Winter is here and many people will head to the snow for a well earned break. While skiing comes naturally to some, others spend most of their time unsuccessfully negotiating the equipment and terrain. Whatever your level of experience, skiing can be hazardous and contribute to injury. The physiotherapists in our practice can help. We can ensure that you are prepared for the slopes by minimising your injury risk through specific exercise programmes, fitness regimes, strengthening and warm up, stretching and cool down techniques.
To avoid injury this snow season, the physiotherapists in our practice recommend you:
Be fit to ski
Begin to incorporate ski-specific exercises into your regular exercise routine at least eight weeks prior to your holiday. This will promote use of the muscles and joints required for skiing. Strengthen the muscles specific to snow sports (thighs, butts, core stabilisers and triceps) to reduce the risk of injury and increase your enjoyment and endurance on the slopes. We can outline ski-specific exercises whilst prescribing a conditioning programme to improve your core stability and muscle strength. Ultimately, your performance on the ski slopes relies on your fitness, so talk to us about how to achieve an optimal fitness level.
Look after your back
When travelling distances to reach the mountain, rest every two hours and stretch. See one of our physiotherapists for effective stretching advice.
Warm up, stretch and cool down
Before hitting the slopes, warm up like you would with any other sporting activity. Stretch your thigh, calf and arm muscles. Start your day with easy runs to loosen up (make sure you also do this after each rest break.) Once you have finished skiing for the day, remembers to cool down. These activities will better prepare your body to avoid injury. We can show you warm up, stretching and cool down techniques.
Ski within your capabilities
Beginners should take advantage of a ski lesson and not succumb to the pressure of keeping up with experienced skiers. Don’t be afraid to rest when you find yourself getting tired. Fatigue can increase your injury risk. And remember, the more unfit you are, the more tired you will become. Injuries often happen on that last run of the day!
To avoid injury on the snowfields this winter, consult one of our physiotherapists on how to best prepare your body and ensure your holiday is injury free!