Are you Ski Fit?

During the winter months, a weekly occurrence in clinic will be someone booking an appointment either due to a last-minute injury, or more often a last-minute concern, before heading off on their winter ski/snowboard holiday.

As is the way with a lot of endurance based sports, a lot of ski-injuries can be traced back to the onset of fatigue. We tire – we lose focus (or ‘form’). Specific training can help reduce your chance of getting injuries whilst away, but they can also be used pre-emptively, to try and ensure that you enjoy your time away by limiting the aches and niggles that can sometimes plague winter breaks.

Of course, it makes sense to concentrate on improving our aerobic capacity before we leave, which means getting out of breath a few times a week. This is particularly important for skiing due to most resorts – naturally – being at altitude where air is thinner. It would generally be recommend that you give yourself a good 8-12 weeks pre holiday to get yourself ski-fit, but even if you fall within that window, it is still recommended that you utilise your time wisely.

If we want to avoid as best as possible those burning thighs on that long red run home and tired aching muscles the next day, we need to work on our leg strength – specifically our quadriceps (thighs), the gluteal muscles (backside) and calves. Core muscles shouldn’t be neglected either, but I find these to be best worked as compound exercises rather than in isolation. Stance – or balance – is important whether you are skiing or boarding, which is why I, generally speaking, like single leg work.

Below are a few exercises that may be useful if you are heading to the slopes soon; they all focus on strength, core, balance and posture, all key when trying to avoid injury when skiing or snowboarding.

For more information, or specific advice pre-ski, please contact

N.B. There are no ‘one size fits all’ style quick fixes in most injury scenarios, so these article shouldn’t be seen as such. They are merely guides to a better understanding of how our bodies work.

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