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Training program for skiing
8 Jul 2016
8 Jul 2016
by Jennifer Smallridge, Accredited Exercise Physiologist

Get Fit to Ski at Sportsmed Biologic

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

While the temperature is dropping, cars are frosting over and the heaters are getting turned up, skiiers everywhere are rejoicing at the prospect of a good snowfall. It’s estimated that 200 million people worldwide hit the slopes annually. Whether you are new to the sport or a seasoned ski bunny, skiing certainly can take its toll on the body. Read on to discover how you can increase your ski fitness and come out of the season injury-free!

Whats up with skis and knees?

Without doubt, the most common injuries for skiiers involve the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee, closely followed by damage to the medial cruciate ligament (MCL).

There are three well-researched mechanisms which explain why skiier’s knees are so frequently injured:

  • Falling forward and catching the inside of the ski, forcing the knee into a position of rotation
  • Landing from a jump with an extended knee, drawing the tibia (shin) forward on the femur (thigh)
  • Falling backwards and having the downhill ski dig into the snow, creating internal rotation on an already bent knee.

Regardless of how it occurs, it is widely agreed that pre-ski season conditioning (involving strength, flexibility and agility) can reduce injury incidence and severity.

Across all ages, muscle strength is proposed to reduce the strain on the ligaments of the knee during different movements. More specifically for older adults, specifically prescribed exercises can also help to augment bone mineral density and prevent fractures.


Creating strong and long muscles

Majority of the time spent downhill skiing requires eccentric force to be generated by the quadriceps muscles – a specific type of contraction where the muscle is lengthening whilst controlling and creating force.

The below program is an example of what you might be prescribed to reach your ski season goals at Sportsmed Biologic. It’s full of ideas to incorporate into your training program before you ski, with a focus on eccentric control, neuromuscular power, balance and flexibility. Specific and supervised exercise prescription is strongly recommended if you have a pre-existing injury or medical condition, and to get the most from your program.

Always check with your health professional before commencing a program for the first time.


Download the Ski Training Program 


Sportsmed Biologic appointments can be made by calling 1300 858 860 or emailing



Dohjima, T., Sumi, Y., Ohno, T., Sumi, H. and Shimizu, K., 2001. The dangers of snowboarding: a 9-year prospective comparison of snowboarding and skiing injuries. Acta orthopaedica Scandinavica, 72(6), pp.657-660.

Koehle, M.S., Lloyd-Smith, R. and Taunton, J.E., 2002. Alpine ski injuries and their prevention. Sports Medicine, 32(12), pp.785-793.

Hewett, T.E., Ford, K.R. and Myer, G.D., 2006. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries in female athletes Part 2, A meta-analysis of neuromuscular interventions aimed at injury prevention. The American journal of sports medicine, 34(3), pp.490-498.

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