The following article is from Angus Wood I.S.T.D. Ski Instructor and Osteopath.
Whilst working with Angus in Vallandry Les Arcs I realised that there are many people who could benefit from Angus and his expertise.
During the summer months World Class Skiing will be at several indoor snow centres and Angus can give you some specific recommendations for you at Chilfactore in Manchester odyworx in relation to the article below!
SKIING FROM YOUR DESK?
By Bodyworx Osteopathy, Angus Wood.
Posture is a major contributor to back problems and this is can be related to what you do for a living. Sitting at a desk all day can create poor or weakened postural behaviour which becomes repetitive and then can progress to discomfort and pain. Regular exercise can help especially palates or other posture awareness and strength building activities.
Skiing requires a lot of the musculoskeletal system. The joints are expected to move efficiently with the muscles working like a pulley system however if there is a weakness or restriction within the structure then movement becomes less efficient and discomfort can be felt.
TECHNIQUE AND ENJOYMENT CAN BE ENHANCED WITH INCREASED FLEXIBILITY AND MOBILITY!!!
In other words if you improve your flexibility of the postural muscles and increase the range of movement available in the joints ( through basic mobilisation exercises) you will be more able to adapt your posture and stance to terrain changes therefore expending less energy.
What about technique? A good skier needs to be dynamic and balanced over their skis to perform the required movements effectively. They need to be able to move, not be static and there needs to be a degree of symmetry to allow a successful outcome. If you are balanced, perform the movements dynamically but find that one turn can occasionally be more of a problem than the other it can sometimes be that there is a lack of symmetry due to shortened muscles around the joint or that there is a restriction in the range of motion. Common sites for this are the pelvis with pelvic torsion, the low back and the head of the hip.
A scenario of this is where the experienced skier is aware that one turn lacks the control of the other, it may be whilst on steeper terrain but it is evident to him or her that he has to try harder on that side. It may be more aggressive, lack finesse or feel clumsy where the body may have to compensate for poor movement patterns.
The outcome is that the ski may break away and be unable to hold the turn shape as set. The postural muscles become fatigued as they are compensating for poor movement patterns and the skier becomes tired earlier in the day.
Start thinking about your body! If you have had the boots fitted with orthotics and wedges then maybe you should consider further up the chain towards the pelvis and spine. The problem with aligning the boots is it does not consider the rest of the body!
Preparation is everything: consider what your job is asking you to do, 9 hours a day, 40 hrs plus per week? Muscle has memory if you sit in one position for any length of time then the postural muscles adapt to this position and you need to do more than just squats and lunges for a ski holiday.
How effective is your posture? Do you compensate when on skis due to tight and inefficient musculature? Start a stretching programme to address these imbalances.
If you have low back pain, acute or chronic get some professional advice. Appropriate preseason treatment can help enhance your skiing enjoyment as well as your overall performance on the hill.
BSc (Hons) Osteopathy
BASI Level 4/ ISTD
Angus wil be at the Chillfactore snow centre on the World Class Skiing summer programme. Look out for the updates soon!