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4 Easy Ways to Prevent Ski Injuries

by Ski Utah Yeti March 25 2014 0 Comments

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University of Utah Health Care physical therapist Linda Scholl, outlines simple preventive measures to keep you safe on the slopes this season:

1 - Wear a Helmet

Scholl doesn’t mince words: “A helmet must be worn in the snow. It can save your life.”

Your helmet needs to be snug all the way around your skull, fitting closely enough that if you shake your head it won’t move. It should cross your forehead about 1 inch above your brows.

2 - Take Time to Stretch

Stretching is essential to avoiding downhill injuries, Scholl says. Skiing demands constant muscular adjustments requiring agility and flexibility. The ability to maintain balance and react quickly to avoid obstacles or other skiers could prevent a pulled muscle, or worse.

Stretch each muscle group with three sets of 30-second holds, concentrating on hamstrings, quadriceps and calves. Also effective are chest stretches: Stand in a doorway and clasp each side of the door frame, then slowly step through the door until you feel the stretch. Stretch gently; you should not feel pain.

3 - Learn How to Fall

The most common knee injury on the slopes is MCL (medial collateral ligament) damage, usually caused by slow, twisting falls and overdoing the snowplow position, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. A more serious knee injury is a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), typically occurring as you lose balance and fall backward, often after attempting a jump. Scholl says to ski within your abilities so you’re able to maintain balance and control; don’t land on your hands; and don’t jump unless you know where and how to land—feet together, knees flexed, torso forward.

4 - Be Defensive

While you may ski in control, others may not. Collisions between skiers and other objects account for 11 to 20 percent of injuries. Stay alert and get out of the way if you see trouble coming.

Take the Snow Sports Safety Quiz

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Ski Utah Yeti

About the Author

Ski Utah Yeti

In search of The Greatest Snow on Earth®, the Yeti ultimately landed in Utah. Ski Utah has hired the Yeti as their official mascot and slopeside reporter. Follow the Yeti to get the latest info on local pow stashes, crazy events, storm totals, and tips and tricks on the best ways to maximize your Utah experience. The Yeti is also known to throw out the occasional swag.. so be sure to stay tuned. Yeti knows best!

Do you have stories, ideas or questions you would like to share with the Yeti? Facebook, Tweet or email him at yeti@skiutah.com. The Yeti will post the gnarliest and most radical tales in his posts.

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