Conditioning: Maybe you think you are in good shape. You run once in a while or swim three times a week. This does not mean that you are in shape for skiing. Skiing requires strength of the quadriceps, gluteal muscles and low back. Because of the high altitude, above average aerobic conditioning is necessary. How can you achieve these goals….Muscle Training – You need to work the hips and thigh muscles and increase your aerobic training.
Some simple conditioning exercises include The phantom chair exercise – you assume a seated posture without a chair beneath you. A Wall squat is another version of this exercise where you lean against a wall and slide down to a seated position (with both of these exercises the feet should remain in front of the toes).
The best way to loosen up and prevent a disabling back, neck or hamstring injury is to do 10 minutes of aerobic activity prior to skiing and to stretch for at least five minutes.
Equipment: Bindings have improved dramatically and are the most important piece of equipment for the prevention of injury. Make sure to have your equipment checked at the beginning of every ski season by a qualified ski shop.
Knee Injuries: If you have problems with your knee, use of a knee brace and a specialised exercise programme may help reduce your chances of further injury. If you injure yourself on the slopes, don’t continue skiing without seeking medical attention. A bad problem can easily be made worse!
Shoulder: Dislocation of the shoulder can occur when a skier falls with the arm outstretched, usually after planting the pole. This injury can be avoided by letting go of the pole during a fall and by trying to keep the arms close to the body while falling. Once a dislocation has occurred, recurrences are likely and medical attention should be sought.
Skiers Thumb: Injury to the collateral ligaments of the thumb is one of the most common ski injuries and is caused by the pole straining the thumb during a fall. The risk can be reduced by placing your hand through the pole strap from the bottom up so that you are grabbing the strap and the pole at the same time. This way, when you fall, your hand has a better chance of disengaging the pole.
Fatigue: Do not ski when you are tired. It is not a myth that more ski injuries happen later in the day when muscles are fatigued and less responsive. Better to quit early and enjoy après-ski.
Bail out: Many injuries can be avoided if you are willing to bail out of an uncontrolled turn. Try to fall with your head tucked in, your skis together and your arms at your side. Tumbling, sprawling falls are much more likely to cause injury.
Ski in control: Collision is a common cause of injury. You are skiing too fast if you cannot avoid obstacles in your path. Remember the ski slope is a public thoroughfare!
If you have questions about a current injury or need advice on how to avoid prevent a re-occurrence contact us today.
The advice in the article is designed to be general guidance only. If you have an injury when skiing you should seek medical attention immediately.