Skiing and Snowboarding Injury Prevention for our Colorado Community

By Nathan Lilley, PT, MPT, OCS, CSCS, FDN-C, FMS-C, FRCms

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Why is it important to train for a ski season that many people partake in recreationally?

Injury rates are very high with recreational skiing and snowboarding. Many snow riders have the unfortunate experience of sustaining a season-ending injury, with knee and back injuries being the most common. Knee injuries comprise a quarter of all recreational ski injuries and up to 50% of all injuries in females. Due to the high number of snow-sport related injuries seen in our clinic, we feel it’s imperative to provide a dry-land conditioning program that meets the specific demands of snow riding and reduces the risk of serious injury.

Most recreational skiers try to ski themselves into shape. This is risky! The physical demands of snow riding are complex, which increases the risk of injury. Riding requires dynamic balance and postural endurance, the control of speed and direction, and simultaneous control of your skis or snowboard.

Snowboarding photo

What benefits can you gain from our Wintervention class? 

Skiing and riding are primarily anaerobic (short in length with high intensity) activities requiring multiple bursts of activity over a long period of time. This calls for a specific type of muscle strength and coordination in the legs. If the physical demands of riding are higher than the rider’s overall fitness level, the likelihood of an injury is high.

In order for this program to translate onto the mountain, its structure needed to have biomechanically similar movement patterns and physiologically similar energy system requirements to those used with riding. Fatigue and susceptibility to injury are usually linked to local muscle weakness and diminished anaerobic endurance. By mimicking the demands of riding through exercise and conditioning in our classes, we can prepare the body for the demands of riding. This is not only the safest and most direct way to increase your riding fitness and to decrease the likelihood of injury, it is the foundation of Wintervention.

What does a Wintervention workout look like? 

Wintervention sessions are a full hour and integrate dry-land circuit training, tabata intervals, plyometrics, mobility drills, balance, core control and anaerobic endurance exercises specifically for the mountain. These group sessions can accommodate up to 10 individuals and are a fun way to get snow-fit prior to the upcoming season. Whether you are a telemark skier, a snowboarder, or an alpine skier, Wintervention will meet the demands of your riding and improve your on-mountain fitness.

Why work with Evolution?

At Evolution Physical Therapy and Fitness, we promote strong community relationships. We hire therapists who are extremely passionate about the field of physical therapy and fitness, as well activities they love to do outside the workplace. The majority of our therapists grew up with snow riding as a big part of their lives. For this reason, tapping into the skiing community in Golden, CO was a huge priority when we opened our new clinic in Golden this summer.

The Apres Ski scene has been an important part of ski culture for years. Doing a conditioning program tailored to the demands of skiing and following it up with a post-session pint go hand-in-hand with Apres Ski! Why not prepare for the fun days ahead this winter?!

Evolution wintervention poster


Please reach out to us with questions on our Wintervention class, or to develop a skiing or snowboarding program that’s right for you!

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