With the Winter season in full swing, bringing ice, snow and below zero temperatures we must prepare our bodies for the trails this season. Although winter activities can be great fun for many Alaskans and ensure we are living a healthy lifestyle, cold weather injuries and sport injuries are common this time of year and we must be sure that we keep Alaskans moving through the Winter.
Top 5 Exercises and Stretches To Prevent A Ski Injury
The goal of preventative stretching and exercises is to maximize the flexibility and endurance of important muscles utilized during skiing, and to prepare for the overall demands that skiing places on your body. In particular, skiing involves a lot of forward, backward, and side to side movement. Here are a few body areas to focus on:
- Hamstrings: Place one foot on a step or low stool and keep your other foot on the floor. Place your hands on your hips and stick your butt out (as if you were trying to shut a car door behind you). Then, keeping your back straight, bend forward at the hips until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings (back of the thigh). Hold for at least 90 seconds.
- Quadriceps: In a standing position, bend your right knee hold the top of your foot with your right hand. You can stabilize yourself by holding onto a table or other sturdy surface with your left hand. Be sure that your right knee points straight down at the floor. Pull your right foot toward your buttocks until you feel a stretch in your quads (top of the thigh). Hold for at least 90 seconds.
- Groin/hip adductors: Sit on the floor in a “ring” position–that is, put the bottom of your feet against each other with your knees pointed out to the sides. Using your hands, bring your feet as close to your groin as you can. Then, using your elbows, gently press down on your thighs until you feel a stretch in your hip adductors (inner thigh). Hold for at least 90 seconds.
- Lower Back/Spine: stand with feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Place your arms in a T position. Bend down and reach your right hand toward your left foot, return to standing, and then switch. Perform 15-20 reps on each side.
- Shoulders: Place your arms in a T position. Keeping your arms straight, begin moving your arms forward in a small circular direction, slowly increasing the size of the circles. Perform 15-20 reps, then switch directions.
Be sure that your body is warmed up prior to performing these exercises. This helps to increase the movements’ safety and effectiveness. For example, try doing a few minutes of jumping jacks, burpees, or other plyometrics to get the muscles warm, joints loose, and heart rate elevated. Additionally, performing some basic core strengthening exercises–including planks, bicycle kicks, hip extensions–can improve the strength of your postural muscles which can further reduce your risk of injury.
Are You Ready To Hit The Slopes This Winter Season? ORCA will keep you moving!
With its booming ski industry, Alaska has plenty of snow and slopes to satisfy your adventurous side. Whether you’re a local or simply here for the season, ORCA puts their patients first and will ensure you stay healthy throughout the Winter. The Swiftpath is a state-of-the-art joint replacement technique that delivers swift hospital discharge, swift recovery time and swift pain reduction and less out-of-pocket cost to ensure you go back to enjoying life swiftly.