Ski Season – Part I., Gary A. Levengood, MD

Ski season is fast approaching and with it the thrill of an exhilarating run down the slopes on your skis or an equally exhilarating ride, but it’s not nearly as fun going down the slope on a ski patrol.

Which scenario you end up in is decided in large part by how you prepare for your ski vacation. The biggest cause of ski injuries is lack of conditioning for this demanding sport. If you have that vacation planned for February or March now is the time to get into condition for skiing.

Proper muscular conditioning involved all the components of fitness, i.e. flexibility, strength and endurance. The muscles most involved in skiing are the leg muscles. If you have not started previously, now is the good time to begin a stretching program. Stretch all the muscles around the hip including the hip abductors, flexors, extensors and groin muscles. Once you place your muscles in a position of stretch, hold them for a count of 30, and remember do not bounce. Then proceed to stretch the quadriceps and hamstring muscles again holding for 30 seconds.

Finally, give the calf muscle a good stretch. These stretches should be done at least once a day or more frequently if your muscles are tight. Always stretch prior to your workout and definitely before heading down the slopes.  If you are interested in knowing more about fitness or how to best utilize a flexibility program, call one of our certified athletic trainers today!