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As winter approaches, the excitement of hitting the slopes, gliding through the snow-covered mountain tops and breathing in that beautiful mountain air grows within winter holiday lovers. 

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to skiing or snowboarding, optimising your body’s strength, flexibility and resilience is crucial for an exhilarating and injury-free experience out in the snow. 

Enter Osteopathy — a holistic approach to healthcare that can help to enhance your skiing and snowboarding performance.

Osteopathy’s Role in Skiing

Osteopathy focuses on the interconnectedness of the body’s structure and function by addressing imbalances and restrictions within the musculoskeletal system. It aims to restore the body’s natural ability to heal itself. When it comes to skiing, the physical demands on the body are intense, requiring strength, flexibility, and good alignment. Osteopathic treatment addresses all of these aspects, thus is ideal to get you ready for your time out on the slopes.

How Osteopathy Benefits Skiers:

1. Injury Prevention and Recovery

The physical challenge of Skiing naturally carries a risk of injuries, particularly to the knees, hips and lower back. Osteopathic treatment helps prevent injuries by improving joint mobility, reducing excessive muscle tension and building muscular strength. All with the goal of improving overall function and alignment. Osteopathy can also help to get you back to full health should you come back from your trip with any niggles.

2. Improved Flexibility and Range of Motion

Flexibility and mobility are both key so that you’re supple enough to elegantly manoeuvre through whatever the piste might throw at you! Osteopathic techniques, including massage, stretches and passive joint mobilisation lead to enhanced mobility and increase the body’s range of motion. Mobility is important for smoother and more controlled movement on the slopes, and to help prevent unwanted strains and sprains.

3. Enhanced Core Strength and Stability

Unsurprisingly, a strong core is vital for keeping you upright and maintaining optimal balance and stability whilst elegantly gliding (or thrashing!) down the slopes. An Osteopath is able to prescribe specific exercises that target your core muscles, and also challenge your balance to improve your strength and stability. Both a necessity to improve your performance and reduce the risk of taking a tumble.

Recommended Osteopathic Exercises for Skiers

1. Build a strong base:

  • Straight Arm Planks: To get that core and those shoulders nice and strong.
  • Bodyweight Squats: The quads work overtime out on the slopes, so best to build them up!
  • Step Heel Raises: A good exercise to help stabilise the posterior aspect of the knee.

2. Keep flexible:

  • Standing splits (inner thighs): Keeping those ski’s together can be hard work! Stretch out those adductors using a standing splits stretch.
  • Standing Quadriceps Stretch: Be sure to stretch out the front of the legs so that you don’t end up with excess pressure on the front of your knees. 

3. Work on your Balance:

  • Bosu Ball Exercises: Performing exercises such as squats on a Bosu ball will challenge your balance and stability.
  • Single-Leg Hip-Hinge: Great to help release off the tension and build strength in the back of the legs – also a  great move to test your balance.

Take note before you hit the slopes! 

Skiing is not just a sport; it’s a beautiful experience that connects us with nature. Getting out into the mountains takes an investment of time and money, so it’s important to make sure that once you’re out there you can really make the most of it, and don’t cut your trip short due to injury.

Seeking both hands-on treatment and advice from an Osteopath in your pre-ski months is a sure-fire way to help you improve your skiing performance. For those who like to take it more leisurely out on the slopes – remember, stronger muscles and mobile joints will mean lighter work (and fewer injuries) when you’re out there. 

Remember, before starting any new exercise regime, it’s vital to consult with an Osteopathic professional or other similar healthcare provider to determine the best approach for you, based on your individual needs and physical condition

Here at Meadowside, our team of excellent, experienced Osteopaths will connect with you, empower you and collaborate with you to achieve long lasting health and resilience within your body. 

Come and be inspired by all the things your body can do for you!

Get in touch now to speak with one of our Osteopaths and find out how we can help you today.

 

Written by Jacob Dane