Top Tips for hitting the slopes and surviving them:
- Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Don’t delay and start your training regime now. Most of all ski injuries occur due to lack of lower limb strength, endurance and flexibility. Every year I see accidents and injuries occur, which could have been avoided if the correct training protocols were put in place ahead of time. It takes time for the body to be conditioned and like anything else in life, leaving things to the last-minute leaves little room for error.
- Strength train. This is probably the most important. Don’t waste your time on the treadmill, bike or cross trainer. There is no carry over functionality to the sport at hand. Rather spend your effort on a structural balance strength programme. A major factor in preventing all knee injuries whilst skiing is to strengthen the hamstrings. This is the muscle group that weakness the most as the quadriceps may do more than they should, yet it is the hamstrings that protect the knees.
- Remember to hydrate. Often forgotten and over looked but adequate hydration levels are essential for all performance. Just a 5 percent drop in water levels can equate to a 20 percent drop on performance. Correct fluid levels minimise the risk of cramping and strains. An electrolyte supplement is a good idea for those more advanced.
- Train your stabilizers. The most common injuries are shoulder and knee areas. Some of these could be avoided by training the rotator cuff and shoulder girdle and the Vastus Medialis Oblique to stabilise the knee. Whilst it is important to squat, lunge, and dead lift (all major muscle group exercises) if you neglect the small groups the chances of injury goes up 10 fold. The stronger the support system i.e. the stabilizers, the more the larger motor units can focus on doing their job, the less likelihood of an injury occurring.
- Sleep. Adequate rest is important to allow the body to rest and recover. For most that embark on a ski trip, they go from a sedentary job sitting in front of a computer to 8 hours a day to bring out skiing 8 hours a day. The body simply doesn’t know what has hit it and goes into shock. Muscle stiffness known as DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) occurs 24-48 hours after training. A decent night’s sleep allows growth hormone production which repairs damaged muscles, allowing you to train and ski harder.
Whilst it is no secret that the human body is an extremely complicated machine and we are all different these are some basic tips that should see you through the ski season hopefully injury free.
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Train hard, live well !
Total City Fitness