Before hitting the slopes, it’s important to make sure your equipment is tuned and ready. Sharpen the edges of your skis and ensure your bindings are adjusted and in good working order. Don’t forget you’ll need goggles and a helmet.
Now that your gear is ready, let’s get your body in top shape. Skiing requires good leg strength and core stability. When you watch higher level skiers, you’ll notice they maintain a bent knee position and their upper body stays very still. Your training should mimic these positions. A great exercise to duplicate this posture is a squat with forward arm raise.
To start, grab some lightweight dumb bells or a medicine ball, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down to a comfortable position while raising your arms out in front of you to shoulder height. Try to hold that position for 5-10 seconds. This will strengthen your legs and train your core to maintain its stability.
Remember to incorporate a good stretching program into your routine as well. Good flexibility in the ankles, knees, and back will allow you to keep a good forward trunk lean.
Dehydration can happen any time—even when it is 10 degrees on the mountainside. Remember to drink water and eat throughout the day. Warmup with some easy runs in the morning before hitting the double blacks. Most injuries happen late in the day due to fatigue. So listen to your body, and know when to stop and enjoy the après ski activities!
To help prevent injury, make sure you practice these general safety tips:
Most ski injuries occur on trails (72%) and on terrain parks (19%), while fewer occur on a ski lift (6%) and skiing off groomed trails (3%).1
Skiers most frequently injured their lower extremities, mostly their knees (42%), but also suffered injuries to the upper extremities (34%), head (15%), and spinal column (6%).1
About 75% of injuries occur by falling down or by collision with other riders.1
Most ski injuries occur at the start of the season in November and at the end of the season in April2
Skiing injuries are mostly to the knee, usually affecting the medial collateral ligament, the anterior cruciate ligament, or the meniscus (cartilage). While injuries are likely to occur in intensive sports like skiing, you can help mitigate the risks by taking preventative measures. Know the causes and symptoms of common injuries and inform a medical professional immediately if you do sustain an injury.
Remember to always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. If you have any type of persistent pain, be sure to see a doctor.