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Getting Ski Fit – how to avoid injuries on the slopes

It is that time of year when it seems almost everyone is heading for the slopes, either Sierra Nevada or further afield.  As I’m sure you can imagine, this can make for a very busy time for me so let’s hope I don’t see you in my clinic!

To help avoid a visit and to help stop achy muscles ruining your fun, strengthen the correct muscles now so that you can keep hitting the powder day after day staying fit and well.

15 minute ski fit work out

Start doing these exercises at least 6 weeks before your trip to give your body time to adapt.  Aim for 3 sets of each exercise, three times a week. Try and do a couple of cardio sessions a week too for stamina.

Heel Drops to Prepare Your Legs.

This move strengthens your calves, glutes and ankles.

  • Stand with your heels hanging off the the edge of a step
  • Lower your heels until you can feel a stretch in your calves. Hold onto something if you need to
  • Pull your bellybutton in.
  • Lift your heels up as high as you can, your heels should be higher than your toes.
  • Lower back down to the start position for 1.
  • Do 15 reps
Lateral Towel Jump for ski fitness

You do not need to go this high for this exercise to be effective!

Lateral Jumps for Faster Reactions

This helps you learn to keep your feet apart letting your legs do the work while keeping your upper body stable.

  • Get a rolled up towel and place it on the floor
  • Stand with feet hip width apart next to the towel
  • Jump from one side of the towel to the other as fast as you can
  • Keep your feet hip width apart (that’s the tricky bit!)
  • Make sure you land with your weight on both feet.
  • Do this for 1 minute

Crossover Lunge for Ski fitnessCrossover Lunge for Injury Prevention

This helps prevent falls by building stable joints.

  • Stand with your weight on your left leg.
  • Bend your left knee as deeply as you can while pushing your right leg behind and to your left.
  • Keep the right leg straight
  • Keep your chest and shoulder UP and facing forward.
  • Tap your right toe to the floor
  • Breathing out, push through your left heel as you stand up to complete.
  • Repeat 15 times then switch legs.

Side lunges for ski fitnessSide Lunges for Smooth Turns

Build strength in your legs for quick weight shifts on the slopes.

  • Stand with feet wide apart
  • Bend your left knee, keeping your right leg straight.
  • Transfer your weight over so that your right knee is bent and your left leg is straight.
  • Keep your back straight and your chin up
  • Keep your belly button in
  • Repeat 20 times

 

Squats to Avoid Thigh Burn

Stretching your thighs and stabilising your pelvis will boost your endurance and technique.

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and knees slightly bent.
  • Squat down as far as comfortable.
  • Clench your buttocks to push yourself back up.
  • Remember to always keep your chest and eyes UP so you are using thighs and buttocks.
  • Toes slightly out (if you have stiff ankles) or feet straight – both are fine”
  • Repeat 15 times.
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