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Skier's Get Ready

Alpine skiing is a 20th century invention and it attracts a broad spectrum of participants, including many with little athletic ability. Unlike any other sport, the extension to the human anatomy provided by the skis subject the lower extremities to load not normally encountered. The equipment is very rigid, restricting the range of motion of the ski with respect to the skier and allows the skis to act as levers. Coupled with unfamiliar terrain, weather, skier velocity and inexperience, ski injuries are common.

The physical and physiological requirements of alpine skiing are very demanding. Among most important are: flexibility, agility, coordination, balance, strength, power, and aerobic conditioning. With biomechanical considerations in mind, a proper conditioning program can be designed to reduce susceptibility to injury and reinjure with emphasis on strength, power, and flexibility.

An often overlooked, yet important component to any conditioning program is flexibility. When planning a stretching program the muscles that will be utilized should be warmed up. In the case of alpine skiing, each static stretch should be executed for five repetitions and held for a minimum of eight seconds. The skier should be relaxed, focusing attention on the specific muscle group being stretched. Prior to skiing the following muscles should be stretched: gastroc soleus complex, hamstrings, quadriceps, ankle inverters and evertors, upper back, low back, neck, hip flexors, thigh abductors and adductors, and abdominal muscles.

Below is an in season program because this is the time of the year to be skiing.

  • Emphasis on maintenance

  • Squat with toe raise

  • Lat pull

  • Triceps extension: 3 sets 10 reps 50.70 % max

  • Sit ups: 3 sets 25 reps


Cardiovascular Program:

In season should consist of aerobic activity including running, biking, or swimming 2 - 3 times a week at 70% max heart rate

The skier should not take his/her equipment, ability, or weather and slope conditions for granted. Most ski injuries are preventable with the proper precautions and a thorough year round training program.

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