Are you ready to hit the slopes this winter?

Hayley Jasper has some recommendations for you, Outdoor Enthusiast 16th Jan 2015. Posted by Chantelle Kelly

Outdoor Enthusiast spoke to physiotherapists from Six Physio, to get their top tips on how to prepare your body to take on the slopes. So if you’re going skiing or snowboarding this season make sure you’re ready for it!

“Skiing is one of the only sports that the average person will only do for 1 week a year and will ski for 8 hours per day on average which is 56 hours in a single week! This means pre ski conditioning and fitness is essential to prevent injury and maximise performance,” said Hayley Jasper, Snow Sports Specialist.

The right conditioning and fitness training can also prevent the most common skiing and snowboarding injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL), which accounts for 30 – 40% of all alpine ski injuries.

Core Body Areas to Prepare
Hayley recommends the following top 5 areas of the body to work on before hitting the slopes:

  • Core strength in ski specific positions
  • Glutes endurance strength
  • Eccentric quads control and endurance
  • Hip range of movement to allow optimal carving and edging
  • Balance and proprioception

Key Exercises & Workouts
Hayley’s favourite exercises to target these body areas are:

  • Squat holding a med ball and lift over head on the extension with straight arms (high reps)
  • Glute medius hip external rotation pulses with ball against a wall in single leg squat (high reps for endurance)
  • Single leg lowers from a step or bosu ball with long hold
  • Figure 4 stretch lying supine and prone
  • Upturned Bosu ball single leg squats and step down

What are the most common ski and snow boarding injuries

The most common injury when skiing is anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury which is the ligament in the centre of the knee joint that joins the tibia to the femur and restricts excessive anterior/posterior translation. The other commonly injured ligament in skiers is the medial collateral ligament (MCL) which is along the inside of the knee joint and is most commonly injured with knee rotation like with ‘catching an edge’.

Boarders tend to more commonly injure the upper body and most commonly wrist sprains and fractures. The other common injury in boarders is acromio-clavicular joint injuries which is the small joint on the very top of the shoulder that tends to get sprained and sublux with falls onto an outstretched arm.

What are your top tips to prevent these injuries?

The best way to reduce the risk of these injuries occurring is to ensure you ski within your limits and maintain control at all times. The other way to help have greater control over your skis especially on more challenging terrain is to prepare your body well and specifically for skiing.

Are there any stretches which will help prevent injury?

Right before you hit the slopes, try and take 10 minutes to hop on your travel foam roller and roll out your quads, illiotibial bands and calves!

Get in touch for specific exercises and more advice from the experts: visit

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