This past week, Crested Butte Colorado had their first snow of the fall. Of course that means skiing / snowboarding season is just around the corner! There are many wonderful things to look forward to on the slopes including fresh powder, crisp, clear mornings, amazing views and relaxing at the lodge after a rewarding day of exercise that was actually fun. Unfortunately, with every ski season, we inevitably see a rise in knee, wrist and soft tissue injuries. Since the season is due to start in about a month, now is the time to prepare. With the right preparation you can decrease the likelihood of injuries.
- Work on strength training. Skiers should consider strategic strength training prior to hitting the slopes, with special attention to the hamstrings. Muscular imbalances between the quads and hamstrings can lead to knee injuries.
- Improve your core strength, flexibility & balance. Work on strengthening your core muscles, increasing your flexibility range and improving your balance in preparation for the ski season. Yoga, Pilates, balance boards and exercise balls are all excellent additions to your strength training regimen.
- Check your equipment. Equipment will warp after sitting for months in storage, so have a professional check your bindings every season. Always resist exaggerating your experience level to the mechanic. If you are unsure or have been out of practice for more than one season, err on the side of "beginner / intermediate".
- Get the right braces. If you have experienced an significant knee injury in the past, find a quality soft support or hinged knee brace to wear on the slopes. Skiers are especially at risk of a ligament tear.
- Brush up on proper form. If it’s been a while since you have hit the slopes, brush up on proper form. Always keep your hands forward, knees slightly bent and your weight centered over your skies. If you fall, do not try to get back up while still moving. Wait until your body comes to a complete stop. If you are still learning or it has been a couple years, consider taking a class from a professional.
About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic braces, diabetic footwear and other medical products. For the best selection of quality knee and ankle braces, please visit MMAR Medical online.