Avoid Apres-Ski Medical Bills

If you think lift tickets are expensive, wait until you see your medical bill if you take a knee-twisting tumble on the slopes.

Of course, there is no sure-fire way to avoid getting hurt this season, but in an effort to tip the scales in your favor we asked two local experts for some helpful exercises.

Joe Krugh and Robert Portello of Olympic Sports and Spine Rehabilitation say strengthening your core and lower body and improving your balance will allow you to ski and snowboard with more control. Krugh and Portello recommend the following five exercises:

PRONE WALK OUT

Benefit: Strengthens core and arms.

How To: Start by lying facedown over a physio ball. With your hands on the floor, use them to walk away from the ball, which will roll down your legs. Keep your back straight. When just your toes are on the ball, walk back until the ball is once again under your hips.

Ease up: The farther you walk, the more challenging this exercise gets. So, go as far as you feel comfortable and gradually challenge yourself to go a bit farther.

More challenge: Add a curl by tucking your knees toward your chest once you have walked all the way out.

Duration: Start with three sets of 10.

SINGLE-LEG SQUAT WITH TWIST

Benefit: Helps with balance and strengthens hips, hamstrings and quadriceps as well as your knees and ankles.

How to: Holding a ball with both hands next to your right ear, lift your left foot off the ground. Slowly move the ball across the body toward the floor where your left foot was, then slowly return to the starting position. Keep your right knee over the top of your right foot. Repeat on the opposite side.

Ease up: Bring the ball from your right ear to your left hip.

More challenge: Do more reps or use a medicine ball for added weight.

Duration: Start with two or three sets of five or 10 reps.

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