Physical Therapy Exercises Before You Go Skiing

Physical Therapy Exercises Before You Go Skiing


Snow sports are more physically demanding than many people realize. A vast majority of skiers and snowboarders do not participate in any specific pre-season training for snow sports and merely rock up at their chosen resort, slap on their skis/board and off they go!
Whether you’re trying to get the most out of your holiday on hill skiing or getting ready for a race following the advice below will help you optimize your time on hill, improve ski performance and decrease the potential for injury.

Some form of general warm-up should be done before making a single turn. Start with your walk from the car or home to the lifts. If you have access to an exercise room, get on the exercise bike, stair-climber or rowing machine for a few minutes. If that is not an option, do some uphill walks, jumps or hike. Slowly but methodically warming the body’s tissues helps prevent injuries that may be caused by going too hard, too fast, too soon with cold, un-lubricated muscles and joints.

Simple exercises you can right before you hit the slopes include:

The Standing Leg Swing

  • Stand in a neutral body position not overly arching your back.
  • Holding on to something secure, actively swing the leg as far forward and backward as you can.
  • Remember to switch sides.
  • Repeat until you feel the tensions ease and the legs are warm.

The Rotating Lunge

  • Stand in the neutral position – Straight
  • Lifting one leg, step forward and position yourself in the deepest lunge position.
  • In this deep position; gently, with intention, rotate your torso from side to side, making sure you breathe deeply into the extreme limits.
  • Step gently up to neutral and switch sides.
  • Do as many as you can whilst maintaining good form but start with 8-10 reps each side.

Dynamic Hamstring Stretch

  • Standing neutral, step forward with one leg digging the heels into the ground, pointing the toes skyward.
  • Keeping a flat back lower the upper body towards the ground till you feel a pleasant hamstring stretch.
  • Alternate sides.
  • Repeat up to 20 times.

Threading the Needle

  • Start with your hands and knees on the floor.
  • Make sure your hands are underneath your shoulders and your hips above your knees.
  • Extend one arm.
  • Whilst exhaling, thread through underneath the other arm, rotating your torso.
  • This should feel like a lovely release of the back.
  • Repeat 5 times each side.

So if you ever plan on a trip to the slopes, you know exactly how to prevent any injury!