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Hitting the Ski Hill

Don’t forget, if you’re planning to ski or board this season, a little preparation can go a long way to avoiding injury.

Read on for some handy hints to keep you on the snow and injury-free.

Stretching. A Little Each Day Helps You Go a Long Way. Good flexibility reduces your chance of injury. The major muscle groups of the legs can develop flexibility with regular stretching. Calves, quads (front of thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh), adductors (inner thigh), hip flexor, buttock and low back should all be gently stretched to prepare them for more vigorous use. No bouncing and no straining. Hold each position for 30 seconds and make sure you feel the stretch in the correct muscles. Repeat the stretches 3 times.

Strengthening. Slow and Steady. Muscles get stronger if you carefully overload them. Progress is made by steadily increasing resistance (use weights or elastic cords), the number of repetitions or the amount of time an exercise position is held. Aim to be able to do two sets of ten repetitions before you progress an exercise. Strengthen calves (calf raises), quads (1/2 squats, lunges), outer hip (lying on your side, upper leg raise) and buttocks (bridge lifts or donkey kicks).

Balance. Be Strong In Your Middle. Improve your balance with side to side or cross over running. Add in hopping the square (include the diagonals!) and standing on one foot with your eyes closed. Don’t neglect the lower back and abdominal muscles. Strength in these areas forms the basis for good balance and therefore good skiing and boarding technique.

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