Following our previous 2 blogs on ski tips for office workers and the top 5 snow injuries, it’s now time to talk about how to prepare your body for the slopes.

In this blog, I’m going to give you 4 easy exercises for injury prevention that you can do at home.

Although accidents happen in all sports, and particularly on the snowfields, injury risks can be minimised and prevented. In our previous blog, we learnt that knee and leg injuries are amongst the most common and its these types of injuries that we’re going to aim to reduce the risk of by doing the right preparation.

From research and our knowledge of how biomechanics work, we know that some of the risk factors for knee and lower limb injuries are poor glute and quads strength, decreased pelvis stability and poor knee neuromuscular control. So by improving your Glute Medius strength, pelvic stability and knee control we’re going to decrease your chance of getting an injury and in the process improve your muscular endurance so you can stay on those long runs for longer!

Here are 4 exercises to do so.
 

Wall squat holds

-Hold for 30secs, slowly shifting weight from side to side
-Perform 3 sets
 
This exercise is designed to get the quads burning! Before we take to those long ski runs, we want to develop some endurance in your quads and glutes in a crouched, squatting position. Improving your endurance and control will help ski longer without fatigue.
 

 
Place a ball behind your back and squat down so as your hips are just above knee level. Watch that your knee’s do not go past your toes.

Hold this position for 30 seconds, whilst slowly shifting your weight from side to side.
 

Crab walks

-perform 10 steps each way
-3 sets
 
Before we hit the slopes we want strong glutes. Particularly the Glute Medius muscle. The Glute Medius muscle play a vital role in hip stability and this exercise is a great way to target it in an upright position, just like when your skiing.
 

 
Stand so that your feet are hip-width apart, in a mini squat position and band around your knees.

As if you’re walking sideways, step outwards with your right foot and then step back inwards with your left foot so that your feet are again at hip width.

You should feel this working in your outside upper buttock.

Note to keep your pelvis as level as possible!
 

Single Leg squats with a ball

-perform 10 times each leg
-3 sets
 
This exercise is great for your pelvic stability and knee control. This will again target your Glute Medius muscle as it works hard to keep your pelvis height level and keeping your knee pointed straight ahead. Don’t let your knee buckle inwards as this is the position that injuries occur!
 

 
Standing on one leg with a ball between the wall and your bent knee.

Ensure your hips are directly over your shoulders and nose is directly over your belly button and your stance foot is under your midline.

Slowly lower down into a squat position and then rise back up. Repeat.

Keep your knee as straight as you can! Don’t let it buckle inwards or your hip height to drop.
 

Hop around the clock

-Hop 5 times around the clock each leg

This exercise is designed to improve your knee control and balance when landing. Watch your form so as to execute a nice smooth controlled landing.
 

 
Imagine you’re standing in the middle of a clock.

Standing on one leg, hop to the 12 o’clock position. Then hop back to the middle of the clock.

Now hop to the 3 o’clock position, then hop back to the middle of the clock.

Repeat the process to 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions.

Go around the clock 5 times on each leg.

Focus on a smooth landing, keeping your pelvis level and knee straight. Don’t let your knee buckle inwards. Gradually increase the distance of the hop as able.

So before you hit the slopes on your next ski trip, remember that the right preparation is the key to prevention.

Try these exercises to decrease your chance of injury and get the best out of your skiing.

If you want further advice about technique, are interested in a strengthening program or have questions about preparing for sport, feel free to contact us a Viva Physio.

Stay Safe!