The snow has arrived and that means ski and snowboard season is here! I know many of you are probably very excited to get back on to the slopes as soon as possible, especially with year 2 of the pandemic continuing to limit indoor activities. We want to make sure that you and your body are as prepared as possible to have a fun and injury free year on the slopes, so here are a few take-home tips that you can start to utilize in your exercise routines to best prime your muscles and joints:
1. Does your weight training and exercise routine look, feel, and smell like skiing? Skiing and snowboarding are very 3-Dimensional sports with many twists, turns, and cuts that require a lot of hip and knee stability. Most knee and lower body injuries occur at these extreme end ranges of motion, and you must train your body to become familiar with and resist these types of positions! For example, if you are only doing seated leg exercises (presses, curls, extensions) at the gym, you are not functionally training your system for the demands of skiing. Exercises such as multidirectional lunge and squat activities that require your feet to be on the floor will give you more “bang for your buck” and force your whole body to work together as a unit.
2. Don’t skip the warm up! Like we just discussed, skiing requires your muscles to lengthen and stabilize in extreme ranges of motion and you must prepare them for those tasks. Most of the snow sport athletes we work with do not warm up properly prior to their first runs. Similarly, to how a sprinter would not get out of the car after a 2-hour drive and immediately start to run, it is not ideal to ski with cold joints and stiff muscles. A properly tailored, short but effective warm up can improve blood flow, increase joint temperature, and muscle elasticity to reduce risk of injury.
Hopefully these tips help to kickstart some of your training programs, and to specifically tailor your movements patterns to the demands of skiing!
If you are currently suffering from any pains, stiffness, or weakness and are unsure about whether or not your body is ready for the demands of the winter season, we are here to help. We offer a 45-minute movement assessment which includes – a 3D assessment with scoring report, videos of movement quality, and a Ski/snowboard specific workout. If you are interested in coming in to be treated or having a movement assessment done with our team, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.