As a beginner skier, you are up to 5 times more likely to injure yourself on the slopes. Although women and children have a slightly higher chance of injury, it is actually young men in their 20’s and 30’s who have the highest prevalence of injury in skiing.
You may wonder how practising Pilates can help, and I am here to tell you!
Pilates is a form of exercise that is beneficial through all the years’ seasons – not only when it’s snowing outside! However, as it is coming to that time of year when everyone wants to pick up their skis, it may be useful to think about incorporating Pilates into your usual exercise routine. Not only to improve your core strength but also to improve your performance and reduce the chance of injury on the slopes this season.
For those of you who are seasoned skiers, and even those new to the sport, you may recall the feeling of your knees and thighs aching or burning after many hours on the slopes, or you may find your turning mobility and general performance easier in one direction than the other. If these symptoms sound familiar to you, then Pilates could be the answer!
Skiing is a sport, which is demanding on the body in many different ways. To support your body during skiing, it is important your body be conditioned correctly, with appropriate muscle strength and body awareness so as not to place excess stress on important structures such as your joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Not only is a lack of core strength and conditioning one of the leading causes of injury in beginners, it is often the cause of injury for some of the most experienced skiers out there. Core strength is the most important factor when it comes to skiing. Because let’s face it, that’s where all the control comes from!
Pilates can progress your skiing performance by improving the activation and endurance of your deep core muscles, including the transversus abdominis, pelvic floor, diaphragm and multifidus. Together these muscles provide local stability to our spine and supporting structures, allowing greater control and coordination of movement. As our deep core strength improves, we should see improved sporting endurance as well as general performance.
Is Pilates for skiers different to ordinary Pilates?
Outwardly, many of the key exercises may appear to be the same. However, the exercises chosen by your Pilates instructor will be specifically selected to address and improve key performance indicators in skiers. Pilates for skiers can be altered and adapted in order to target specific muscle groups that are more commonly used when skiing. Other performance features you can expect to improve include:
- Your postural awareness – both during and outside of skiing.
- Your balance
- Your coordination
- Your muscular symmetry
- Your muscular strength + endurance
- Your flexibility
- Your core strength and stability
Why will it benefit me?
Regardless of your age or your skiing ability, Pilates is a massively beneficial form of exercise that can be enjoyed by anyone. Whether you want to get fit for your first ski holiday or you are finding you are carrying niggles or injuries more often than not, attending regular Pilates classes could provide many benefits.
So, if you want:
- Improved core strength
- Improved performance
- Improved technique
- Reduced fatigue
- An overall happier and healthier body
Then Pilates may be the thing for you! So what are you waiting for? The Skiing season is here!