It’s that time of year when many of us are either looking forward to a skiing holiday – or jealous of those who are.
For most, skiing trips are a careful balance between staying out on the slopes while making the most of the apres ski. Sadly Physio Central can’t offer much help in keeping you out on late nights, but we can show you how some simple exercises can keep you on the slopes and injury free.
The key to preventing injury and building up strength is exercising ahead of time – not just stretching off at the end of each day. In fact a BMJ study found that stretching doesn’t help prevent injuries – but strengthening does. Strengthening, unfortunately, does not happen overnight and ideally you will keep these going all year round. However, you should aim to start at least 4-6 weeks before your trip, although if you are going in a few weeks it is still not too late to start!
The standard exercise people practise is ‘sitting’ up against a wall and holding the position. This does provide some benefit, but here are the ones recommended by Physio Central.
For each of these repeat the exercises slowly for one minute on the first side, rest for two minutes and then do another set on the other side. 2-3 times per week is plenty as you need rest days after to make sure your body has a chance to get stronger.
Single leg squats
Weight shifting squats – if you currently have a sore back, consult a physio before doing this exercise
With each of these you may get ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ (sore legs as it’s also known!) for a few days after, but don’t worry, this is normal and shows your muscles are adapting and getting stronger.
Some simple upper body work (such as press ups) can also be beneficial to help improve your core – and for the arm strength that can help skiers on the flats and snowboarders trying to stand back up from sitting.
So good luck and hopefully these can help keep you out on the slopes for longer, enjoy the holiday more and maybe even bring you home in better shape! For next year keep the exercises going and if you’d like a tailored training programme then just get in touch with one of the team.