How to prepare for winter skiing & snowboarding – and how to avoid injuries

posted in: Blog, Sports | 0

You’ve waited for the snow. You’ve dug out your favourite skiing gear or bought new.
What have you forgotten to do?
The weather has been checked, someone’s feeding the cat and you’ve told everyone on social media that you’re going off to have a fabulous time.
But – what have you forgotten to do?
You may not even know you’ve forgotten it, but if you get injured or completely fatigued on your much-awaited skiing or snowboarding holiday, you will remember…

Prepare, prepare, prepare…your muscles for the onslaught that skiing brings to them!
Winter sports are so much fun but things can go wrong if you are not prepared properly.
Alpine skiing and snowboarding is very demanding for your muscles and requires a specific type of training, so you shouldn’t just pack your bags and go.

Even if your fitness level is very good, unless you have trained specifically to be ready to that high demand, you may lack strength and endurance needed during those long hours on the slopes, because let’s face it, we all want to be out there for as long as possible!

Does this sound familiar?
Day three and your legs are aching, your calves are killing and your muscles are sore!
It’s called DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness and happens more so after skiing or snowboarding compared to running or cycling.
It’s due to the increased eccentric work of your muscles. When your body goes up and down over snow bumps, your legs work like springs absorbing the force coming from the ground and muscles are forced to work concentrically (shortening) and eccentrically (lengthening) on a high demand.
Therefore, muscle soreness can be more noticeable, decreasing your ability to control your agility. This lack of control coupled with fatigue after a few hours on the slopes can make you more susceptible to a fall and may result with an injury – which no-one wants.
We want our skiing clients back in the clinic when they return for sports massage and manipulation to help them heal, not rehab for broken bones or pulled muscles!

Falls on the snow are common but usually not very serious, especially if you use protective gear and equipment matching your ability level.

Injury prevention
In most cases after minor injury, following the POLICE rule (Protection, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression, Elevation), bracing if necessary and using pain relief is enough to get you better within a few days.
Unfortunately, if your fitness is low and you haven’t prepared, you can end up with more severe muscle strain, ligament damage or fracture requiring specialist intervention.

The knee is the most injured body part in skiing, commonly resulting with ligament injuries, lower limb fractures, shoulder dislocations and wrist injuries are also common.
Snowboarders usually suffer from upper limb – shoulder, wrist and hand injuries/fractures.

Ask us about our Ski Clinic:
Assessment + 6-week in-clinic strengthening and conditioning course.
Assessment + 6-week at-home exercise prescription for those able to exercise without supervision.