THE SNOW IS CALLING

It’s that time of year and we are looking to take part in some awesome snow sports. We decided to look at what the best of the best do to perform better and avoid injury. So we looked at professional athletes training programmes, the likes of; Andri Ragettli (Featured in the above video), Lindsey Vonn (see our previous blog ‘we love snow‘), Paula Moltzan and Jussi Oksanen among many others. We think you will be surprised and intruiged by the level these athletes take their training to but also at how scaleable a lot of these exercises are for the amateur skier and how much they will help avoid injury and boost performance on the snow!

Nick Goepper’s article in Sport Illustrated really made me think about the physical and mental demands snow sport puts our bodies under.  So, whilst I learnt how to be vertical on a snowboard (to varying degrees of success), I began tailoring my gym routine from running in the summer months to reflect the changes in demands in the winter months.

There is without doubt a high risk of injury involved with snow sports such as; ACL / MCL (knee), shoulder dislocations, concussion and wrist fractures.  Of course, it is impossible to completely negate these happening due to the nature of the variables involved.  Training the body to avoid dangerous movements by developing our muscles firing patterns and improving our proprioception can only help us be more robust when it comes to hitting the slopes.

The Sciency Bit…

Improved physical fitness and increased muscular training has been proven to reduce ski related ACL injuries Raschner et al, (2012).   The goal of neuromuscular training (NMT) is to improve the skier’s ability to generate fast and optimal muscle-firing patterns to enhance knee stability and to expose the athlete to movement patterns that aid in preventing situations that stress the knee Myer, (2005).  This can be achieved through specific joint stability exercises, jumping technique training, plyometric exercises, agility drills, and sport specific exercises Risber et al, (2001).   These exercises will improve proprioception, postural stability, muscular strength, correct biomechanics and reduce fatigue, which all contribute to avoiding injury Sell and Lephart, (2012).

Whether you are planning on starting ski/board lessons, going on your first trip to the mountains, or you’re a seasoned pro, it’s worth considering a tailored exercise program to prepare you for the powder ahead. We love to work with skiers! Helping you develop a good home or gym program is essential to prepare you to conquer the slopes and leave you injury free with enough energy to get the most from the apres Ski as well!

References:

Michaelisdis. M., & Koumantakis, G. A. (2014). Effects of knee injury primary prevention programs on anterior cruciate ligament injury rates in female athletes in different sports : A systematic review. Physical Therapy in Sport, 15, 200-210.

Myer, G.D., Ford, K. R., Paulumbo, J. .P & Hewett, T. E. (2005). Neuromuscular training improves performance and lower-extremity biomechanics in female athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 19 (1), 51-60.

Raschner, C., Platzer, H-P., Patterson, C., Werner, I., Huber, R., & Hildebrandt, C. (2012). The relationship between ACL injuries and physical fitness in young competitive ski racers: a 10-year longitudinal study. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 46, 1065-1071. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2012-091050

Risber, M. A., Mork, M, Jenssen, H. K. & Holm. (2001). Design and implementation of a neuromuscular training program following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Journal of Orthopedic & Sport Physical Therapy, 31 (11), 620- 631.

Sell, T. C., & Lephart, S. M. (2012). Neuromuscular differences between men and women In Noyes & Barber-Westin (Ed.), The ACL: Anatomy, biomechanics, mechanism of injury, and the gender disparity. Springer: Heideburg. doi: 10.10071978-3-642 32592-2. 

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