Ski season will be upon us soon and now is the time to prepare for it and thus avoid injury. Although knee injuries are certainly prevalent in skiing, back injuries are also common because the spine must absorb large amounts of force with terrain changes, moguls and landings. How well your spine does this largely depends on your lumbar spine, hip range of motion and core strength. Core strengthening is a component of most skiers’ conditioning regimes, but lumbar spine and hip flexibility are often neglected, which can lead to injuries over time. Adding the following exercises to your routine will improve lumbar spine and hip flexibility (and improve core strength). Try to do these three to four times a week throughout the fall and into the winter. The exercises are Low Lunge, Sitting Side Stretch, Reclined Twisting Back Stretch and Physioball Knee Tucks.
The First exercise of this series is Low Lunge.
Step your right leg forward into a lunge position, with your shin perpendicular to the ground and your right knee directly over your right heel. Drop your left knee to the ground, well behind your left hip. Keep your pelvis tucked under and squared to the front of the room. Lift your torso and stretch your arms overhead. Hold for five breaths and repeat on the opposite side. This stretches the hip flexors, which helps reverse the effects of keeping the hips in a semi-flexed position from skiing, sitting on chairlifts and hiking.
Access Sitting Side Stretch, exercise #2, via this link http://excelptmt.com/2010/11/shred-prep-pre…ing-excercises/
Look for the additional exercises in future postings. This excerpt reprinted from Outside Bozeman Magazine, Fall 2010 issues by Amy Pakula, DPT.
Need extra help getting ready for ski season? Schedule a quick Tune-Up Visit to review these techniques or call Amy with any questions at 406-556-0562 or 406-284-4262.
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