With the Winter Olympics up and running and international borders opening back up, I’m certain I am not the only one missing the slopes! The wind in your hair, the need for speed and the warm hot chocolate after a long hard day … how good! However often a time when we think of skiing, we also think of all the injuries associated with it, but there is hope! In this article I’ll show you 3 exercises that are great for helping prevent injuries when skiing.
Most skiing injuries occur in your lower limbs, mainly at the knee. Most commonly ligaments in your knees (ACL, MCL) are injured with poor control of rotation. To prevent these injuries from occurring we must consider two key factors: Strength and balance. The below exercises aim to challenge both factors simultaneously.
- Single leg hamstring deadlift
- Start standing on one leg with your weight shifted slightly into the heel.
- Tip forward from your hips keeping your torso in line with your thigh.
- Once you reach a ‘T-Shape’ position, pause briefly, and return to your standing position.
- Single leg hops
- Imagine you are standing in the middle of a clock
- Start standing on one leg then jump towards 12 o’clock, pause for a moment, then jump directly back to the centre.
- Repeat this step for each ‘number’ on the clock, then repeat for the other leg
- Double Leg Squat on unstable surface
- Stand with both legs on an unstable surface. This can range anywhere from a pillow to a piece of foam, or even a BOSU ball if you have access to one.
- Perform a squat bending your knees, allowing them to slightly come forward over your toes.
- Try to keep your weight even between each leg and the surface you are standing on relatively even.
All these exercises can be performed with or without resistance, it all depends on your current ability level. If you haven’t performed these exercises before, start with body weight then progress gradually with weight. Try and perform them at least 3-4 times weekly.
As frustrating as it may be, strength takes months of consistent exercise to improve significantly. So, if you are thinking of a beautiful trip to the snowy hills of NSW, or ‘crossing the ditch’ to New Zealand this winter, now is the perfect time to start training! Here at Bend + Mend our Sports Physio’s are well-equipped to set up an effective programme for you, or get you started in our Skiing Prep Pilates Classes.