Do you change your exercise with the seasons?
We get a lot of calls from patients with long-term injuries in January and February a week or two before they go skiing who are desperate to know whether they are at further risk of injury if they ski.
Here are some of the most common injuries that are likely to occur if you ski and HOW TO AVOID THEM….
- Knee sprains leading to injury of the following ligaments: lateral and/or medial collateral ligament, anterior and/or posterior cruciate ligament, meniscal tears.
- Arms/wrists and coccyx fractures which occur from falls. The answer? Don’t fall!! So get an instructor to improve your technique if you are a beginner and take it easy on the first day while your body remembers what skiing is all about.
5 Easy Exercises
Here are five easy exercises to perform daily to strengthen your hips, knees and ankles and to improve your proprioception to limit the risk of falling.
- Reaches: Standing on one leg with a minimal amount of knee bend, lean forward reaching with your arms in front of you as you stretch the other leg backwards to counterbalance your weight. Glut workout on extended leg, stability and proprioception on the weight bearing leg.
- Squats: Take 6 seconds to descend into full squatting position, hold for 1 second at the bottom, come up in 2 seconds to standing position. This type of timing will strengthen your hamstrings in the descent phase as well as improve your explosive power (during the squatting to standing phase). 3 sets of 10
- Squat hold on tiptoes: position yourself into a semi squat so that the angle at your knee is about 90 degrees, then raise your heels off the floor to reach a tiptoes position and hold it for 10/15 seconds for 5 times.
- Core stability: do some gentle crunches, do them with a twist, do them with your belly button pulled back, with a leg in table top … the more regularly, the better!
- Muscle length as well as strength, joint mobility and overall flexibility are a must to enable your body to cope better with potential falls or traumas, so regular yoga and pilates are super useful. Join a class, do them at home (the NHS website has some great 30-minute and 40-minute classes), do them with friends. And remember, frequent exercise matters more than the duration of each session!