Man skiing down mountain in sunshine

The winter season is fast approaching, and it’s almost time to hit the slopes. We are all aware that taking risks while skiing or snowboarding can result in serious injuries, but even while skiing responsibly you can sustain small injuries to muscle tissue and ligaments if you neglect to prepare your body properly for the activity.

Why not book in for a remedial massage with us before the season starts, to release any existing muscular tensions you may have?

Why Warm Up?

An effective warm up will prepare your muscles and joints for activity as well as encouraging circulation. This is especially important in snow sports as you will often be feeling cold and tense in the winter conditions before you begin, especially after a lengthy lift ride to the top.

Check out our blog post on tips to avoid training injuries in winter for general advice on cold-weather exercise.

Winter Warm-Ups

Here are a few simple exercises you can do to target the key muscle groups used in skiing and snowboarding. For each exercise, repeat for 20 reps or until the muscle group feels warm and without tension.

1.      Leg Lift – start by engaging your abs to keep your core still, then using your poles for stability, gently swing your leg forward and backward, making sure to use your glutes and quads to keep the movement going, rather than relying on momentum.

2.      Side Leg Lift – take the same stance, this time lift each leg out to the side and swing it across your other leg.

3.      Hamstring Stretch – standing up straight, reach down and touch your boots whilst keeping your legs as straight as you can. This will stretch your hamstrings and also help your body to adjust to the new height gained in your ski or board boots which will require an adjustment to how your leg muscles usually operate.

4.      Arm Rotation – stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, extend your arms and circle them in both directions – warming up your triceps and biceps is especially important in mogul or powder skiing where you’ll be using your poles heavily for turning.

Cooling Down

At the end of your day on the slopes it’s equally important to help your body to cool down properly to assist your heart in gradually returning to normal, and to help prevent muscle soreness.

The best way to begin a cool down session on the mountain is to take a long, easy slope as your last run. Before you return to the lodge, make sure to do some static exercises focusing on your hard-worked leg muscles with calf, hamstring and Achilles stretches.

You would never go for a run or attempt an intense gym session without a warm up, so why should taking part in winter sports be any different? Before you head out to the slopes this winter, make sure you contact us for all the professional support you need to make sure your body is in the optimum condition to tackle those hills!

To learn more about our physiotherapy services in Auckland, contact us online or call +64 9 273 6089 to speak with one of our friendly team members.