How you can reduce your chance of injuring yourself this ski season
If you work long hours at a desk all week and do relatively little exercise, you cannot expect your body to be ready for continuous days of strenuous activity. Prehabilitation is the new rehabilitation! It basically involves preparing your musculoskeletal system for a certain activity or surgery, and in turn reducing the risk of injury and improving recovery time.
I promise you, prevention is better than cure.
- Calf stretches 10-15 seconds on each side
- Seated VMO strengthening exercise x15 on each side with power squeeze
- Deep lunge with overhead reach x10 on each side
- Wide and narrow stance squats x20 of each
- 3-Plane lunges x8 on each side
- Kickbacks x20 on each side
- Forward-Side jumps x8 on each side with soft land
- Single leg squat x8 on each side
- Hip openers x15 on each side
- Lower extremity stretches including hamstring, quadriceps and calf
Common injuries include anterior cruciate ligament sprains, medial collateral ligament sprains, patella maltracking and patella tendonitis. Improving the strength in the hamstrings and quadriceps can improve the knee stability and patella tracking.
After you have performed these exercises (5 times per week for 2 weeks) add a bosu or wobble board to improve proprioception and balance.
General stretching will keep the muscles supple and reduce the risk of micro-tears (muscle strains). This is by no means an extensive list of exercises, but is a good place to start. Injuries can still happen so take care.
Pack these 5 essential items
No. 1 - Magnesium Spray or Epsom Bath Salts
To aid muscle recovery and improve nerve function. Your tired legs will thank you for packing this. Spray on after you shower or bath at the end of the day to allow the skin to absorb magnesium over night.
No. 2 - Arnica
Tablets, cream, balm, milk... take it in any form and use it on bruises or sore muscles.
No. 3 - K-Tape & Tubi Grips
If the front of your knee and kneecap are giving you jip, strap your knee with over-the-counter tape. Strapping the kneecap will ensure it tracks properly. Click here to watch a YouTube video demonstrating knee taping. If your knee is just feeling unstable and you are quite mobile, use a lightweight tubigrip whilst you are away to give the knee joint some extra support. Your local chemist will be able to help you find the right one, but make sure it isn't too tight and restrictive.
No. 4 - Lavender oil
Getting a good nights sleep will be essential. We are more likely to injure something when we are fatigued and less alert. Rub a few drops of lavender oil on your temples, wrist and soles of your feet before you go to bed.
No. 5 - Tennis Ball
Tennis balls are the perfect self-massage tool. They aren't too hard, but are firm enough to relax tight muscles. Rub in to the back and side of the hip, shoulders and soles of your feet.