Preventative Ski Conditioning Exercises
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Preventative Ski Conditioning Exercises

You may have been doing 1,000 squats a day in preparation of your Whistler ski holiday but that’s just half the battle in the fight against a ski injury. Working your quads might be your idea of the best preventative ski conditioning exercise, but have you given your hamstrings any consideration at all?

Balance Is Everything

Balance, says local physiotherapist Mike Conway with Back in Action, is everything. It’s the key to staying safe on the mountains and making sure you get the most of your holiday and your whole season. And it’s a long season in Whistler! “It’s frustrating when people end their season for something that appeared to us to be preventable,” he says. He’s not here to lecture. Rather, Conway, along with help from Whistler Blackcomb and his partners at Back in Action, has developed a new app for skiing.

The SKIRAD app offers ski conditioning exercise programs.

But, firstly, let’s go back to those all-important quads, which are going to burn like hell in the first few weeks back on your skis or board. You know the ache we’re talking about, that fiery burn where you think holding on to your turn for one more second might just kill you. Squats can certainly help you get ready for the season ahead, but that’s just playing to your strengths. What about your weaknesses? “Hamstrings don’t get trained in skiing but they’re so critical to countering the dominant use of the quads,” explains Conway. “And throughout the season the quads get stronger and stronger and more and more used, and so it’s critical people have these counter balancing exercises.” And it’s these counter balancing, ski conditioning exercises that Conway’s app will advise people to do.

SKIRAD: The Pre-Habilitation App

Ask yourself this: Is your body “fit for snow needs?” If you want to know the answer to that question, get SKIRAD, because you may be surprised by the answer. SKIRAD (Ski Ready and Avoid Damage) is just what the body needs before getting on the snow, and for staying on the snow all season long with an aim to avoid physical damage. Conway calls SKIRAD a “pre-habilitation” app. After completing a snow specific fitness screening, it gets skiers snow-fit by offering ‘pre-snow dynamic mobility warm-up and post snow recovery strategies‘, in addition to advice and practical information on concussions, nutrition, injury, equipment and ski conditioning exercise programs.

What’s Your Current Ski Conditioning Exercise Routine?

Just pause for a minute to think about what you do before you get on the mountains — wake up, check the snow phone, rush to get your gear on when you find out there’s 20 cm of fresh stuff up there. Grab a coffee in the village, a piece of banana bread to tide you over as the gondola takes you to the top. And then… you’re off. There are few sports out there where coffee and banana bread is considered your warm-up!

It doesn’t take a lot of time, but you do need to spend some time warming up those tissues, getting some blood flowing through your muscles and preparing your body for the day ahead. Several minutes spent on pre-ski conditioning exercise could be the difference between a great season or a trip, or several, to see Mike. Take it from him: He doesn’t want to be the one to tell you that your season is over. He’s done so many times before, and it’s not fun.

Don’t download early with an injury and potentially put yourself out for the season. Download SKIRAD instead, and follow a ski conditioning exercise program to have your best season yet. Available for both Android and Apple, the basic app is free, while the pro version offers more information and additional fitness programs.

In Whistler and finding that you want to take your ski conditioning further than an app? Or, worse yet, find yourself in need of some physiotherapy? Contact our expert Whistler Concierge services. As long time locals, we can connect you with the best fitness facilities and physiotherapists in the town, as well as plan any other details of your Whistler getaway.

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