4 January 2020
How to stay injury free this ski season with Osteopathy
It’s that time of the year when you might be lucky enough to be preparing for your ski holiday. Now that Christmas is out of the way, your training can start in earnest. In this blog I will explain how Osteopathy could help you stay injury free and will give you my top 5 exercises for ski fitness. So, keep reading…
Osteopathy helps with the alignment of the pelvis and spine. We think of the pelvis as a stable base from which the upper body sits upon. If that base is misaligned it could lead to back, hip, knee or even ankle injuries.
If you’ve been sitting around a lot over Christmas and developed a minor stiffness in the lower back, then it’s a sign that you should book in with one of our Osteopaths BEFORE you set off on your trip. Through our treatment, we can help get you back into alignment! It will make the exercises below more effective and hopefully keep you on the slopes for longer.
Bookings can be made through our website on:
One of the major injuries that happen to skiers is to the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee. This injury can happen if there is a forceful twisting of the lower leg whilst the knee is straight. For example, if there is a fall and the ski doesn’t detach. So it’s important to keep the leg muscles (Quads, Hamstrings, Calves and Glutes) as strong as possible, so follow these exercises….
Are a fantastic exercise to keep the legs strong. No equipment is needed as you can just use your own bodyweight as resistance. To target different muscles you can do the squats with your feet close together, at shoulder width apart and then in a wide stance (sumo squat). I’d aim for 15-20 repetitions, two times in each of the 3 stances. As you get stronger you can introduce a jump at the top of the squat position each time.
When going downhill on the ski’s you are told to keep your knees bent and weight on the front of the ski. This is obviously very challenging for the thigh muscles. So, to replicate it at home you can practice sitting against the wall. Have your back against the wall and your knees and hips bent, so it looks like you’re sitting on an invisible chair. Hold this for 30-60 seconds, 3 times. If you can do 3 minutes or more then you’re ready for the most challenging slopes.
Hamstrings are the muscles on the back of the thigh and can be strengthened initially by using resistance bands. These are very cheap and are sold at BodyFix Clinic. Loop the band around a stable object in the home. Lie on your front and hook your heel through the band. Use the hamstring to stretch the band then to slowly release. Aim for 10-15 repetitions, 3 times.
The Nordic Drop is a very hard exercise but will “bullet proof your hammies”. Your hamstrings should be well conditioned and well warmed up before you attempt this.
In this exercise you will be kneeling on a mat. A partner will put downward pressure on your ankles. You will try to lower yourself slowly to the floor using the backs of your legs to control the descent. Due to its difficulty aim for 3 good quality descents before building up to more.
A simple exercise to strengthen the stabiliser muscles in the knees and ankles. All it involves is standing on one leg. You can close your eyes to make it harder. Wobble boards are another nice progression.
I know, I know… but it’s my favourite exercise. Lie on your back on a firm surface. Band your knees and have both feet flat on the floor. Push the pelvis up towards the ceiling and contract your backside muscles. 15 to 20 reps, 3 times will help keep the pelvic ‘base’ aligned and keep your back strong.
I really hope you enjoy your skiing holiday. It’s a great activity and gets you out in the fresh air.