It’s no surprise an 8-hour day on the slopes requires a considerable amount of strength. Proper mechanics and muscle stability play a key role with the high velocity demands of downhill snow sports. Hip strength, in particular, can help control dynamic movement and decrease rotational forces that occur at the knee joint. By controlling the movement of your knees falling inward, you can reduce unwanted joint stress and prevent ligament injury. Hip and core strength are also crucial for maintaining balance and stability as you carve through the trees, weave through moguls, and (for some) get on and off the lift without wiping out.
With all the attention we pay to the material goods of the sport, we tend to forget about our bodies' readiness to hit the slopes. Do your legs have the endurance for a full day of skiing or snowboarding? Is your balance good enough to keep you off the ground? These are essential questions you need to answer before heading to the mountain.
The key to a successful and injury-free day are endurance, strength, agility, and balance. Proper training habits along with the ability to perform the desired movements in a strong, efficient, and safe manner are essential for optimal health and pain-free performance.
Whether you’re a year-round weekend warrior or winter is your time to shine, here are some essential training tips to keep in mind before going snowboarding or skiing.
It's important for your cardiovascular system needs to adapt to accommodate the decrease in partial pressure of oxygen. In other words, at lower atmospheric pressures, your lungs are less efficient and the gas exchange ability decreases. As you travel higher into the mountains, you are putting even more stress on your systems when performing high aerobic activity. The best way to prepare for this is to perform cardiovascular training at a moderate-intensity at least 150 minutes a week. For example, you could do 30 minutes of running, swimming, brisk walking, biking, or dancing 5 times a week, in preparation for the ski season. Many popular classes such as HIIT (high intensity interval training) incorporate cardio, strength training and plyometrics and can be beneficial for a full body endurance workout.
A key component to snow sports is neuromuscular stabilization (or balance). We all have tiny receptors in our joints, muscles and tendons that sense the position of our body parts in space. Luckily this isn’t something we actively have to think about to stay standing; however, this system is integral to maintaining your center of gravity as you’re sliding down a mountain.
One of the best ways to challenge your muscle control is to perform exercises on an unstable surface. You can use a foam pad at the gym or a couch cushion or pillow at home. This type of training will mimic the terrain variability on the mountain, challenging your stability system from head to toe. Variables to change can include head positioning, closing your eyes, standing on one foot, or tossing a ball. You can add a strengthening component while on foam and perform double and single leg squats, 3 way lunges, or single leg deadlifts with cone grabs. Suspension exercises, such as Redcord and TRX, are also hugely beneficial for developing neuromuscular control.
ACL Injury Prevention
Unfortunately for some, it is difficult to determine when an ACL injury may occur. However, if you have been experiencing any knee, hip, ankle or even low back pain and participate in high-level sports, it is a good idea to see a physical therapist. We specialize in movement and can utilize certain screens and testing to determine if you are at a high risk for an ACL injury. We can then create an individualized program to improve mobility, stability and strength in the core, hips and lower extremities. These programs can be especially critical to implement into youth sports programs as warm-ups to improve mechanics and reduce the risk of injury when on the slopes.
In addition to figuring out if your body is physically ready to hit the slopes, how do you know if you have the right equipment for optimal performance? It's always best to consult with the equipment experts such as BURTON snowboards and apparel.
• Core weakness
• Glute weakness
• Ankle mobility issues
• Balance and stability deficits
• Improper lower extremity strengthening for sport
• Knee pain
While these symptoms are common among athletes, they are not normal and should be addressed by a qualified healthcare provider.
If this sounds like you, click here to get help now.
When you train at relatively high intensities as an athlete, you are placing more demands on your body in order to attain a specific level of fitness or performance. As with any physical activity that challenges you to push your boundaries, you are subject to an elevated risk of injury.
A population becoming increasingly more affected is adolescent females, who are 4-6 times more likely than their male counterparts to rupture their ACL. Reasons for this discrepancy can include adolescent females’ decreased neuromuscular control of lower limb biomechanics at the knee during pivoting, landing, and lateral movements. However more common this injury is in the adolescent population, it is still likely to occur in an individual at any age who exhibits decreased lower extremity stability and strength while performing high-level tasks or sports. These events can disrupt your brain's capacity to switch on the right muscle, at the right time, and with the right amount of strength. Without the proper stability system, known as neuromuscular deactivation, this loss of muscle control impairs your ability to properly stabilize joints through their range of motion. Specifically in the knee joint, the ACL becomes more susceptible to increased stress and forces may exceed its capacity, leading to strain or rupture.
At Activcore, we can reverse this cycle through a unique neuromuscular approach, called Redcord.
Working with athletes is typically not a big part of a physical therapist’s education. It is a specialty area requiring much further study, training, and practice following graduation.
At Activcore, you will be matched with a physical therapist who specializes in treating athletes. Unlike the "typical" PT who probably doesn't even play sports, you will have a specialist PT who knows exactly what you are going through.
Activcore provides you with the space, equipment, and qualified physical therapists to improve your performance and enhance your recovery. We have experience implementing preventative warm-up programs and analyzing body mechanics before and after the season to track improvements in physical activities, such as box depth jump, single leg squat, and landing mechanics.
Activcore physical therapists are also recognized nationally as a leading authority in the application of Redcord, a suspension exercise system designed to help you develop a smarter, balanced body through the power of neuromuscular activation.
Your physical therapist will assess how you move as it relates to your sport. This is a holistic approach to identify not only the site of injury, but the true source of any pain, weakness and dysfunction. Addressing the underlying cause is absolutely essential for healing an injury, preventing recurrence, and keeping you healthy and at a peak level of performance. The progression of your physical therapy treatments should be a reflection of the type of activity you are trying to get back to doing.
• Achilles strain / tear / tendinopathy
• ACL tear / repair / reconstruction
• Ankle pain
• Ankle sprain
• Arthroscopic surgeries
• Femoral acetabular impingement (FAI)
• Groin strain
• Hamstring strain/tear
• Hip labral tear
• Hip pain
• Hip trochanteric bursitis
• Impingement syndrome
• IT band syndrome
• Joint sprains
• Knee pain
• Labral tears
• Labral surgery
• Ligament injuries
• Low back pain
• Meniscus tear / repair
• Muscle strains
• Nerve injuries
• Patellar tendonitis/tendinopathy
• Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS)
• Postural dysfunction
• Quadriceps strain/tear
• Sports injuries
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I am a very active person, I snowboard, lift weights, do yoga, dance, paddle board... you name it. So when I woke up the next day after snowboarding and couldn't bear any weight on my right knee, I was so worried. I immediately booked an appointment with Rachel, and she got right to work assessing my pain and creating a plan to get me back on the mountain as quickly and safely as possible. The Redcord system at Activcore is truly amazing, and Rachel's ability to talk me through the process and provide exercises that I could do on my own got me back on my snowboard in six weeks. I've never been more thankful to be healthy and active again. The price of this service is SO worth it, I'll be sending everyone I know to see Rachel should they ever need it.
Highly recommend this clinic for PT, especially Gavin Ongsingco. It is obvious he is extremely knowledgeable, well trained, and dedicated to his work. When I started with Gavin I had only 2 months to improve before moving out of state for work. I progressed very quickly and many of my problems that had been overlooked for years or could not be identified by other physical therapists he was able to address. I have had many sports injuries throughout my life and have seen more than a dozen different PTs, he is definitely one of the best! I would definitely fly back to Denver to have him evaluate me if I needed it in the future, his skills are unmatched!
Activcore is unlike anything I have ever experienced. One patient, one provider, one hour – one at a time, every time. If you’re serious about your physical therapy and recovery, this is the only place to go!
I've only gotten excellent, effective care at Activcore. They have helped me through a long post-surgery rehab with skill and kindness that have been key to my recovery.
Explore an Activcore location in your area.Activcore Online (Telehealth)Atlanta, GeorgiaCUMMING, GEORGIADENVER, COLORADOGREENwood village, COLORADOCASTLE ROCK, COLORADOPRINCETON, New JerseyScotch Plains, New Jerseynewtown, pennsylvania