Are You Prepared For The Ski Season Ahead? (Part 1/3)
Skiing is one of the most physically demanding sports there is, it's a combination of muscular strength, muscular endurance, coordination and balance. Once you master the skills and techniques of skiing you'll fall in love with it!
This blog is for you if you want to become more efficient and be able to take your ability up a notch.
Some of the most common problems seen at ZEN Anatomy Sports Therapy around January to March are injuries in peoples knees and backs that have happened on skiing trips. The injuries often happen from a cross over of the skis' that lead to a nasty fall towards the end of the holiday, and when I ask during the consultation about the details of their preparation leading up to the ski trip, I often hear (accompanied with a red face and cheesy grin) "what preparation?".
Skiing is one of the most physically demanding sports and a skier has to manage Gravity, friction and the reaction forces from the snow through proactive and reactive movements to maintain balance and control. Sometimes, injuries happen through intrinsic factors such as fatigue, lack of geographical whereabouts and ambitious movements, but other times they occur due to external factors such as collisions with other skiers, snowboarders, falling trees, avalanches, mountain goats etc.
Whilst we can't avoid all risks in skiing, (especially extrinsic factors) we can certainly prepare for intrinsic factors by strength, balance, and reaction training in the lead up to your ski trip. By doing so, you will be able to strengthen your muscles, increase your bone density, improve your muscular and cardiovascular endurance and your overall efficiency when on the mountains which will result in much bigger thrills and smiles.
Things to consider when preparing for a ski trip.
1). Although skiing is a hugely active and fun activity to do, the fatigue it can create is not to be underestimated. You may be a very well-conditioned athlete, but can you perform the best in your favourite sport 4-6 hours a day, 6 days in a row without getting tired and fatigued? Probably not, and skiing is no different!
2). Hydration is important, and you must keep it at the top of your to-do list every day! Your desire to drink water in the cold weather will be reduced due to lack of heat, the unwillingness to be followed by a trail of yellow snow and the assumption that hot drinks will help you to control your body temperature, but consuming hot and often caffeinated drinks will add to your problem of dehydration. Your water consumption will remain high when skiing (just like in any other sport you perform 4-6 hours of per day), losing water through your breath and sweat.
3). Your legs need to be strong enough to support up to 2-3 times your body weight in a half squat position in extreme cases, and whilst working both legs together is great, your legs will be working independently on the slopes because each leg will have different forces placed on them during turns and whilst slowing down and absorbing bumps within the slopes.
4). Plan your map routes either the night before or on the morning whilst having breakfast. If you plan, you're less likely to find yourself in trouble on a slope you are unprepared for.
5). Strong hips are my best tips. Whilst although you may bend your knees a lot during skiing, a lot of the muscles that attach around your knee start from the hips, so the stronger and more stable the hips are, the more control you'll have in the knees.
Part 2 coming soon...
For more information on preparing yourself for skiing and overcoming your existing injuries get in touch via our contact page.