Be well prepared for winter sports
Winter is fast approaching and when you say winter you say cold, snow and above all, winter sports! In order to make the most of the winter season without injury, we will provide you with some tips depending on the type of sport you practice.
Alpine skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing
Skiing and snowboarding are activities that require strength, endurance and stability all at the same time. The most common injuries amongst skier are knee, wrist or thumb sprain: it is a damage to one or multiple ligaments following a trauma that is manifested by a sharp pain around a joint. In general, these injuries occur during a fall caused by a lack of strength or balance. Therefore, after a few months of inactivity, it is important to perform some exercises to maximize its performance on the slopes and limit the risk of injury.
Even after doing exercises, proper warm-up is essential:
- Circulate your shoulders and hips for about 30 seconds
- Practice a slow and then a quick ten minutes’ walk: it increases blood circulation in the muscles and reduces the risk of injury.
The practice of aerobic activities a few weeks before the season will increase endurance and facilitate the return to the slopes.
Whether in a team sport to replicate the exploits of our idols or simply for leisure, ice skating is a pleasant activity but one that carries the risk of injury. The most common injury in skaters is a muscle strain: it is a tear, often partial and without long-term consequences, of the muscle fibers. It occurs during a rapid muscular contraction of a muscle and is characterized by a pain in the muscular belly. In general, a muscle strain is accompanied by a bruise and a slight swelling.
To prevent the appearance of this injury, strengthening of the leg muscles is necessary. Adequate and progressive warm-up, such as walking or running, as well as circular movements of the joints, minimize the risk of injury. As for skiing, the practice of an aerobic activity a few weeks before the season will facilitate the resumption of skating.
These exercises will help you to start your winter sports in the best possible conditions:
The chair on the wall:
Back to the wall, bend your legs as if sitting on a chair. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat 3 to 5 times.
This exercise will strengthen your thighs and increase their stamina. It is possible to add an attached elastic around the thighs to add reinforcement to the glutes.
Standing with knees bent at about 45 degrees and an elastic band tied around the legs, take 10 lateral steps in one direction while keeping your back straight and 10 steps in the other direction. Repeat 3 times. This exercise will strengthen your glutes.
Balance on one leg:
Stand straight on one leg and try to maintain your balance for 30 seconds. Repeat this exercise 5 times per leg.
If exercise is too easy, add a pillow or cushion to the ground to make the surface more unstable.
Extension of the arms:
Stand up, attach an elastic band to the height of your head. Take one end of the elastic in each hand. Keeping your back straight and arms outstretched, bring your hand back against the resistance of the elastic one arm at a time. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each arm.
To have a more complete program adapted to your condition, or to evaluate an injury, you can contact one of our physiotherapists in our clinics.
Enjoy your winter season!
By Guillaume Desroches, physiotherapist at clinic Vanier Physiotherapie Universelle.