Skiing and snowboarding are two highlights of a cold, snowy winter, but is your body prepared? Whether downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, or snowboarding, it’s important to ensure your body is up to the task.
Our favorite winter sports require good leg and core strength; otherwise, you put yourself at a higher risk for injury. Common ski injuries include sprains or tears to the ACL and other knee injuries, wrist injuries, foot and ankle injuries, and concussions.
The best way to strengthen your body for skiing and snowboarding is to stick to an exercise regime that includes stretching, cardiovascular workouts, and strength training.
If you find yourself with a ski or snowboarding injury, physical therapy can help you recover. However, at Mid-County Physical Therapy, we believe that prevention is better than treatment. Keep reading to learn five skiing exercises to help increase your strength and minimize injuries on and off the slope.
Planks will help work on your core strength.
Begin this skiing exercise by lying face down on the floor or on an exercise mat. Either get into the pushup position or rise onto your forearms/elbows while supporting your body’s weight. Your body should be straight from the top of your head to your feet. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat for 5-10 repetitions. As you strengthen your core, hold the position for longer periods.
Push-ups will help strengthen your upper extremities.
Assume the pushup position by lying chest-down with your hands at shoulder level and your palms flat on the floor. Your hands should be slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Your legs should remain straight with your toes pointed toward the floor. Straighten your arms as you push your body up off the floor, keeping your hands in the same position. Then, slowly lower your body to the floor until your chest touches it. Do sets of 20 at a time with breaks between sets.
Squats will help strengthen your quads.
Begin by standing with your legs shoulder-width apart, and toes slightly turned out. Your abdominals should be tight, and your back in a neutral position. Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground as if you were sitting in a chair. Focus on pushing your hips back, so you’re dipping deep. Do three to four sets of 20 with a minute rest between sets.
4. Wall Sits
Wall sits help strengthen your lower extremities.
Start by finding some wall space. Lean up against the wall and lower your hips until your quads are parallel to the floor. Your hips and needs should be at a ninety-degree angle. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat for five to ten sets.
5. Russian Twists
Russian twists strengthen your lower back and abs.
Sit on the floor or on an exercise mat with your legs in front of you, and your knees slightly bent. Keep your back straight while you lean back at a 45-degree angle with your abs engaged. Bring your arms together in front of you and then twist your torso from side to side. Be sure to keep your hips and leg facing forward while you twist from side to middle and then the other side. Do three to four sets of 10 touches on each side with a break in between each set.
Physical Therapy Exercises for Skiing and Snowboarding
Whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced skier, everyone is at risk for injury. Falls account for a majority of ski injuries, which can lead to injuries throughout the body, including concussions. In addition to these five exercises for skiing, it’s important to keep your body in top ski shape by taking the following precautions:
- Warm up your muscles and joints and know your problem areas. Work in some cardio such as walking or jogging to get your blood flowing.
- Hydrate and refuel throughout the day for your muscles to function optimally.
- Avoid overstraining your muscles by knowing your body’s limits. Not taking enough breaks puts you at more risk for injury.
- Engage in active recovery after your ski session to aid in a faster recovery
Recover From Ski Injuries with Mid-County Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is a great way to heal your ski-related injuries. Your physical therapist will assess your injury, identify the cause of pain, and create a customized PT plan to put you on the road to recovery.
If you are experiencing any pain or muscle strain after a ski trip, visit our website or contact us at 703-763-3922 for an appointment in Woodbridge, Virginia.