The temperature has dropped, snow has found its new home on the lawn and all the mountains have begun spamming your inbox with delightful offers. It’s time to start getting ready for the ski and snowboard season again. Getting lost in the excitement of the first day gliding on white, fluffy, glorious, shimmery snow is no excuse for a week of sore muscles afterwards.
As with any sport, it is important to condition your body for the physical demands of the sport well before you dive in. Starting with strength, core, balance and endurance training 3-5 weeks in advance is ideal. But, if you know you are taking a trip this weekend, as with most things, it is better to start late than never! Our recommendations below will help to arm you against a sports injury.
- Strength Training:
We all know that feeling after the first day on the hill. Muscles you didn’t even know existed come home throbbing with pain. To avoid this we’ve put together four basic exercises you can do 2-3 times per week at home without special equipment to strengthen key muscle groups used on the hill. (Note: Click any of the images below to open a new tab with a clearer, larger version you can download!)
- Core Stability:
Although you are surely getting a lot of practice with your balance on our icy sidewalks, practicing these four poses daily will help improve your on-hill agility so you can make quick turns under dynamic circumstances.
- Balance Training:
Ride up any chairlift (especially Rabbit Hill on a Saturday afternoon) and you are sure to see several new skiers and snowboarders struggling with balance. These two easy exercises should be repeated 2-3 times per week in order to improve your ability to keep centered and upright while on the hill.
4. Endurance Training:
This should be a priority throughout the year, regardless of season. Including physical activities you enjoy into your everyday routine will help to ensure you are getting your 30- 45 minutes of recommended daily exercise. Think of biking, hiking and jogging. The most likely skier to get hurt is the fatigued skier. Try going for a swim, a skate or hitting the cardio at your local gym to get used to long periods of physical exertion before heading up the chair lift.
5. Warm up before you go out.
Most crucial is the time you spend preparing your body immediately before hitting the slopes. Jog on the spot. Take a brisk walk around the parking lot to get the blood flowing; you can do 10-20 squats or lunges to warm up your legs. Finally, make sure to ride a groomer for your first run before trying any black diamonds. Drink lots of water, eat well and enjoy the ride!!
That being said, if injuries do occur, ice the area and rest. After 2-3 days, if pain has not subsided and you think you may have pulled a muscle or ligament, it is important to see a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists are experts in treating injuries. They can reduce the time you spend away from the activities you love by minimizing inflammation and shortening recovery time. Have a great season!