Winter sport-related injuries are common. ‘Downhill skiers or boarders hurt themselves in falls, and cross-country skiers may develop chronic soreness due to the repetitive nature of the movement,’ says Peter Levidis, athletic therapist at S.P.O.R.T. Specialists Inc. in Dorval, Que. ‘The cold is also a factor and warrants a thorough warm-up.’
Proper stretching can help, too. Levidis likes this kneeling quad exercise’which, while stretching the quads (that large muscle group on the front of your thigh), can also be part of a strength-training routine. ‘This works the eccentric component [the lowering phase] of the quads, which ‘is important to prevent injuries from muscle pulls.’ Bonus: It’s also an ab-strengthening move.
Balancing on your knees and maintaining a tight core, cross arms in front of you. Inhale, clench the glutes, and as you exhale, slowly lean backwards until you feel your quads contract and pull. Hold for two breaths, then return to start; do this 10 times. For strength training, do three or four sets of 10 to really challenge the body.