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Skiing – advice to prevent injury

The festive season is almost upon us – and, once all done and dusted, some of us may be looking forward to our skiing holidays. For those that are going skiing, it is important that you are aware that, unless you have been keeping up with regular exercise and have not been too inactive or sedentary, you may be setting yourself up for injury.

To prevent injury, follow some of the tips below:

  • If you have any niggles or pain in the back, hips, knees or shoulders, visit an Osteopath to make sure you are in optimum condition
  • Build up your fitness at least a month before you go – particularly with exercises such as the plank, held seated wall squats and core strength exercises – and generally increase your cardiovascular fitness by using the stairs rather than the lift at work or walking rather than driving to work. Increase general fitness by cycling, swimming and jogging as appropriate. Specific exercises are listed below.
  • Balance – use a wobble board if you can to increase your balance, or do balance exercises such as the tree (yoga
  • Warm up prior to hitting the slopes and support the joints that have pre-existing injuries (such as knee supports as appropriate)
  • Take plenty of breaks throughout the day – especially in the initial few days
  • Stretch out after your day on the slopes – emphasising the low back and leg muscles (gluts, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves) and have a warm bath to further relax your muscles
  • RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation – if you do have an acute injury 

Leg muscles strengthening and stretching exercises

As mentioned above, it is important to strengthen the leg and buttock muscles before heading off on your skiing trip. Consider starting with these exercises:

  • Quadriceps / seated wall squats - Stand against a wall, keeping your back straight and lower your body down against the wall until your knees are at 90 degrees without stressing or over-bending the knees. Hold for 10 seconds, release and repeat again 10 times. 
  • Quadriceps / lunges - Facing forward, take one foot in front of the other to start your lunge. As you lunge, be careful to keep your knee travelling over the middle of the foot and don't take the lunge over 90 degrees. Repeat 10 times each side
  • Hamstring curls - Lie on your front and gently raise your heels to your bottom one leg at a time. Repeat 10 times on each side
  • Calf stretches - Stand on the edge of a step with the heel of foot on the side you are stretching dropping down. Lower the heel down gently bending the supporting leg and hold for 10 seconds. Do not bounce as it should be a static stretch. Repeat 5 times each side.

Do contact me if you have any questions about any of the points raised in this article or book online or ring to make an appointment for a pre-skiing MOT treatment.

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