By Chiropractor Matthew Clifton Hadley
For any keen skiers, the sharp frostiness in the winter air is a welcome sign that soon we will be sipping some gluhwein at the top of a snowy mountain – contemplating the perfect carve of our tracks as we parallel down the next powder run! Dream!
No matter how competent a skier you are – you want to avoid the prospect of skiing injuries. Even if it is your first time skiing, I cannot emphasise enough the importance of physical preparation before you leave. Life as a chiropractor gets very busy during ski season – treating skiing injuries that could easily have been avoided.
Why preparation is important to avoid skiing injuries
Think about it! It would be madness to run a marathon without any training. Yet, we will happily look forward to a skiing holiday feeling we can go out skiing for up to 8 hours a day – and probably do no training through the whole year. Your body does not like this. It’s how injuries occur.
So to help you get prepared here are some simple exercises that you can do at home in order to get your body ready for your ski trip and avoid skiing injuries:
Ski Preparation Exercises
– Wall Sit – Stand about two feet away from the wall and then lean your back against it. Lower your body down so that your knees are at 90 degrees, your knees should be over your toes and not in front of them. Now contract your abdominal muscles and hold this position for 1 minute. Repeat this five times – this should be done every day leading up to your ski trip.
– Side lunges – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Lunge about three feet to the right side whilst keeping the left foot in place. The right knee should be aligned behind the toes on the right foot at all times. Now move back to the starting position and do the same to the left. Repeat this for three sets of ten either side.
– Squats – For this exercise you will require a gym ball, if you don’t have one of those a football or basketball will be fine. Stand about two feet away from the wall and place the gym ball in the small of your back. Now lean back so the ball is in contact with the wall. Next you should contract your stomach muscles and roll down the wall using the gym ball. Keep rolling until your knees are just passed 90 degrees and then roll back up again. Continue this for three sets of ten.
All of the above exercises are quite hard, so if you can’t manage the above mentioned reps and sets cut it down to a manageable level and build it up over the weeks before you go away.
Remember to warm up!
One thing that people always do before any sport they play is a bit of a warm up, usually this involves stretching the hamstrings, thighs, calfs and buttocks muscles. Now think back to the last time you did a warm up before skiing, I will take a guess at the answer and suggest that you never have??
Remember, skiing is a physical activity so a warm up will help a lot with stiff muscles. Stretch the hamstrings, thighs, calves and buttocks muscles before and after a days skiing. This will prevent you from walking around like your underwear is too tight every evening – yep, you’ve seen the look!
A pre ski-season health check is always a good idea!
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