Keeping Your Knees Healthy During the Ski-Season

Did you know that knee injuries are the most common type of ski-related injury? Don’t become a statistic! With ski season in full swing, it’s important to take steps to prevent knee injuries. 

The knee can be injured when:

  • The lower leg is thrown outward while going downhill
  • The knee is hit directly on its outer side from a collision or fall
  • A jump is landed incorrectly, with your weight back instead of forward
  • The skier points their skis inward (“snowplow” or “pizza” position) to stop or turn

Our CAP therapists provide a few tips for how to prevent and ensure an injury-free ski season.

Mobility, Balance, and Strength 

Work on joint mobility and muscle flexibility, while building a solid foundation.

Mobility and strength training is essential for skiers to prevent injuries and improve their performance. Focus on proper form while building strength in your lower body, specifically your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and core. As your knees allow, move into exercises including lunges, step-ups, single-leg squats, and Bulgarian split squats.

For all lower body strengthening exercises, ensure your knees stay in neutral alignment and don’t allow them to collapse inwards. Focus on engaging the glutes and hamstrings, as our quads have a tendency to take over and dominate lower body exercises.

Balance and proprioception, the body’s ability to perceive where it is in space, are important aspects of skiing. Core conditioning and spatial awareness exercises (e.g., one-leg balance, balance board, bosu ball), are great ways to improve your balance. 

No matter where you are in your skiing journey, our therapists can help develop a ski routine that works for you. 

Form and Technique

Your form is just as important off the hill during strength and mobility exercises as it is on the hill. Proper form and technique can help reduce the stress on your joints and muscles, improve your balance and stability, and reduce your risk of falls and collisions. Correct skiing technique includes:

  • Keeping your knees bent: This helps absorb the shock of the terrain and reduces the stress on your knees. Make sure to maintain a comfortable, athletic stance with your knees slightly bent throughout your run.
  • Engage your core: Your core muscles play a critical role in maintaining your balance and stability.
  • Keep your hands forward: Ensure your weight and focus is forward, as this will also help you maintain balance and control. 

Preventative Professional Care

Our physiotherapists and chiropractors provide tailored care to improve your mobility and ski performance through manual therapy and education. They can help prevent knee injuries through programmed strength training, stretching, and mobilization alignment techniques.

Deep tissue massage, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy provided by our massage therapists will help increase circulation and reduce muscle tension, both of which are key for a healthy and fun ski season. 

If you are unsure where to start, or currently have pain, book an appointment with one of our therapists.

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