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Ski Season’s Here!

The mountains are calling, the highway is improving and ski season is here!Pilates programming focussed on ski conditioning and injury prevention is high on the agenda for avid skiers. We all want to ski fast, react well to bumps and moguls, negotiate deep powder, rebound from jumps, and learn how to best accelerate and decelerate through each turn to get that perfect run.ski

Educating skiers on proper core stability and the key muscles that often get tight, inappropriately recruited or overused due to muscle imbalances can go a long way to preventing injuries. Pilates can address the form, technique, strength and muscle coordination required to prevent compensations and injuries. Controlling the trunk through core stability allows us to respond to the rapid motion, speed and extreme mobility our bodies experience while skiing.

Training the adductors will help us recover when we catch an edge and assist us in keeping the skis under the centre of our body, reducing the stress on passive structures like our MCL (medial collateral ligament).picture-27

Knee injuries account for 1 in every 3 ski injuries, with ACL injuries involved in more than half!

Insufficient control of joint positioning puts excessive load on the ACL, subjecting it to possible sprain or tearing. Learning how to support and control the joints through Pilates will go a long way to preventing such injuries.

Research shows that women teat their ACLs 5-10 times more frequently than men. Many factors contribute to this stat. The predominant ones are imbalances. Women tend to prefer one leg to the other in terms of power and balance which creates single-leg dominance patterning. They tend to activate quads over hamstrings in an attempt to stabilize the knee joint and at particular angles of flexion this quad dominance stresses the ACL. Injuries to the medial or inside of the knee are also high. Appropriate tracking and stability of the knee and hip joints is required and Pilates uses exercises targeting the glutes and VMO muscles to help accomplish this.

The lower back is also often overused and injured. This is generally the result of poor core stability and fatigue. When we ski we need a strong, flexible, resilient structure to be injury-free. Proper abdominal recruitment will help you ski a full day comfortably, with enough energy to enjoy apres ski!