Are your legs ready for ski season?
In the PT clinic we see a big influx of ski related injuries as the snow season gets under way. Two main reasons for the early season injuries include poor snow conditions and poor pre-season conditioning of the skier. To keep the injury risk as minimal as possible the legs need a “tune up” in preparation for the movement and endurance of skiing.
Most ski injuries affect the lower extremities, specifically the knee, due to the twisting motions which occur when you catch an edge or lose control of your skis. Most of the control on the twisting torque starts up in the hip with good strength and control. A three step approach to training consisting of strength, endurance and balance should be used in order to prepare for the fresh powder!
Wall Sits - Feet need to be 2-3 foot lengths away from the wall and thighs parallel to the ground
Work up to 5 sets of 60 second holds
Sidelying hip kick - Lie on your side lift the top leg in the air (and slightly backwards) knee straight
Work up to 30 reps 3x on each side
Pick your favorite type of cardiovascular exercise (running, elliptical, swimming, etc.) and focus on interval training. When you ski think about how you do 3-5 minutes of vigorous exercise and then rest when you get to the lift. Try to replicate this by doing a few minutes of high intensity followed by a few minutes of rest. Work up to 30-60 minutes, 3-4 days a week
Ski jumps - Stand on one leg in a slight squat, then jump out to the side and land on the opposite leg. Try to balance from this position and jump right back to the other leg. Perform 30 jumps
Jumping lunges - Start in a half lunge position with the knees slightly bent, next jump in the air and switch the feet simultaneously so the opposite foot is now forward. Work on landing softly and quietly. Perform 30-50 jumps as tolerated.
Always consult a medical professional before starting a work out program