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Ski Warm up

The importance of warming up before ski-ing is to ensure that your body is ready for the exercise it is about to do. When muscles are cold they are tight and their elastic potential is not utilized sufficiently. When warmed up through exercise the elasticity improves, meaning your body moves more freely when ski-ing.

Some common ski injuries include:

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) strains- this is a ligament found within your knee that can become torn or ruptured when ski-ing. The best way to aim to prevent this is to activate the muscles around your knee and hip that help support it (Gluteal muscles, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius, Soleus).

  • Muscle strains- Common in muscles that help you to stop. Usually anti-gravity muscles. Hamstrings stop your leg from moving into extremes of flexion. They need to be able to do this at speed when ski-ing. Where they fail, a strain in the muscle can occur.

  • Overuse associated injuries-The tendon that crosses the kneecap (Patella tendon) can become irritable and cause considerable discomfort due to the shearing forces when bending your knees while ski-ing.

In order to enjoy your day on the slopes there are some top tips to help prepare yourself. Here are a few easy exercises targeted at the parts of your body that tend to work the hardest when ski-ing and therefore can be at most risk of injury.

1) Pole squats x 20

Hold one of your ski poles horizontally out in front of you using two hands which are shoulder width apart. Slowly squat down aiming to keep your back straight and weight over your heels. If you find it difficult to reach 90 degrees, try to point toes outwards at a 45-degree angle to gain greater depth.

2) Lunge with pole and side flexion/extension x20 (right+left leg leading)

Hold one of your ski poles horizontally out in front of you using two hands which are shoulder width apart. Slowly raise the pole above your head while placing one foot in front of the other in a lunge position. When you have achieved this position, lean backwards and twist to one side then the other while the pole is still above your head.

3) Foot stretch (planter fascia) 30 seconds hold x 3 for each foot

In sitting, with leg outstretched and toes pointing towards the sky gently pull your toes towards you with your hands (hold 30 seconds). If you cannot feel this, bend your knee while gently pulling on your toes to gain a greater stretch.

4) Trunk twists with pole x10 to right/left- hold for 2 seconds at the end of each rotation

Stand tall, with pole held horizontally with both hands. Rotate to the one side until you feel resistance and hold for 2 seconds. Complete this x10 either side.

5) Lateral Squats with pole x 10 either side- ensuring pole is horizontal and held at 90 degrees shoulder flexion.

In standing, arms held out horizontally and grip closed vertically as if you were holding poles. Keep on leg still while the other steps out to the side, stretching the groin area. Again, aiming to achieve 90 degrees knee bend with back as straight as possible. This can initially start as a low intensity exercise that increases to simulate the lateral weight transfer needed when skiing.

6) Hop and Hold in boots x10 either side with 1-second hold-ensure that you land and take off on 1 foot.

With boots on, hop forwards at a 45-degree angle onto one leg. Maintain the position of which you landed in for 1 second then hop onto the other leg.

7) Squat jumps with pole x 10- on the upward phase of the jump lift the pole above your head at the same time.

In standing, slightly bend knees while maintaining a straight back. Hold one pole horizontally in front of you at waist level. From this position with boots in–situ, jump vertically while raising the pole from your waist to above your head. It is important to complete the x10 jumps as quickly as possible, while still getting knees to 90 degrees before pushing off onto the next jump.

8) Alternate lateral jumps with ski’s attached x10 either side

With both ski’s and poles in-situ, jump laterally to the right and then back to the left while still facing forwards.

All of these exercises should be completed in ski/board boots while on the snow.

It is also of paramount importance that you are in a physical state that will allow you to ski safely.

For anymore information please contact action sportive physiotherapy and massage: email: or phone +33 750847724

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