Thinking about a skiing holiday? Think about your spine.

It’s that time of year again when our thoughts start turning towards the winter sports holidays.

What we sometimes forget is that skiing is physically very demanding with special emphasis on the spine. Although it is mainly the lower abdominals and core muscles that are used to keep the body in the correct position, falling while skiing can jar, twist, or otherwise stress the spine and soft tissue structures. Self-correcting to avoid a fall can lead to a lower or mid back strain or other injury to the spine resulting in back pain.

Get ready

To get the most from your skiing holiday, be prepared and you will improve your performance and be safe. A little preparation before you go can make all the difference to your performance and enjoyment. We recommend starting your preparation about 6 weeks before you go.

Improve your strength

If you’re not properly prepared, it’s easy for your muscles to become overtired and consequently very weak. This significantly increases your chances of injury during your holiday. Build up your muscles before you go with some squats, lunges and bridges

To stretch or not to stretch?

Stretching in a static position before starting to ski increases your chances of damaging soft tissue. The best way to warm your body up is to use your first run to warm up your muscles. Once you’ve warmed up with your first run, then is the time to stretch. Lumbar rolls, kick throughs and hip flexor stretches will all help to reduce the chance of an injury and improve your performance.

Keep warm

Accidents happen when the muscles are stiff and cold. Make sure that you warm up properly with squat jumps, tuck jumps and dynamic lunges to get the blood pumping and make your muscles more elastic.

A nice warm bath…

Oh no you don’t! A warm bath will do nothing to help your body recover from the day on the slopes. Ideally an ice bath will reduce inflammation and aid recovery. If that’s just too much then how about a sauna and quick dip in the plunge pool?

We hope our advice will help you get in shape for an amazing ski trip. Happy holidays!