Injuries can happen anywhere at anytime, seemingly without any warning or reason. But you can help prevent injuries and decrease the risk of getting injured by preparing before you get on the field, on the slopes, or get into the gym.
Whether you’re a seasoned skier or snowboarder, or you’ve never done a winter sport, there are ways to prevent injury both on and off the slopes. In preparation for your ride, well-rounded physical conditioning is key to avoiding injury.
“Focus on glute and hip abductor muscles, because these two muscle groups assist in maintaining proper knee alignment reducing the risk of knee injuries,” says Joe Bilau, M.P.T., of Kalispell Regional Healthcare in Kalispell, Montana. Men’s Fitness also reached out to Brad Roy, Ph.D., at the same facility for essential tips on how to ride as safely as possible. Do this full-body conditioning routine and follow these must-know tips for riding injury-free to save your knees for good.
HOW TO RIDE INJURY-FREE
GO WITH THE FALL
Brad says: When people start falling, they tend to resist the fall by putting body parts into position and muscles into contraction that make them very prone to injury rather than just going with the fall. Sometimes, rather than trying to stop the fall, it's better to just go with it, stay down, and go with the fall until it’s finished.
GET THE GEAR
Brad says: Have clothing that wicks moisture away close to the skin to try to prevent sweating. Excessive sweating may cause dehydration, which might lead to more fatigue. Knee injuries, shoulder injuries, and other incidents occur during winter sports when people are fatigued.
Helmets are critical since they can lessen the effect. Have experts that can fit skis, snowboards, and boots appropriately. Sharing equipment with friends and family does not provide a custom fit and could put you at risk of injury because they won’t have the proper release mechanism on the boots and binding.
THE KNEE-SAVER WORKOUT
Joe says: Do this workout 3-5 times a week before and during ski/snowboarding season.
Standing Side Leg Raise
Standing in good position, keep your pelvis level and raise your leg out to the side about 10-12 inches.
45-Degree Leg Kickbacks
Move your leg back and out at a 45-degree angle about 10-12 inches.
Point hips back as far as possible and reach out in front as far as possible with your arms. You should feel most of the pressure on your heels when doing this. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground.
Box Jumps (10-20 inches high; increase the height as you tolerate)
Reps: 20-30 (each side)