The SNOW is here
Updated: Sep 6
The snow has started falling in a big way here in Australia and opening weekend is only two weeks away. Excitement levels are high for what will hopefully be a fabulous local ski season. And the best way to enjoy the snow is injury free and skiing or snowboarding well.
So let's get into gear and get snow season ready. But how?
1. Get snow fit: Skiing and snowboarding are unlike most recreational sports. They require you to be strong and stable as well as having the endurance to perform the sport for many hours out there in the cold. Going from sitting at a desk most of the day to heading out on the slopes is a huge contrast. It is important that you dedicate some time pre-trip to improving your fitness and strength levels.
There are many ways you can incorporate exercise into your routine to prepare for skiing - you can go to a gym, do exercises at home or in a nearby park or attend group classes that can be really motivating for some. Whichever way suits you it is important that your pre-skiing routine include four elements - cardiovascular fitness, strength, power and balance/control.
Some examples of what you could do...
Cardio - bike riding or running with some high intensity intervals can help prepare you for the hard work out there on the snow.
Strength - squats, step ups, lunges are great leg strength exercises because we all know that burning feeling in our legs on the first day - and don't forget the core, we need a strong core to stay stable on our skis or snowboard for turning.
Power - it is important to have good baseline strength prior to incorporating power into your routine. Once you have this power can really take your skiing to the next level. Things like skater jumps, hurdles or box jumps can be really helpful.
Balance and control - squats on a bosu or balance mat, single leg hops
2. Get your gear prepared: snowsports require specialised equipment and ensuring you have the correct gear can make or break your experience.
Warm and waterproof clothing - you are out in the elements and Australia has a habit of producing wet snow. Check your clothing for waterproof ratings to make sure you will be dry all day.
Helmet - protect your most important asset. Research shows that helmets work. There has been a 60% decrease in head injuries since the increased awareness and push to have riders wearing helmets. You only get one head. Make sure it is protected with a correctly fitted helmet. And if you have a crash you need to replace your helmet.
Boots - boots are probably the most important piece of equipment you can invest in. They support the foundation of your body and can help you get into the right position, helping with technique and ability. There are good boot fitters around and finding one that can help your fit your boots correctly will be a big step in the right direction. We can certainly recommend a few.
Skis and boards - make sure the bindings are correct to your body and your ability. No need to be a hero with a high DIN setting, you need that ski to come off when you need it to. Also edges are your friend, have your skis and board tuned pre-trip.
3. Proper technique: you are never too good for a lesson. Learning the finer points of skiing and snowboarding can help you enjoy the terrain more, enable you to ski or snowboard with more confidence and help keep you injury free.
Always be in control.
Snowsports are fun and in my opinion best enjoyed with friends and family. Being prepared is the best way to make the most out of it and there is no time like the present to get started.
Our Ski and Snow Sports Physiotherapist, Jessie Mayo, has experience working at the Winter Olympics and is well equipped to address any snow sport-related injuries. She works alongside Physiotherapist, Caz Yii who has a special interest in ankle injuries. Please feel free to reach out to our team if we can help in anyway.