Cliffside Ski and Bike Rental

October 10, 2011

Guest Blog: Dr. Ron Grober on Preseason Ski Exercises

Filed under: General Information,Skiing — Tags: , , — Sarah @ 10:44 am

PRESEASON SKI EXERCISES

 

AN UNDERSTANDING OF BASIC BIOMECHANICAL PRINCIPLES CAN PROVIDE A RATIONAL BASIS FOR PERSONALIZING ONE’S PRESEASON TRAINING PROGRAM FOR SKIING.

 

DOWNHILL SKIING IS DEPENDENT ON THE FORCE OF GRAVITY PULLING THE SKIER DOWNHILL. AS IN A CAR, ANY TURN EFFORT CREATES A CENTRIFUGAL FORCE WHICH IS NORMALLY RESISTED BY THE OUTSIDE LEG . INITIALLY WEIGHT IS TAKEN ON THE OUTSIDE SKI EDGE AND PROMPTLY DISTRIBUTED TO THE INSIDE EDGE OF THE DOWNHILL SKI. THE ANKLE MUST BE FLEXIBLE ENOUGH AND SUFFICIENTLY STRONG TO CREATE THE NECESSARY EVERSION OR PRONATION. WITH INITITIATION THE NEXT TURN, THE CENTER OF GRAVITY MUST BE TRANSFERRED FORWARD IN PREPARATION FOR SHIFTING  WEIGHT TO WHAT WILL BE THE NEW DOWNHILL SKI. THE EXTENSOR MUSCLES OF THE KNEE DRIVE THE OUTSIDE FOOT INTO THE PRONATED POSITION.  OPTIMALLY, WEIGHT THEN MOVES FORWARD TOWARD THE BIG TOE.  ELEVATION OF THE HIP STRENGTHENS THE TURN. MOVING THE CENTER OF GRAVITY OVER THE BALL OF THE FOOT WILL ENHANCES STABILITY AND BALANCE.  IF THE SURFACES ARE UNEVEN ONE NEEDS TO   ABSORB THE CONVEX SURFACES AND PUSH TOWARD THE GROUND ON THE CONCAVE SURFACES.

A FEW ADDITIONAL POINTS ARE WORTHY OF EMPHASIS.

TIGHT CALF MUSCLES MAY CONTRIBUTE TO OVER USE OF KNEE FLEXION WHICH SECONDARILY THROWS WEIGHT ON THE BACK OF THE SKIS AND UNNECESSARILY FATIGUES THE THIGHS.

LACK OF LATERAL CONTROL CAUSES A SKIERS LEGS TO SEPARATE IN AN A-FRAME POSITION RESULTING IN DIMINISHED PERFORMANCE IN POWDER AND MORE CHALLENGING TERRAINS. EXERCISES DIRECTED AT STRENGTHENING THE ADDUCTOR MUSCLES (THOSE THAT PULL THE THIGHS TOGETHER) CAN BE HELPFUL.

MORE CHALLENGING TERRAIN OFTEN REQUIRES LARGER ANGLE TURNS. THIS CANNOT OCCUR WITHOUT SUFFICIENT ABILITY TO ROTATE THE HIPS. LASTLY, CORE STRENGTH IS IMPORTANT IN ALL SPORTS AND SKIING IS NO EXCEPTION. A WEAK CORE WILL PREDISPOSE TO AN INABILITY TO KEEP THE CENTER OF GRAVITY SUFFICIENTLY FORWARD OVER THE SKIS.

 

BASED ON THIS INFORMATION, WE CAN    FORMULATE A TRAINING PROGRAM BASED ON THE SPECIFIC FORCES TO BE GENERATED. I WILL HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANT AND RELEVANT MUSCLE GROUPS TO BE STRENGTHENED SO THAT THE READER MAY MAKE APPROPRIATE PERSONAL CHOICES REGARDING SPECIFIC EXERCISES BASED ON THE PRINCIPLES OUTLINED ABOVE.

 

A.  ANKLE FLEXION

B. ANKLE INVERSION/EVERSION

C. EXTENSORS OF KNEE (QUADRICEPS)

D.  STRETCH CALF MUSCLES (GASTROC AND SOLEUS)

E. STRENGTHEN THIGH ADDUCTOR MUSCLES

F.  INCREASE HIP ROTATION

G.   STRENGTHEN CORE (ABDOMINALS AND LOW BACK)

 

KEEPING THESE BIOMECHANICAL PRINCIPLES IN MIND SHOULD ALLOW THE MOTIVATED SKIER TO MAKE INTELLIGENT AND TIME-EFFICIENT CHOICES WHEN DESIGNING THEIR OWN PERSONAL PRESEASON SKI EXERCISE PROGRAM.  DILIGENT FOCUS ON THE MAJOR MUSCLE GROUPS REFERENCED HERE WILL RESULT IN DECREASED CHANCE FOR INJURY AND BETTER AND MORE RELAXED SKIING. WITH ENOUGH PRACTICE ONE MAY BE ABLE TO HANDLE MORE CHALLENGING TERRAIN AND MORE VARIED SNOW CONDITIONS.

 

DR. RON GROBER

ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON AND SPORTS MEDICINE PHYSICIAN

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