Skiing and snowboarding demand a great deal from our muscles, bones, and ligaments and there are so many ways to make sure we get through this season injury free. Everyday, members of the Aspen Club are challenging and strengthening their bodies in our group fitness classes and alongside our world-class physical therapists. Our members kicked into gear this off-season in the Ski Conditioning and Ski Fit classes, led by our expert trainers. Luckily, there is no such thing as too late! Due to popularity and high demand, these classes will continue all season long. Sign up for a class today and take the first step towards an injury free ski season!
Whether you are a weekend warrior or out seeking first tracks seven days a week, improving your strength, flexibility, balance, endurance, and agility will turn you into the injury-free skier you want to be.
Let’s talk about injuries. It’s good news that overall ski and snowboard injuries are on the decline. According to the a study cited in The New York Times, improvements in ski and snowboarding equipment continue to contribute to the decrease of slope related injuries over the past decade. The study indicates: “Improved binding-release settings, together with the widespread adoption of hourglass-shaped, parabolic skis have notably affected both the incidence and the types of skiing injuries. The number of lower-leg injuries, especially shinbone fractures, once the signature injury of skiers, has dwindled to almost nothing.”
However, these modern improvements are also believed to increase the number of sprained knees and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. The study goes on to state how the early versions of these new skis “promoting sweeping, deeply carved turns, also could place heavy loads on the ACL within the knee if a skier is not accustomed to them.” Older, parallel-edged skis would stick and drag against the snow, while modern carving skis steer the ski away from you, twisting your knee as it goes.
Over the past 20 years, the ACL injury has become one of the most common ski injuries and also one of the most painful. Tears increased by 103% between 1972 and 2006. No one EXPECTS to land in the hospital with an ACL injury and miss out on all of the skiing, time with family, holiday parties, and festivals all winter long. It is no surprise that those who suffered from this injury in the past often become some of the best at prepping for the next season.
Training the entire body is important, but targeting the quads and hamstrings will really help strengthen the knee. Our very own trainer, Rachelle Edinger, is highlighted in this article as she demonstrates specific exercises to avoid ACL tears. Check out the videos for visual instruction on proper warm-up and agility drills, BOSU ball exercises with dynamic squats and lunges, core strength and balancing drills, and more….
Avoid that painful sound of “POP” and expensive surgeries by preparing for the season ahead. Try out our Ski Conditioning and Ski Fit classes or make anappointment with our trainers and physical therapists to ensure a healthy time on the slopes this winter.
But once you’re out there on the slopes, here are some helpful tips:
1. Keep your arms forward, hands over toes, and hips above the knees
2. Never reach back with a hand when you fall
3. Do not straighten your legs after a fall, keep your knees flexed
Once you’ve fallen, do not try to stand up until you are finished sliding