Hitting the Gym Before Hitting the Slopes
Before running a marathon, countless hours are spent training and preparing your body for a torturous race. Ironically, many skiers do not properly train their body for the first ski-trip of the season. The goal of the day is usually simple; make the first and last runs of the day. Depending on your off-season training, a full day on the slopes can bring either enjoyment or disappointment due to an injury or fatigue. Spaulding Outpatient Center Marblehead is offering a free preseason ski and snowboard clinic on January 10th at the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA to help you ski the slopes all day.
Skiing injuries can be caused by a number of reasons; the most common are fatigue, dehydration, and ability level. Skiers are familiar with limited breaks and quick lunches which often lead to dehydration that dramatically increase a skier’s risk of injury.
“Most skiers don’t realize that most injuries occur late in the day, when your body is tired,” says Spaulding Physical Therapist, Dave Evangelista. “Injuries are usually caused by fatigued muscles that lack strength and stamina to carve a ‘drop-off’ or maneuver through a glade swiftly.”
The body is designed to protect its most vital parts by allowing muscles and ligaments to tear before bones break and joints shatter. If muscles are not properly conditioned, then skiers risk serious injuries that can potentially ruin the ski season. To ensure you’re ready for the slopes this winter, you should start an exercise regimen that focuses on improving your body’s strength and endurance.
“Skiing utilizes and challenges muscles groups that are rarely used on a consistent basis,” says Geoff Trivino, Spaulding Physical Therapist. “Six weeks before you expect to hit the slopes, skiers should begin conditioning their muscles for the slopes. Certain exercises are easy to do at home to strengthen their leg and core muscles.”
Performing exercises at home such as squats, lunges, side-step squats, and calf raises are great workouts that strengthen your lower body. Increasing their body’s strength is important, but skiers should also improve their endurance. Running, biking, or ice skating are great activities that improve your endurance. To better understand injury prevention strategies, conditioning exercises and important stretches be sure to attend Spaulding Outpatient Center Marblehead’s pre-Season Ski/Snowboard clinic.