The snow has arrived, Allez Allez! The ski season is looking better than ever. February half term is right around the corner, have you done any ski preparation? Ooops, do not fear, start today it’s never too late. Look below at these four simple exercises to keep those knee injuries at bay. Statistically most ski injuries occur with the knees, so let us work those legs.
Safe exercising: If any pre-existing musculoskeletal/medical condition or pain during exercises, it is advisable to chat with your Physiotherapist at The Wyndham Centre before starting.
1. Skater Exercise
Folded towel required under one foot (or you can do wearing one sock on skater foot) on slippery floor, adopt a high squat position. Towel leg skates out to the side while standing leg stays still, softly bent to 20-30 degrees with good alignment, knee in the direction of second toe.
Hands on hips to monitor hip movement and alignment stays perfect throughout the skate movement. Tummy activated, no twisting or dropping of hips!
Skate on each leg for 1 minute repeat 3 x right and left sides.
2. Static Wall Squat
An oldie but a goodie. Take 2-3 foot lengths away from wall, hip distance apart, back against wall in sitting position. Feel those shoulder blades going towards back pockets. Lower no further than a right angle. If any knee problems do not go as low. Knee caps in alignment with second toe, foot arches maintained.
Aim for 1 minute initially 3 x then progress each day until you can do a straight 3 minutes. If you are a super pro-athlete go for 5 minutes! Great newspaper catch up time too.
3. Single Leg Squat
This is a tough one but worth trying.
Ensure your tummy is on and squeeze the tail while you hold one leg out extended. Hold for 20 seconds, repeat x 10, 3 sets each leg.
4. The Finale – Eddie the Eagle jump
Find a vertical line or place a towel down. Jumping over the towel side to side. First 30 second rep, concentrate on maintaining form. It is very important to maintain form and good alignment, keeping legs parallel. Jump side to side for 30 seconds repeat 3 x.
On the last two sets go for height, great one to crack those moguls. Make sure the upper body stays straight.
Training on the move:
Run up your stairs at work, take two steps at a time. Squat at your chair during that boring conference call, read your documents while doing the wall squat.
Now you just need to pack the woolly hat and thermals. Helmet possibly, the debate continues. Some say the helmet can change your sense of balance and hearing. Others say wearing one, you may ski beyond your capability. In Austria and Italy it is a legal requirement for the U/14’s. It is rare to see a child not wearing a helmet. It is rare to see a cyclist negotiate rush hour without a helmet. It has probably not been made mandatory for adults as there has not been a significant decrease in the number of head injuries. So perhaps too low a risk to make it mandatory. In the James Bond movie, Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the baddie wears a helmet, but Bond relies on the woolly hat. The decision is yours to make. Enjoy the snow.