Winter is here, and with the ski season kicking off to a glorious start it is time to get physically prepared. A week on the slopes is a great way to enjoy winter; fresh mountain air, beautiful scenery and a strong hit of exercise.
A day on the snow is demanding, and for most of us, it engages muscles we have neglected throughout the year. This can be physically stressing and can predispose you to injury. Fear not! There are simple exercises you can do to prepare. Not only will it decrease your risk of injury and falls, but you can also improve your performance by increasing the strength and flexibility of certain muscle groups.
It’s common for people to hit the snow unprepared and then find themselves tired halfway through their holiday. Whether you’re a veteran skier/snowboarder or a beginner, engaging in specific prehab training will improve your overall fitness, balance and can even improve your technique.
What is prehab you might ask? Prehab, or prehabilitation, simply means preventing injury. This will hopefully decrease the need for rehabilitation after your skiing adventure. It begins pre-season, and it involves sports specific activities like strength training, stretching and drills catered for the sport. Both skiing and snowboarding can be dangerous, and some traumatic injuries are beyond control, however, a number of injuries can be either prevented or at least their impact reduced. If you have a lack of stability/strength within your core and specific muscle groups, or you have poor technique, you can be predisposed to injury.
Here at PSM I teamed up with our pilates instructor, Vanessa Wong Tai, to develop a set of basic strength exercises that will prepare your body for the snow. Whether you ski or snowboard, these will strengthen the main muscle groups engaged in both snow sports.
Everybody is different, therefore an individually tailored prehab program is best. If you are a novice to exercise, your program should be created by a trained professional, such as a sports physiotherapist or strength and conditioning coach. Even the fittest amongst us can gain benefit from professional guidance. Sometimes our bodies require minor adjustments that may not be overtly obvious, but can further prevent injury and increase personal performance. Sporting professionals are trained to assess your physique and can identify your personal strengths and weaknesses; creating a prehab program specific to your physical needs. Sports specific drills prepare your body further by a mechanism of anticipation. This is a feed-forward mechanism and trains your body to anticipate potential danger. Anticipation can increase your bodies reflexes, preventing strains, sprains and breaks by applying corrective positioning. Here at Pure Sports Medicine, we have an experienced team of professionals who can physically screen you and can create a program designed specifically for you, thus allowing you to hit the snow with confidence and stamina. Make an appointment with our team today.
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