Ski fitness and conditioning
Do not try to ski yourself into shape. Be in shape before you get to the top of the mountain. Poor fitness and conditioning are major contributing factors of ski injuries. Prepare months before your planned ski trip with a good conditioning program. One should utilize aerobic and stretching exercise, which targets the hip and thigh muscles such as cycling, step aerobics and swimming
Learning proper technique from a trained professional is paramount. Studies show that the high level skiers have fewer injuries. A ski instructor will help you advance through the novice levels more quickly. Even advanced skiers can benefit from professional instructors by refining their skills, which will help to avoid injury. Do not rely on friends or family members to teach you how to ski. Use a certified ski instructor.
Proper boot fit
Like ski bindings, the modern ski boot design has dramatically decreased lower extremity injuries. When selecting a boot, comfort and proper fit is important. When testing the boot in the store, keep the boot tightly buckled while walking about simulating skiing motions for as long as possible. If it does not fit in the shop, it will not fit on the slopes. This response can result in a dramatic reduction in your ability to control your skis, which increases the possibility for accidents
Recent scientific evidence suggests that fatigue is a major factor contributing to ski injuries. Skiing requires finely coordinated sustained muscle contractions. Most would admit that skiing tired is potentially dangerous. Yet, denial allows some to believe that they are exempt. Exercising common sense in understanding your own physical limits will help you to avoid injury when fatigue develops
Properly adjusted ski bindings, based on your weight, height, and level of expertise, can significantly reduce your chances of ski injury. If you own your own skis, have your bindings checked by a certified ski shop. Whether you rent or own your skis, make sure the release mechanism of the ski binding is tested while in your presence.
Beware of the chair lift
One of the most dangerous areas on the ski is not the slopes, it is the chair lift. Often these injuries occur when someone steps on the back of your ski. By trapping your ski, this results in a backward twisting fall, which is a common mechanism for knee injuries. If you ride on quad chairs, it is best to sit on the outer seats. By occupying the centre seat, you must avoid two people rather than one when disembarking. Conventional snow skiers should avoid riding the chair lifts with snowboarders. Snowboarders sit on chair lifts with their snowboards angled at 45?
The art of falling
Anyone who has ever donned a set of snow skis has experienced a fall. Research has identified certain manoeuvres, which are potentially dangerous and can lead to knee ligament injuries.
They often occur when the skier is:
1) attempting to get up while still moving after a fall
2) attempting a recovery from an off-balanced position
3) attempting to sit down after losing control
A profile has been recognized when these situations occur:
1) Uphill arm is back.
2) Skier is off-balance to the rear.
3) Uphill ski is un-weighted.
4) Hips fall below the knees.
You are advised to:
1) Place your arms forward.
2) Skis together.
3) Hands over skis.
4) Do not fully straighten your legs when you fall, keep them flexed.
5) Do not try to get up until you stop sliding.
Avoid using ski pole straps
Slipping your hand through the ski pole straps increases the likelihood of thumb and upper extremity injuries. The ski pole strap locks the wrist and hand to the pole. The pole acts as a lever against the thumb, which can result in injury. The purpose of the strap is to hang the poles up on a hook. If you cannot break the habit of using the straps when holding ski poles, cut them off, it will reduce your chance of injury.
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