Adequate conditioning isn’t the only key to avoiding physical therapy. Smart skiing always helps.
4. Warm up before taking your body to its max.
Andree advises taking a couple of cruiser runs before hitting the chutes and ladders. Warming up your major leg muscles happens best when you’re using them, not abusing them. Relax, think about proper technique, find a good flow. “There’s no evidence that static stretching helps prevent injury,” Andree says, referring to stretches where you flex and hold the position.
5. Adjust to the conditions.
How you ski depends on the snow beneath your skis. A nicely groomed run is perfect for staying true to form. But hit the chunky crud, or ice fields and you may find yourself sitting back on your skis. “When that happens, we lose the ability to control our skis,” Andree says.
6. Do what your mind says you shouldn’t.
Andree says the body’s natural response when going downhill is to lean back, not forward. Remember to push forward into your boots and help the front of your skis guide you through your turns. Even though it’s counterintuitive to lean downhill, Andree says it’s really about proper weight distribution. “The inside edge of the ski dictates how you’ll turn, so if you put weight over your downhill ski, you’ll do better,” he says.
7. Listen to your fatigue.
When you become tired, you become sloppy. If your legs cry out in pain when you bend them to turn or absorb the bumps, it’s their way of saying, “Hey, you, we’re ready for a break down here.” Quit while you’re ahead. “That ACL injury that ruins your year? It often happens at the end of the day,” Andree says. Just as you began your day, back off the pedal a bit, and cruise it home without the aid of a stretcher.