Don’t let the pandemic keep you from tuning up your body before you hit the slopes. Physical Therapy Associates is putting on a free virtual 6-week injury prevention series that includes weekly strength and conditioning videos and prizes to get alpine skiers ready for the powder days to come. Anyone can watch the videos that will be posted each week at any time via Physical Therapy Associates Instagram or Facebook pages. The videos will focus on specific muscle groups and their role in skiing, as well as ways to strengthen them, improve form, and reduce the risk of injury, says Emilie West, Doctor of Physical Therapy at Physical Therapy Associates and one of the course instructors.
“After my husband’s knee injury skiing four years ago, we started participating in annual ski conditioning classes at Physical Therapy Associates and created our own series focused on strength and dynamic control of key muscle groups. Our hope with this video series is to use our knowledge and experience to provide education and resources to the skiing community, inspiring individuals to take an active role in their own injury prevention,” says West.
Advances in gear safety have made great strides in reducing injuries, she says; however, knee injuries still account for 43% of all ski injuries. “The core and the hips are pivotal muscle groups that control a skier’s center of mass and therefore their trajectory on the slopes,” explains West. Mobility, strength, and control in these areas, she says, allows a skier to adapt to dynamic situations on the mountain. “Our goal is to provide an exercise toolbox for our audience. Some participates may only ever use exercise one, while others may go through the whole series.”