How To Bulletproof Yourself For The Ski Season
If you were to wind back time 5 years, you would have found me sat on a ski lift in a bright green jacket talking nonsense to 4 year old ski school kids.
I took a year out before I went to university and it was one of the best decisions of my life because of two words…SKI. SEASON. Skiing is my favourite sport by a long chalk. There’s something quite special about the feeling of standing on top of a mountain looking out at a breathtaking landscape whilst simultaneously knowing the entire mountain below you is your playground.
And yet a phrase I hear often is ‘I would go skiing, but my *insert fear of injury here*’. With any sport there are risks of injury, so here’s what you can do to minimise the risk of them happening whilst skiing.
-First things first, you need a strong core. This is the foundation of every good skier. Even as a recreational skier, a strong core through proper training will allow you to handle forces through your lumbar pelvic region (hips and lower back) in a variety of planes. A strong core means you can handle force for a lot longer through the day. In short, take the time to build your foundation and you can ski all day long!
-Your going to need strong legs. Think about it, you spend most of the days with at least a slight bend at the knees and hips so you’re going to need strong legs that are strong all day. This means first developing strength, then strength endurance. Build it, then learn to endure it. I don’t just mean quads here too. we’re talking strong quads, hips, glutes, hamstrings, calves. A strong set of legs will ensure you can make the most out of your skiing, wether thats seeking powder, skipping through trees or catching speed on the piste.
-You’ll need to be able to move well. Think of skiing like running for a second. If your knee drops inwards and hip drops outwards every time you take a step, what happens to your knee joint? Assuring you can move well from ankles to neck is highly important to make sure you can make the most of the slopes.
-You need to be stable at your knee. Performing lunging patterns is a great way to assess this. Watch out for alignment, the knee should sit over the second toe. Lunges in various planes, front foot raised, rear foot raises, walking, reverse, clock face, drop lunges etc., performed well with a stable knee are going to help minimise the dreaded knee injury.
-This last one is really important. And its a little bit of a tangent. Get a portable boot dryer. It will save your feet this season. I’ve been there without having one and its not nice. Wet boots mean cold feet and greater potential for frostbite. Besides, no one likes chilly feet in the lift line!
Training smart, moving well and getting strong are my keys for a bulletproof skier. Capitalise on your next trip by putting the time in before hand and it could make the difference between GOOD and EXCELLENT…
…one last tip. Stuffed baked potatoes wrapped in tin foil make great lift lunches. Maximise that slope time!
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