Helpful Tips to Prepare the Body to Prevent Skiing and Snowboarding InjuriesSki season isn't quite over yet and there is still plenty of good snow on the slopes in Northern China, South Korea and Japan, there is still time for a winter sports trip this season!
Here are a few tips on how to prepare your body to prevent skiing and snowboarding injuries, keeping your bones and ligaments just as happy as you are.
Based on Institute of Western Surgery's Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Southern, and their team of Athletic Trainers the best way to prevent injuries while enjoying a day on the slopes is to prepare well in advance! The best prep for your winter sport trip ideally begins a few months before you go; get in shape! It is important to train your core, improve flexibility and strengthen your leg muscles.
The main you want to strengthen your core and leg muscles, as well as, increase and improve flexibility. Skiing has a huge impact on your knees and Dr. Southern suggests an assortment of Plyometric Exercises to practice before hitting the slopes.
Exercises suggested include:
1. Ski Jumps
Since skiing involves a significant degree of impact on the knees as well as frequent side to side motion, ski jumps is one of the best ski exercises you can do. To do these you start with your feet together, then bend your knees and jump to one side. From there immediately jump to the other side. Continue repeating this lateral back and forth movement, always being sure to keep your knees soft at impact.
2. One-legged Squats
These squats are one of the best exercises because they both strengthen your legs and increase your balance. To do this exercise, stand straight on one leg, with the other leg bent at the knee. Bend your knee as if you were about to sit down without reaching a fully seated position. Pause briefly and return to standing. After several repetitions, switch legs.
3. Leg Extensions
Leg extensions is a great ski exercise for developing powerful quadriceps muscles. Strong thighs are essential for skiing. Use a leg extension machine and slowly lift the padded bar up with your legs, then slow lower it. Never swing your legs. As with all ski exercises, you want to use a controlled movement.
4. Leg Curls
Another one of the most effective ski exercises is leg curls. Leg curls focus on developing the hamstring muscle, also crucial for skiing. As with the leg extension, use a leg curl machine and slowly lift and lower the padded bar. Never swing your legs; keep the movement slow and controlled.
Lunges are excellent for ski exercises because you can do them at varying angles and directions, with a step or platform, or with weights. By doing various types of lunges you work more muscles in your legs. This will benefit you as you ski. The basic lunge involves taking a big step forward with one leg and then bending until your thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Never bend so far that your knee extends further than your foot.