‘Winter is coming’… and hopefully so is the snow! With the Oxford Street lights up, cards in the shops and a nip in the air the crew at Beyond Health have finally put aside the disappointing conditions from last season and are ready for the new ski season ahead. But are you?
It is hard to prepare for mountain conditions. Contrary to popular British belief, it doesn’t get especially cold in London and it is rather flat, so even cycling up Box Hill fails to replicate altitude training. You can however make a huge difference to your performance on the slopes and reduce your risk of injury by mixing up your training and making it a little more specific to skiing.
So how can you prepare for the season ahead?
The complexity of skiing requires good joint range of movement. Unfortunately sitting on the tube or at your desk makes these key areas stiff. A lack of hip, mid-back and ankle mobility can put more stress on other mobile areas like the knee, increasing your risk of injury. Get mobile with these key exercises:
• Thoracic mobility (rotation and extension)
• Dynamic warm up
• Ankle mobility
• Foam rolling
(see our Instagram or Facebook accounts @bh_beyondhealth for a demo of just how these should be done)
Skiing requires constant static and slow dynamic quadriceps contractions illustrated by the ‘thigh burn’ mid-run. Conditioning your quads with the following exercises will increase the muscles capacity of tolerate the change from desk to mountain.
• Adductor sliders
• Bulgarian split squat
• Heel elevated squat
• Box jumps
(as for the mobility exercises follow us on Instagram or Facebook to understand exactly how these exercises should be performed)
The average downhill skier will spend 65-70% utilising aerobic metabolism (lower-intensity exercise) with the rest being anaerobic-a higher intensity of work primarily up to 60 seconds. Tailoring your cardiovascular training (like cycling, rowing and running) to replicate this and incorporating both high and low intensity exercise in a session will enable you to stay longer on the mountain to have fun (with the exception of Rose club).
At Beyond Health we specialise in understanding all the variables needed to perform at a high level in any sports. We call this a Needs Analysis and this involves an evaluation of you as an individual and the sport you perform.
Despite a passion for quality rehabilitation the Beyond Health team would prefer to prevent your injuries and see you shine on the slopes! Do check out our Instagram feed so you can follow the exercises described above. Or even better book a visit with one of the physiotherapy team today to get your technique bang on and an A-game plan in place!
Louise Coates, Physiotherapist Beyond Health