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:

Single Leg Squats.

  • Why? To power in to and out of turns whilst maintaining your balance on uneven off-piste back-country routes you need strong hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps.
  • What? Sit on something about the same height as your knee. On an out breathe and with full control of your motion, stand-up on one leg; hold your other leg straight out in front of you. Hold for an in breath and then lower back down on another out breath.
  • How? Keep your body upright, your hips horizontal and your standing knee directly above your ankle. Check your movement in a mirror to ensure your knee doesn’t turn inwards.
  • When? Build up to doing two sets of twenty (on each leg), 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.