Snow Sports Injury Prevention Tips


Rehabilitation Department
Hospital for Special Surgery

As the snow begins to accumulate, snow sports move into full swing. Skiing and snowboarding can be lots of fun, but there are those who will end up as one of the thousands who are injured on the slopes each year. The Hospital for Special Surgery Rehabilitation Department has come up with 12 tips to ensure that you have a great ski and snowboard season.

Pre-season:

  1. Strengthen your lower body: Strong legs and hips can lead to better performance and injury prevention on the slopes

  2. Strengthen your upper body: For snowboarders especially this will assist in pushing up from the ground.

  3. Core strength and stability training: this is you powerhouse; pre-season training will lead to overall improvement in agility, speed, power and control.

  4. Aerobic conditioning: this will increase your endurance to help you last the full day with less fatigue.

  5. Flexibility: the correct balance of strength and flexibility leads to optimal performance of muscles. Tight muscles are more injury prone. DONíT FORGET TO STRETCH!

  6. Balance training: This prepares you to find the neutral spot or balance point on your skis or board and will improve your ability to adapt to all terrains and speeds.

  7. Equipment Maintenance: Have your bindings and DIN settings checked before you ride. Have your bases ready for performance, waxed and sharpened. Dry fit layers and polypropylene clothing can keep you warm and dry, maintaining safe body temperature.

During the season:

  1. Safety Equipment: Helmets, wrist guards and other safety equipment will help prevent or decrease severity of injury from the most beginner rider to the expert skier and snowboarder.

  2. Strengthen your upper body: For snowboarders especially this will assist in pushing up from the ground.

  3. Know your terrain: make sure you are riding on a trail that fits your skill level.NEVER RIDE ALONE!

  4. End your day before you are fatigued: Know your limits, most injuries to riders take place during the last ride of the day when they have become tired.

  5. Nutrition: Your body needs the appropriate fuel to run optimally. Healthy meals before riding and nutritious snacks on the mountain can help keep you strong. Hydration is vital. Keeping a bottle of water in your pocket or a camelback on your body will keep you from dehydrating and you will continue to feel energized throughout the day.
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