This is not in any way prescriptive but something to help you look after your back, and hopefully avoid flare ups. I’ve summarised some of the key things which I think will be helpful, after seeing a huge number of high level skiers and ski instructors this year with back pain. I think the main problem arises from:
being in a slightly forward flexed position, which isn’t great for your posture, and also jeopardises the discs if they are prone to irritation and compression
carrying a ABS/back pack adds more load to that position
varying conditions, race training or travelling at high speeds, often winding the body into deep positions where the body has huge forces to deal with
park – something has to absorb those landings, there is no doubt that this over time will take its toll, but being in balance and having your core to support your spine will significantly help
I’ve split this into 3 key things to work at – even if you can just pick one thing from each of 1) stretches 2) self massage release 3) core to do every day that would be a awesome start! A lot of the stretches you will have seen before, but it’s the small micro adjustments you can make to really target a muscle group and benefit from the stretch. Without a one to one session it’s hard to explain, but I’ve tried to give some key pointers.
STRETCHES: hold each for a good 30secs, repeated x3
CORE: This is a very brief intro into getting your deep core muscles activating. This is hugely important in stabilising your spine – no matter how strong or ‘ripped’ you are, you need your deep core to ‘have your back’!!! Often the more traditional sit up actions can be counterproductive if not done correctly, and you will 100% benefit more from an ABs workout if you deep core is working
This is designed only to be an aid to helping your back. It is always best to get a tailored programme from a professional to suit your needs. Get in touch if any questions or comments 🙂
This can be done in the suggested format: 4 minutes work, followed by 1 minute rest. Repeated 3 -5 times. 8 exercises consisting on 30secs high intensity/30 secs of ‘active recovery’. This is designed to mimic the intensity of an average ski run.
Alternately this cardio set can replace the previous cardio set in the last 3 phase workout. Preparation is key!
Feeling a bit sluggish after too much turkey and Christmas cheer over the holidays? Need to get in shape for skiing? Well, you're in luck amigos – our friend and your favourite Jo Pollard – Physio is back with a high-intensity cardio workout designed to put the pep back in your step. This workout can be done on it's own, or as the cardio section of a three-phase mountain workout by adding core and balance sections as seen in Jo's last workout video.Once your HIIT game is on point, head over to SkiBro to find your ideal ski instructor, school or guide and book online in just a few clicks.
Want to be in best shape as you can be this winter? Try this sequence of CARDIO FITNESS, BALANCE/PROPRIOCEPTION and CORE to not only prepare you for winter, but keep you on top of your game 💪👊
This is sequence works on the fundamental elements to get you in shape and keep you on form for this winters riding. The cardio section is designed to mimic the intensity of an average ski run, where your heart can pick up, followed by active recovery phase. Next is a core section, which well help your stability and overall performance. Saved until the last, is the balance and proprioception section – this is ideally done at the end when your fatigued, challenging your neuromuscular system, helping you develop balance reactions and better movement control when you start to fatigue, and may help with injury prevention.
Then take a look at these 5 exercises and reasons why to add hamstring strengthening to your fitness programme
#ski fit #injury prevention #biomechanics #stronger #train smart
REASON 1: INJURY PREVENTION #ACL
Many of us (and rightly so) focus on exercises to our quads, as this is where we feel the burn when riding, especially in the pow right? While this is correct and it is important to train these muscles, it’s also important to exercise the counteracting muscles; the hamstrings. If our quads are too strong, or our hamstrings too weak, there is an imbalance. This combined with fact that the hamy’s act like a brake system which means that if we fall, twist or land awkwardly, we are more likely to cause injury to our knee if the hamstrings can’t counteract this quad contraction or adequately play it’s stability role. This is of huge importance in avoiding ACL injury and important to include in any programme post *ACL surgery/injury (*always seek physio advice for a specific plan)
REASON 2: BE MORE DYNAMIC AND EFFICIENT.
Our hamstrings contribute to stability, shock absorption and
better movement patterns. Connecting our hips and knee joints, they provide efficient
load absorption and power to be transmitted in our sports. Our hamstrings and gluts work together to
provide strength and explosive movements, but also support what is known as our
posterior chain. In skiing and
snowboarding this would relate to us being able to maintain good posture,
resist falling over and keeping up right in bumpy or unpredictable terrain.
REASON 3: WANT TO AVOID FALLING OVER AS MUCH?
Our hamstrings often work eccentrically, meaning they are
lengthening whilst also contracting.
This is especially important whilst running or kicking, or in the skiing
environment to help control our movements, especially if we feel we are going
over the ‘handle bars’ – are hamstrings act like decelerators.
REASON 4: BE BALANCED – STRENGTH THROUGH RANGE
As well as being strong, our hamstrings need good length in
them to optimally provide the qualities discussed. If the hamstrings are tight, they can pull on
your pelvis and cause biomechanical imbalances.
You are at risk of this if you ski or snowboard for long periods, as you
are nearly always working with a bent knee and therefore at risk of the hamstrings
tightening and potentially straining.
REASON 5: BIOMECHANICS
Sorry ladies but this is aimed at us! Women are more likely to have valgus collapse in their knees -meaning our physiology generally means our knee drops into adduction and internal rotation more easily (i.e. collapses in). While skiing or snowboarding with our knees in a bent position our inside knee ligament (MCL) is not so effective at supporting our knees – our hamstrings (as well as other muscles of the knee), play a huge support and protection role to the knee ligaments.
There are of course many exercises, but give these 5 a go to get your hamstrings and gluts firing up…..
Start with low reps and sets i.e 4-6 reps x 3 sets, and build up as you gain strength and confidence. As with any exercise it is important to fully warm up and seek further advice if you are unsure of any of the exercises. Feel free to get in touch for advice and more ways you can prepare yourself for your sport or post injury programmes 🙂
I’ve teamed up with SkiBro to provide the first in a series of exercises, which can easily be done in the comfort of your own home, just click on the link above to see episode 1.
This workout is designed to take no longer than 30 mins, so there is no excuses not to fit it in! It designed to get your heart rate up and work all the major muscle groups used in skiing/snowboarding. Try and complete the whole set and repeat it continuously 4-6 times. If you are not sure of fitness levels, or need to work up allow a 30 second rest between each set, and start off with 2 or 3 rounds until you can complete 6. The exercises here are all round great for all types of sport and general fitness, so get involved!
Getting yourself ready and in shape for your ski holiday means you can not only enjoy your skiing more, but also get less fatigued, help reduce likelihood of injury, and all in all stay out on the slopes longer!
Get ready to get started, get sweaty and get strong!!
Hello! I would like to introduce myself and my new website. I am Jo, and have been working for various companies over the last few years, but am setting up independently for my 7th season in Val D’lsere! I am fully registered as a physio in France and the Uk. I can also accept clients that can benefit from free, or greatly reduced physio with their Carte Vitale.
This summer I have had a great summer working in Chamonix, working with all kinds of athletes and tourists. Its been great to see a variation of hiking, running, biking and climbing injuries!
I’ve been a physio for nearly 12 years now and have worked in many areas of physio, but mostly with the sporting population. I have also been working with the para GB ski and snowboard teams and was lucky travel to all parts of the world. I am a passionate skier and snowboarder, and combined with my experience am confident to get people back to where they want to be. See my ‘about’ bio for more info! Don’t hesitate to get in touch for any preseason injury queries or find out how pilates could benefit you! Bring on the snow 🙂