Exercises to improve your Skiing Performance

Exercises to improve your Skiing Performance
Winter is coming and so is the ski season. Are you going away for a winter break?

Around 10,000 Britons [1] suffer ski injuries a year, with knee injuries making up 45% of global ski injuries [2]. As the nights draw in, we become less active and our general fitness, strength and flexibility decreases. Unfortunately this tends to be the lead up to most trips to the mountains; leaving people deconditioned by the time they hit the slopes. Poor function and biomechanics can also add to this problem and increase the chance of injury. 

A lack of strength and endurance in the leg and pelvic muscles mean people are not able to keep up with the long hours on the mountain. Most people stay out as long as possible to make the most out of the rising lift pass prices. 

Here are some exercises to try for at least 6 weeks before you head to the resort:

1) Quads (Thighs) – Lunges. A great exercise for the quads that will also improve your knee stability. 
Stand with your feet together facing forward.
Step forward with your right leg (slowly) and bend the knee until the thigh is horizontal to the floor. At the same time, the back knee should also bend until it is just above the floor (try not to hit your left knee as you drop).
Then using the right leg predominately, push up and bring the left leg forward to resume the starting position.
Step forward with the left leg and repeat.
Be very meticulous about your knee position. The knee short remain central or directly over the ankle. Do not let it drift out to either side.
Repeat 12-20 times, 3 times on each leg.

2) Glutes (Buttocks) – Bridges. This will improve overall stability.
Lying on your back with the feet shoulder width apart and knees bent.
Squeeze the gluts and raise the pelvis up towards the ceiling, without letting the knees fall inwards together.
Pause for a second at ‘the top’ and then slowly lower your pelvis back towards the ground.
Repeat 15-20 times, for 3 sets.

Both skiing and snowboarding require control of the limbs which means good coordination and balance is key. Proprioception is the body’s ability to know where the limbs and body are in space, and make adjustments accordingly. Ankle stability and proprioception are therefore key in winter sports. 
In order to improve this, simply stand on one leg for 2 minutes on each side, once a day.
When this is easy, start adding in other activities, such as brushing your teeth or preparing veg to challenge your brain.
Finally, wrap up a small towel tight in a roll and repeat the exercises but with your foot on the towel longways, not across it.

Important note, make sure you book appointment with your chiropractor before you go to ensure your body is working at its best for peak performance. Little issues are easier to correct than an injury after your trip. Contact us on 020 7228 7822 or info@wandsworthchiro.co.uk.

[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7948778.stm
[2] http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sports-specific/skiing-injuries

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