The ski and snowboard season is upon us. What have you done to prepare for it?
It’s important to start the season off right by getting your body ready in advance. Even if it’s your annual family ski holiday, skiing and snowboarding require a decent level of fitness and strength to participate in safely. Incorporating strength and fitness training into your routine, even a few times a week, can improve your performance on the slopes and potentially decrease your risk of injury. If you have a good baseline fitness, you’ll be less likely to fatigue. Fatigue is a contributing factor to injuries on the slopes, with injuries often occurring after 3 pm when the legs are tired.
It’s also important to get any previous injuries or pains sorted out prior to hitting the slopes. Try not to wait two weeks before your ski holiday to do so, as these may take time to address. Skiing with an injury will impact your overall performance and possibly make any injuries worse.
Depending on your baseline fitness you may need to give yourself 4-6 weeks of strength and conditioning. Work to build up your base first and then add more sport specific exercises. It is still important to incorporate single leg exercises while building up your base, as you need both legs to be strong in a single leg stance for skiing. Often it is in single leg stance situations when knee injuries occur in skiing.
If you want to ski longer, harder, and safer this season put the work in now! Are you ready for the slopes?
Below we have provided health and fitness information that is designed for educational purposes and to be carried out after your own risk assessment. If you have any previous history of lower limb injuries or pain or a lower level of fitness, please check in with one of our Physiotherapists who can assess and provide treatment specifically for your needs. The tests and exercises are not appropriate for all levels of fitness and are not a one size fits all, so please get in touch to discuss individualized programs.
Here are a few tests to assess your knee stability and strength for the season.
Single leg lateral squat off box
Single leg forward jump with single leg land
Here are some examples of at home exercises you can try. Stop if you have any pain or it does not feel right and seek advice from one of our Physiotherapy team.
Staggered Stance RDL
Squat Jump w/ band
Lateral Lunge to knee Drive