The weather outside is frightful and an injury sure wouldn’t be delightful. Before you’re ready to hit the slopes and enjoy the best snow on earth, here are some helpful tips to help you keep your muscles strong and avoid getting hurt.
The first day of cutting up that fresh snow can be quite the thrill, but can also come with some painful aches afterwards. Skiing is a great way to get some exercise, but can lead to serious injuries if your body is deconditioned. This great sport triggers the use of special muscle groups that need to be stretched and strengthened in order to have a safe and fun experience.
The following are main muscle groups used for skiing and useful exercises to strengthen them.
One of the most used muscle groups for skiing. This group of muscles provides protection to your knees and holds you in position as you ski.
Great exercises for the quadriceps are squats and lunges.
Standing with legs shoulder width, bend over at the waist as if you were going to sit down, tighten your stomach muscles by drawing in your navel and keep your back straight. Do not let your knees pass in front of your toes and keep your knee in line with your 2nd toe as it bends.
Take large step forward with one foot and bend at both knees as if driving back knee down toward the floor. Be aware not to let front knee go past toes. Return and repeat with other leg.
Glutes and Hamstrings
When skiing downhill you are often in a squat position and slightly bent forward at the hips which required great use of the glutes and hamstrings.
Great exercises for these muscle groups are ball bridges or hamstring curls.
Lying on your back with calves on ball lift pelvis upwards toward the ceiling and back down to neutral.
Ball Hamstring Curls
Lying on your back with calves on ball lift pelvis upwards and bring heel to glutes and back to neutral.
Outer thighs (hip Abductors)
These muscles help your steer when you ski and keep your body stable.
My favorite exercise for these is side steps with a resistance band.
With an elastic band around both ankles, walk to the side while keeping your feet spread apart and Toes forward.
Abs and Back
These muscle groups have to work hard to protect your spine with the forces and movements put on them while skiing.
There are many exercises I love to strengthen the trunk, but one of my favorites are called dead bugs.
While lying on your back with your knees and hips bent to 90 degrees, use your stomach muscles and maintain pelvic neutral position. Hold pelvic neutral and then slowly straighten out a leg without touching the floor. At the same time raise an opposite arm over head. Do not allow your spine to arch during this movement. Return to starting position and then repeat on the opposite side.
This is a variety of some of my favorite exercises to get me ready for ski season to help me prevent injuries.
If you have more specific questions on exercises or how to treat injuries, please don’t hesitate to email Dave at email@example.com. If you really want to get to the bottom of your rehabbing after an injury, then call my office at 801-980-0860 to schedule a one-on-one appointment.
Charlene Nordhoff, Physical Therapist Assistant