronger and ski longer while decreasing your body’s after-slopes recovery time.


At Northern Escape Heli Skiing we recommend our guests prepare their muscles for the day ahead by attending the complimentary stretch class guided by our massage therapists each morning at 7:30 am. Daily stretching helps to improve muscle flexibility which allows your body to better absorb impacts, react to terrain and reduces risk of injury during a fall. It also increases range of motion in the joints, and keeps muscles and tendons lengthened which can be a big factor in limiting recovery time if you do tweak a muscle or sustain an injury. Perhaps most importantly, stretching leads to decreased muscle stiffness meaning you can hit the slopes day after day.

To make the most of the benefits of stretching you may want to implement a stretching regime prior to your trip to Northern Escape in addition to attending the class while on your trip. Our massage therapists gave us these tips to pass along, “While both skiing and snowboarding require most of your major muscle groups, the focus of your stretching routine should be on quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, glutes, abs, and lower back. Boarders may want to concentrate a bit more on the hip flexors given the significant amount of twisting and rotating their sport requires.


The benefits of massage for athletes are plentiful; while most people know that massage can relax, stretch out and release knots and tension from tight muscles, they may not realize that it also improves circulation. By enhancing blood flow massage removes waste products and toxins from your muscles restoring suppleness and increasing flexibility. Massage can also help identify problem areas before they develop into injuries. If you have sustained an injury, massage works wonders to allow your body to heal more quickly and in the case of pre-existing injuries our massage therapists can work to break down scar tissue to reduce tension, soreness, and inflammation.

“Many skiers and snowboarders don’t realize that massage can also be a great preparation tool as well,” our massage therapists explain, “Muscles that are stressed, or in spasm, are significantly less effective; massage can help get you in prime condition, empowering you to take your skiing or snowboarding to the next level.”


Once you know that a combination of stretching and massage before and after intense periods of activity can reduce post-exercise soreness, and prevent strained and pulled muscles or worse, there is really no reason not to attend the stretch classes and book a massage (or two) during your next heli skiing trip.

If you would like to pre-arrange massage times prior to your visit to Northern Escape Heli Skiing please email us at