Having good core strength and stability is the foundation for reducing injury risk on the mountain. Maintaining a proper core on the slopes not only helps your body absorb impact from changing conditions on the run but also increases your control. More stability over your skis equates to less risk of losing control and wiping out.
When we talk about core strength and stability, we’re not talking about how many crunches and sit-ups you can do. What we mean by strength and stability is how long can your core maintain proper activation under stressful conditions. Ever wonder why people usually get injured on their last run of the day. Chances are that they were too fatigued to properly control their board/skis.
There are a lot of great exercises that you can perform to help increase your core stability. You can also check out our recent blog about core stability exercises here.
Core Stability Exercise Examples Include:
- Rolling Planks
- Low Bear / Quadruped
- Pallof Press
- Suitcase Carries
- Deadbug / Wallbug
Hip Strength / Stability
The hip is a dynamic ball and socket joint that is a major contributor to stability on the mountain. Having proper control of your hips allows to you adapt to moguls, turns, and unexpected icy patches. Guess what else makes the hips work even better? A good core!
When it comes to skiing and snowboarding, it is best to focus on single leg exercises. Single leg exercises allow smaller stabilizing muscles to activate and develop strength/endurance. These muscles get less of a workout when doing exercises like squats, deadlifts, leg press etc.
Hip Exercise Examples Include:
- Monster Walks
- Bulgarian Split Squats
- Single Leg RDLs
- Hip Airplanes
Putting in the hard work to gain strength and stability give you a great foundation. It's also important to help your body learn how to move quickly and efficiently to be able to adapt to conditions and changes in the terrain. Agility drills are great for making small movements quick and coordinated whereas plyometric drills increase your ability to start and stop movements powerfully.
Your ability to stop movements is just as important if not more important than your ability to jump through the roof on a box jump. Many injuries on the hill come from losing control of your board/skis or not being able to slow down fast enough to avoid obstacles or terrain that is out of our abilities. Most people focus on the explosive portion of a plyometric exercise. However, being able to end a plyometric move in a slow and controlled fashion is more crucial to avoiding injury.
Agility & Plyometric Examples Include:
- Ladder Drills
- Box Jumps
- Step Up Jumps
- Lateral Jumps (Angled Box)
West Kelowna Chiropractic and Sports Therapies
Unfortunately, injuries can occur even with the best preparation. Our dedicated team of chiropractors, massage therapists, and kinesiologists are here to keep you healthy, help you recover, and keep you on the slopes as much as possible this ski season.
Dr. Seth Means