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Going Skiing: How to Prepare and Avoid Injuries while on the Slopes

Going Skiing: How to Prepare and Avoid Injuries while on the Slopes

11Dec

As the winter months truly set in, it also means the beginning of skiing and snowboarding seasons for winter sports lovers. Whether you are a fully fledged winter sports fanatic or it’s your first time on a snow holiday, it’s always important to make sure that you are fully prepared before setting off to ensure that you get the most out of your ski holiday.

Preparation for a ski holiday is key and can prove to be extremely beneficial in improving your fitness and energy levels while one the slopes. Whether it’s a few months or a few weeks in advance, it is never too late to start getting ready for skiing or snowboarding.

 

Fitness tips before you go

Skiing and snowboarding will place a lot of demand on the muscles groups of your body. As snow sports rely on using ‘balancing’ muscles, it is important to take the time to exercise these muscles and to work on your cardio in order to get your fitness and strength levels up.

There are many ski specific exercises you can do in the weeks coming up to your holiday. While any gym workouts will improve your fitness levels, exercises such as cycling or even just walking will really help to improve leg strength and muscle endurance.

The following exercises are good for focusing on the muscles that you will engage most while skiing and snowboarding:

  • Side to side jumps – These exercises will help you to prepare for the shifting movements that skiing and snowboarding entails. Try placing an object or piece of tape on the floor and jump from side to side over it for one minute. Start by balancing on both legs, then progress onto one leg. Make sure to keep your knees bent while doing these exercises.
  • Single leg exercises – As balance is a big part of skiing and snowboarding, this exercise will really help. Incorporating balancing on one leg while doing your normal exercises such as bicep curls. If you are new to exercising with weights, start off lightly and build your way up to heavier weights.
  • Lunges – Doing forward lunges are great for preparing your lower body for skiing and snowboarding. While standing with one leg in front of you, lower your body until both legs are at a 90-degree angle. Repeat these exercises on both legs.
  • Squats – Your body position while skiing and snowboarding will require you to bend your knees and almost be in a seated position. Doing squats will help your knees and thighs get prepared and build up your muscle strength and endurance. Try doing sets of 10-15 squats using a light weight, and holding a wall squat for a minute, e.g. while watching television.

 

Being safe on the slopes

Once you are on the slopes, it is important to take the proper precautions to ensure that you don’t injure yourself.

Make sure to warm up properly both before and after you hit the slopes. Spend a few minutes of gentle stretching and focus on your hamstrings, thigh muscles, hips and calves. This will prepare your muscles for the intensity of exercise that skiing and snowboarding demands.

While on your snow sports holiday, make sure that you drink lots of fluids and get plenty of sleep. A good nights sleep will help your muscles to recover and repair themselves after a long day. This will also replenish your energy levels and prepare you for another day of skiing and snowboarding.

Finally, to ensure that you avoid any injuries, recognise when you need to rest. Injuries happen when your muscles start to get tired. When this starts to happen, you will begin to lose the control and efficiency needed to ski properly and an accident may occur.

By taking the necessary precautions and preparing your body in advance, there is nothing to hold you back from enjoying your holiday on the slopes. If you do happen to injure yourself, seek the help of a physiotherapist or doctor immediately.

Here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic, we can advise you on the best exercises to get you fit for skiing and can advise on the best treatment for any skiing injuries if any occur. Contact us here if you have a question or wish to book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists.

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