Our physiotherapists are experienced in treating and more importantly, preventing injuries that can happen on the slopes.
Book in now prior to your holiday to make sure you are ski fit & ready to make the most of your time on the slopes, without injury getting in the way.
A CSPC physiotherapist will assess you from head to toe and set you an exercise programme to ensure you are ready to hit the slopes. CSPC physiotherapist Graeme Everard shares some of his top tips to help you stay injury free and the exercises mentioned are an example of the strength and conditioning work a CSPC physio would go through with you and tailor to your individual needs.
1. Fitness. If you’re going to want to ski every day, think about how you can safely increase your training in the run up to your trip. Consider any mix of aerobic exercise but, to avoid injury, do not increase exercise by more than 10% in a week. Be realistic and consider incorporating rest days or doing another activity such as ice skating with the kids on one day.
2. Balance and proprioception are vital for skiing. A simple exercise is a single leg balance, standing on one leg, making sure your toes are relaxed. Add head turns to the left and right or do these exercises on a bosu trainer to make even more challenging.
3. Functional stability (core strength). You need to be able to continually change your position to control your centre of gravity and keep your weight over your feet to stay upright on the slopes and the trunk muscles are key for this. Stability exercises include Pilates or Yoga style exercises.
4. Strength and endurance. Your quads need to be strong and able to absorb the shock of the repetitive loading involved in skiing. Try some controlled double leg squats, holding the position for 10 seconds, you could add some weighted dumbbells to make the exercise more challenging. To condition your legs for absorbing the shock, try double jumps and single leg hops, ensuring that you land softly by allowing your knees to bend gently on landing.
7. Cool down before enjoying après ski. Try a gentle swim, jacuzzi session or gentle flush massage or stretch any tight areas and lightly self-massage them. If any areas feel really sore and painful apply ice or snow for ten minutes, taking care to avoid ice burns. However if you think you are injured, get a medical checkup but make sure your insurance will cover it.
8. Falling is intrinsic to learning to ski or snowboard. Practice how to fall safely, initially in soft snow without skies and then with skis to ensure boot bindings are correct. On instinct you may try and stop the fall with an outstretched hand, which is probably going to result in injury so should be avoided.
9. Ski to your ability. If you only ski once a year, do not attempt to start from where you finished last year. Many injuries happen due to skiers trying harder runs than they’re ready for. Consider a refresher at ski school or booking a local ski guide for the harder runs or skiing off piste.
10. Respect other skiers and snow boarders. The worst injuries we have seen in the clinic, with skiers and snowboarders, have been due to collisions with other people with rehabilitation taking several months due to the severity of their injuries. If you’re taking a rest make sure that you do this in a safe place. Save the celebrations for when you have finished skiing, alcohol does reduce the speed of your reactions.