I Focus on the Pain.

pop quiz: the lyric above is from what song and artist? clue: these guys need one helluva manicure or a big hammer to prevent it getting progressively worse.

All of us want to get through the ski-season, and indeed life, without suffering pain or injury. Read any article, by anyone who knows what they are talking about, and I guarantee they will all advocate improving your strength, balance and flexibility to avoid injury.

Wherever in the world you do your skiing, the most common injuries from snow sports are:

  • Hitting your head on the slope following a fall and getting concussion.
  • Twisting your knee as you fall with skis or a board and damaging your ligaments.
  • Covering your body with bruises as you bump and roll down a slope; base over apex.
  • Fracturing or breaking wrists, shoulders, collarbones, shins and ankles as you land awkwardly.

To avoid a trip to A&E, it makes sense for all of us to spend a little time, two or three times a week, every week, focussed on our strength, balance and flexibility. Try this one:

Bench Jump with Squat.

  • Why? The danger in a jump is not the jump, but the landing. If you can land a bench jump in balance with your body relaxed you can absorb the force of the landing and remain in control.
  • What? Stand on a bench or step that is around 25cm high. With ankles, knees and hips slightly bent, jump off the step to the ground, landing on your toes. In a fluid movement, drop your heals and butt to the squat position. To progress, find a higher step, aiming for one around 50cm from the ground.
  • How? To minimise the impact on your joints, keep your body relaxed and your landing light, feet hip distance apart. You should aim to land on your toes in balance without the need to take a step forward or back.
  • When? Repeat a bench jump about ten times, two or three times a week.
pop trivia: The lyric is from ‘Hurt’ by ‘Nine Inch Nails’, a single from their album ‘Downward Spiral’, released in 1995. In 2002, ‘Johnny Cash’ released a critically acclaimed version just months before his death.