Utah is home to many beautiful mountains and incredible ski resorts. While skiing is part of the culture here and can be a fun way to get exercise, it can also cause many injuries if you are not careful. Thankfully, there are a few warm-ups and techniques you can use to reduce your chance of getting injured on the slopes. Here are three tips on how to prevent injury while skiing.
Perform warm-up exercises to prevent injury while skiing
Before you hit the slopes you should warm up your muscles. Cold muscles are more likely to be injured. Spend up to 10 warming up to warm up your muscles before skiing. Don’t focus solely on your legs, either.
Walking around the ski area or jogging in place is a great way to start your warm-up. This will increase your body temperature and get your blood flowing.
Next, you will want to stretch. Move your arms, legs, and neck in all directions. You might also want to do quick 10-15 rep sets for body-weight squats and other exercises like jumping jacks or heel kicks.
Remember, this is a warm-up. Don’t rush through it or push yourself too hard or you could injury yourself before you start skiing.
Use the right equipment
Before you head out, you should also be sure that you have the right equipment. You should never use skis and equipment that aren’t the right size because it can increase your risk of injury. Also, check that your bindings aren’t too loose or too tight.
Always wear a helmet and appropriate protective equipment while skiing or snowboarding to protect yourself.
Practice proper skiing and snowboarding techniques
Practicing the correct technique can prevent injury while skiing.
A torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or medial collateral ligament (MCL) is common in skiers due to falls and failed jumps. To avoid tearing your ACL, position yourself forward on the skis and maintain control to avoid injuring your knee. Keep your hands up, your legs bent, and your weight balanced.
Twisted ankles are another common injury while skiing, which can result in sprains. Twisting your knee can also tear your meniscus. Most twists occur due to your skies catching an edge. Keeping your focus on the path ahead and distributing weight evenly will allow you to stay in control and avoid many of these incidents.
Falling can also result in shoulder dislocations and injured thumbs, among other injuries. While practice, keeping your balance and control, and using the right equipment can help you avoid most falls, sometimes a fall is simply unavoidable.
There are a few techniques for falling correctly. The important thing to remember is to not catch yourself with your hands or elbows. This will result in injury.
You also don’t want to try to keep your skis on the ground as you lose control. Keeping your skis on the ground as you lose your balance will increase the chance of twisting your knees or landing on an edge which may result in a cut. Try to let your upper body hit the ground and get your skis in the air.
One of the best methods is to tuck and roll (if possible). Let go of your poles and get into a ball. This involves clenching your hands into a fist and pulling your arms and chin closer to your body so that you can roll with the fall.
While the tuck and roll method is safest, you may not have time to think. Many skiers try to land on their side or back to get their skis up and to avoid trapping their arms. While falling is not ideal, it does not have to result in injury. Check out these tips for getting up after falling on skis.
In conclusion: to prevent injury while skiing
Skiing does not have to result in injury. Performing warm-up exercises, using the right equipment, and practicing proper skiing and falling techniques can help you prevent ski injuries in many cases.
If you do happen to find yourself injured on the slopes, get help and find a safe place. Ice the affected area, and get plenty of rest. If your injury is serious, contact your doctor immediately.
Bridge Physical Therapy in South Ogden, Utah is your pathway to healing. We treat many conditions and injuries with no doctor’s referral required. From general weakness, overuse injuries, sports injuries, and sprains to pre/post-surgical injuries and more, our physical therapists can get you back to full strength.
Together, we can bridge the gap of functional limitations. Schedule your appointment with us today at 801-317-1618.