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Sports Medicine

3 Exercises to Help Prevent Winter Sports Injuries

By Jillesa Anderson

Dec 19, 2016

Winter is finally here, and for many of us that means returning to the slopes for skiing and snowboarding! With these exercises, you can increase strength and minimize injury to stay strong on the slopes.

Falls are to blame for a large percentage of ski/boarding related injuries, with knee-ligament sprains and tears topping the list. Strong core and lower body are key for balance and control on the slopes this winter. By strengthening these muscle groups of the body you can decrease your risk of injury.  

RELATED: Winter Sports Injuries - Facts and Figures

Here are 3 exercises you can do now to start preparing for your winter fun:

Squat Jumps

  1. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart
  2. Squat down so your thighs are parallel to the floor, making sure your knees are behind your toes
  3. Jump high in the air
  4. Land softly on your feet

This exercise develops explosiveness in the quads and glutes. It also prepares your tendons and ligaments for the stress load that is placed on the body during activities such as skiing and snowboarding.

Dead Bug

  1. Begin lying on your back
  2. Bring your feet, knees, and hips up to 90 degrees
  3. Flatten your back onto the floor, rotating your pelvis up and squeezing your glutes. Hold this position throughout the movement
  4. Extend one leg, straightening it just above the ground, at the same time extend the opposite arm toward the ground
  5. Stay tight and return the working leg and arm to starting position
  6. Repeat on the opposite side, alternating

This exercise will help you maintain balance, an upright posture, and stabilize your pelvis and spine while moving down the mountain.

Lateral Band Walk

  1. Start with band wrapped around your ankles
  2. Stay low in a quarter-squat position
  3. Take a big sideways step followed by a halfway step with the other foot
  4. Keep chest and head up throughout exercise
  5. Start with two sets of 20 steps in each direction for this exercise.

This exercise targets the gluteus medius and stabilizing muscles of the hips. It helps with proper landing technique and jump mechanics on the mountain.

Make sure you are training appropriately so you can get out and enjoy the activities you love this winter. Start small and then progress as your body adapts your strength increases. And as always, stay hydrated!