February 25, 2024

Spring into the ski season and avoid niggling injuries

Skier in action

That’s it you are motivated! You have been watching the Winter Olympics and it has inspired you to hit the slopes. Experienced skiers will have been dreaming of booking their next ski holiday if they haven already done so and they will probably have been getting into shape in readiness – have you?

For those of you who are an experienced skier or snowboarder you already know that aches and pains is part and parcel of gliding down the heavenly slopes, its inevitable there will be twinges here and there however you can prepare yourself to help ease these ailments before you even arrive at your snow capped resort.

Joint pains often occur if you throw yourself full force into the day’s activites, yes you want to feel the rush and pure adrenalin and zest for life on the crisp snow but go slowly. The chances are you have had the winter indoors being a bit of a couch potato so ease into your skiing for a day or two before you go whizzing off piste! As with most sports you need to ease into it taking it slowly and building up to a more rigorous day of skiing.  Warm up on the gentle slopes to begin with before tackling a more challenging run, warm up your muscles and let them get used to the extra work.

Knee pain especially is usually the result of incorrect knee alignment, stand in front of a full length mirror and position your feet as you would on the slopes and bend your knees. Imagine a verticle line from the middle of your knee to your second or third toe, this is the correct stance. When you’re skiing your knees can drop pulling the muscles on the inner and outer thigh and it pulls on the knee cap causing pain or possible injury. You need to keep the correct knee alignment to help avoid any unwanted strain or niggling pains.

Make sure you keep the weight at the front of your feet and don’t let your hips take too much of the strain. Maintain your balanced weight is over the centre of your skis. If you let your hips take too much strain it will cause you excess knee pain. If you suffer with tight calves you need to stretch them regularly whether you ski or not, a little tip is to ask your ski boot fitter to put a small heel raise insert inside your ski boot. Painful sprains to your ankles should be avoided if you have a well fitting ski boot; they need to be snug for protection but not affect your circulation.

Back pain can be miserable and it’s usually caused by incorrect posture of the spine. You need to find your correct pelvic position called pelvic neutral by sticking your bottom out as far as possible then tucking your bottom under as far as you can. Once you have found your neutral position you should be able to avoid unnecessary strain on your joints and muscles of your spine and your deep core muscles should work well for you.

Work those muscles now and be prepared, oh and rent a chalet with a hot tub to soothe any little aches – happy skiing!