Northern Rockies Physical Therapy has developed a comprehensive skiing and snowboarding injury training and prevention program for all skiers and snowboarders. With a progressive program and physical therapists with strength and conditioning, athletic training, and jump landing certifications, we have the tools to prepare you for the skiing and snowboarding season and keep you injury free.
Level 1 – Beginner/Intermediate
(Choose 6-7 exercises for each training session)
Frequency: 3-4 days per week
1. Aerobic Endurance: Biking on a stationary/recumbent bike or elliptical machine for 10-15 minutes with goal of maintaining 60-70 revolutions per minute (rpm’s) for the entire duration. Recommended to use as warm-up prior to completion of all other training exercises. Can also be added as a cool down with 5-10 minutes at 50-60 rpm’s.
2.) Double Leg Wall Sit: With back flat against a wall and legs positioned shoulder width apart and complete an isometric hold for 20-30 seconds with both knees bent to 45-90 degrees, with greater degrees equaling greater intensity/challenge. Repeat 5 repetitions with 30-45 second rest break between repetitions.
Alternating Single Leg Sit: Alternate single leg isometric wall squat every 10 seconds with knees bent to 45-90 degrees. Complete one consecutive minute of alternating wall sits and rest for 45-60 seconds and repeat 3 total repetitions.
3.) Double Leg Squats: With feet shoulder width apart, squat down to 45-90 degrees knee flexion and holding bottom position briefly making sure not to allow knees to move forward past the toes. Begin squatting with just body weight and then progress intensity by holding dumbbells/weights. Complete 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions with 30-45 second rest between sets.
4.) Leg Press (if available): Double leg leg press with weight as able to complete between 10-15 repetitions for 3 sets total with 45-60 second rest break between sets. Feet remain shoulder width apart and let knees flex to approximately 90 degrees and then fully extend knees avoiding hyperextension of knees.
Progress to single leg leg press with approximately half of the double leg resistance/weight. Exercising leg positioned just off center off footplate and opposite leg resting off the side of the machine. Complete 10-15 repetitions 3 sets total with 45-60 second rest break between sets.
5.) Calf Raises: Standing with feet nearly touching and raising up and down onto the balls of the feet. Begin with body weight and progress intensity by holding dumbbells/weights. Complete 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions with 30-45 second rest break between sets.
*Can also be completed between sets of double leg leg press by moving feet to the bottom of the foot plate with only the balls of the feet remaining on the plate and raising up and down on the toes while keeping the knees fully extended at all times against the weight used for double leg leg press.
6.) Straight Leg Raises: Supine (on back) with one leg fully extended and the other bent with the foot flat on the ground. Keep extended leg straight entire time and raise up to the level of the bent knee and then lower back to the ground. Repeat 10-15 repetitions with both legs for 3 sets total, beginning with the weight of the leg and progressing by adding ankle weights around the ankles.
Sidelying Straight Leg Raises: Lying on either side, bend the bottom leg slightly and keep the top leg fully extended. With the top leg straight, raise it up and slightly backwards approximately 12-18 off the bottom leg and then return to starting position. Repeat with both legs 10-15 repetitions beginning with the weight of the leg and progressing by adding ankle weights around the ankles.
7.) Lunges: Lunge forward by taking a step forward and allowing the front leg to bend to 90 degrees at the knee not allowing the knee to advance past the foot and toes. Maintain a straight back leg focusing on keeping the back leg as straight as possible while the back knee nears touching the ground. Hold the end position briefly and then push up through the front leg and step forward with the back leg and repeat the movement. Complete 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions with a 45-60 second rest break between sets.
8. Hamstring Curls: Standing with feet nearly together, flex one knee and bring the heel of that leg backward toward the buttocks until 90 degrees of knee flexion and return to starting position. Add ankle weights around ankles to progress intensity/challenge of exercise. Repeat with both legs 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
9. Ski Jumps: Standing with feet nearly together, hop back and forth sideways over a cone or small object (towel, line on the floor, block of wood, ect.) repeatedly for 20-30 seconds while maintaining feet close together. Focus on landing softly on the toes and minimizing the amount of time the feet are on the ground during the jumps. Progress by increasing the duration (up to 1 minute) of each set then progress the height of each jump. Complete 3 total sets with 30-45 second rest break between sets.
10. Abdominals: Seated on the ground with both feet elevated off of the ground approximately 12 inches and using the fingers of both hands off to the side on the floor for balance, alternate flexing and extending both knees in a circular fashion as if riding a bicycle. Repeat 20-25 repetitions for 2-3 sets with 45-60 second rest break between sets. Progress by adding 20-25 reverse bicycles after completion of forward bicycles then allow for 45-60 second rest break.
Level 2 – Advanced Intermediate/Expert
(Choose 6-8 exercises for each training session)
Frequency: 4-5 days per week
1. Aerobic Endurance: Biking on a stationary/recumbent bike or elliptical machine for 10-15 minutes with goal of maintaining 80 or greater revolutions per minute (rpm’s) at progressively increasing resistance for the entire duration.
Following warm-up biking/elliptical, incorporate dynamic warm-up completing 2-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions of the following in a consecutive manner: Forward and Backward skipping, Carioca, Bounding, Lateral shuffling, High Knees, and Partial walking lunges.
Recommended to use as warm-up prior to completion of all other training exercises. Can also be added as a cool down with 5-10 minutes at 50-60 rpm’s.
2. Leg Press: Double and single leg press with progressively increasing resistance/weight. Add eccentric leg press with pushing up with both legs and then lowering down with one leg. Resistance should be approximately 75% of the double leg press and complete 3 sets of 10-15 repetions on both legs.
Complete eccentric leg press only 2 times per week as to avoid excessive muscle soreness and fatigue.
3. Lunges: Complete forward lunges with addition of holding weighted medicine ball or weight and rotate ball from left to right and right to left with each lunge forward. Progress from medicine ball rotations by performing a chopping action with the medicine ball at the right shoulder and pulling it downward toward the left hip with the left leg lunging forward. Reverse chopping sequence for right leg lunging forward. Complete 2-3 sets of 15-20 repetitions with a 30-60 second rest break.
For diagonal lunging, lunge forward at a 45 degree angle keeping the back leg as straight as possible.
For lateral lunging, lunge to the side allowing the stepping leg to flex to 90 degrees at the knee and focusing on keeping the back leg as straight as possible.
4. Eccentric Squats: With feet shoulder width apart, stand on a downhill/declined slope or surface (approximately 45 degree decline) and squat down to 75-90 degrees knee flexion angle. Focus on keeping knees directly over toes but not allowing knees to advance past the toes. Pause for 1 second at the bottom of the squat and return back to the starting position. Complete 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions with 30-60 second rest break. Progress by holding weights.
5. Single Leg Balance: Set up three cones or small objects, one positioned directly in front, one at right side and one at the left side of your standing position. Balancing on one leg while maintaining a constant amount of slight knee flexion on a flat surface, reach down and touch the 3 cones/objects on the floor in a half circular manner. Touch each cone 10 times and then repeat on opposite leg. Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions for both legs.
6. Split Switch Jumping Lunges: Complete a forward lunge and pause at bottom of lunging position. When switching lunging legs, push and jump up through the front leg. While airborne, advance the back leg forward and the front leg backward landing softly on the balls of the feet in the starting lunge position with the front leg flexed to 90 degrees at the knee and the back leg straight. Repeat 3 sets of 20 repetitions with a 30-60 second rest between sets. Avoid allowing knees to roll inward or outward with landing.
Progression: Complete a diagonal lunge to a 45 degree angle and pause at the bottom of the lunging position. When switching lunging legs, push and jump up through the front leg. While airborne rotate the body to the opposite side while advancing the backward leg forward and front leg backward and softly landing on the balls of the feet in the starting diagonal lunge position with the front leg flexed to 90 degrees at the knee and the back leg straight. Repeat 3 sets of 20 repetitions with a 30-60 second rest between sets. Avoid allowing knees to roll inward or outward with landing.
7. 180 Degree Ski Jumps: With feet nearly touching and slight knee flexion, push up through both feet and while airborne, rotate 180 degrees and land softly on the balls of the feet. Upon landing, quickly reverse and jump back the same direction, returning to the starting position. Avoid allowing the feet to separate as well as any inward or outward movement of the knees. Complete for 20-30 seconds for 3 total sets with 30-60 second rest breaks. Progress by increasing the height of the jump as well as completing a complete 360 degree turn with each jump.
8. Dynamic Leg Press (if available): Progression of double and single leg press.
Double Leg: With a light resistance (no greater than single leg press weight), push up from the platform with both legs as if jumping. Both feet leave the platform and then come back down and land on the balls of both feet on the platform in the starting position, focusing on landing softly and absorbing the landing by allowing slight knee flexion. Important to avoid allowing knees to roll inward or outward with landing. Complete for 20-30 seconds for 3 total sets with 60 second rest between sets.
Alternating Single Leg: Progress from dynamic double leg press to alternating dynamic single leg press. With light weight, complete a single leg press, pausing at the bottom of the press with the knee flexed at 90 degrees. Push and jump up through the pressing leg and while the foot is off the footplate alternate and land softly on the balls of the opposite foot, absorbing the landing by allowing the knee to flex and return to the starting position. Repeat consecutive alternating single leg jumps for 20-30 seconds for 3 total sets with 60 second rest between sets.
9. Hamstring Press: Lying supine (on back) with knees bent to 45-90 degrees and elevated on a chair with heels in contact with the chair. Push down through both heels to lift the bottom off the floor and hold “bridge” position for 1-2 seconds at the top. Lower back down to the ground and repeat 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions with 30-60 rest between sets.
Progress Hamstring Press to single leg press through chair to bridge off the ground. Alternate legs, completing 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions on each leg.
In & Out Abdominals: Begin while seated on the floor and leaning slightly back on the buttock similar as to the abdominal bicycle position. Use fingertips to the sides for balance and with feet elevated off the floor approximately 1 foot, extend the knees fully and return by flexing the knees up toward the chest. Repeat for 25 repetitions for 2-3 sets with 30-60 second rest break.
Abdominal Twists: Begin while seated on the floor and leaning slightly backward on the buttock with feet slightly elevated off the ground. Holding a medicine ball or weight (5-10 pounds), rotate to the left, touching the ball or weight to the ground and then reverse directions, rotating to the right and touching the ground with the ball or weight. Repeat the sequence 25 repetitions, 2-3 sets total with 30-60 second rest between sets.