10 ways to prevent injuries

Inge ScheveJuly 8, 20101

NORWAY:  Summer means variety in training methods, activities and intensities. However, almost all of the summer training methods that skiers engage in, carry some risk of injury. Martin Lobben, a chiropractor and manual therapist who works extensively with athletes recognizes some common injuries that plague skiers. ”I’ve treated a fair number of nordic skiers, and come up with a short list of tips that can be useful,” Lobben says to Norwegian web site www.langrenn.com.

These are Lobben’s top 10 tips for skiers:

1.    Build up to it
Build your base carefully and take your time preparing your body for what’s in store, both physically and mentally. There are no short cuts: Base is built with a lot of repetitions with low loads, increasing carefully. This drastically reduces the risk of overuse injuries.

2.    Heat creams
Use creams and lotions such as IcyHot and Tiger Balm before and during exercise to improve circulation, which also improves your flexibility.

Rollerskiing is good - just don't overdo it...

3.    Stretching and flexibility
Always stretch thoroughly to maintain the muscles’ flexibility. Hold each stretch for 30 to 45 seconds. Pay particular attention to the muscles between your shoulder blades, your lower back and glutes.

4.    Treatment
Massage and trigger point treatments both prevent injury and reduces the recovery after hard workouts.

5.    Variety
Focus on variety! Strength training, endurance training, plyometrics, balance/coordination, stretching and yoga. Don’t overdo roller skiing and double poling. And keep in mind that rest days are as important as training days.

6.    When you get injured
RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.  Stop the activity immediately, ice the injured body part and apply direct, firm pressure with a bandage. Elevate the injured body part. Keep in mind that pressure is more important than ice. Ice only reduces the pain!

7.    Diet
Eat a normal, varied diet based on healthy foods. Feel free to add some extra pasta or rice the day before a hard workout. Healthy fats are important, so eat plenty of fish or take an Omega-3 supplement.

8.    Cool down before you finish
Cool down with some easy activity after a hard ski workout, bike ride run or strength session. The cool-down contributes to decrease the blood pressure and helps clear lactic acid and other byproducts from your muscles.

9.    Potassium and fluids during long workouts

Hot weather increases your need to replace the minerals and electrolytes lost through sweat. Consider taking a potassium supplement, which helps avoid cramping. Also make sure you drink enough. Aim for 2 to 3 cups (500 to 800 ML) per hour, but don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Sip small amounts of liquid frequently throughout the workout. Experiment with different sports drinks until you find a flavor and formula that works for you. Try different things during practice, stick with what you know works for races.

10.    Working equipment
Make sure your equipment works and cover your bases. Always bring first aid kits, enough food and drink to last through the workout/race. Good luck and stay safe!

Did you know…

–    Scientific studies show that by training the healthy side of your body, you also train the injured side. How come? When you train the muscles in one leg, the signals are transmitted through the nervous system in your spine and signals are delivered to the injured leg as well as to the healthy leg.
–    “Trigger points” are a string in the muscles that develop in an overused muscle that is deprived of oxygen and nutrients. These strings cause muscle fibers to stick together. A chiropractor or manual therapist can treat the trigger points by pushing hard on the string and force the sticking muscle fibers apart.
–    46 percent of athletic injuries occur during competition
–    Misalignment in the foot can cause knee pain. Make sure you analyze your gait if your knee(s) hurt.

From Langrenn.com, July 6, 2010 By Ola Jordheim Halvorsen. Translated by Inge Scheve.

Inge Scheve

Inge is FasterSkier's international reporter, born and bred in Norway. A cross-country ski racer and mountain runner, she also dabbles on two wheels in the offseason. If it's steep and long, she loves it. Follow her on Twitter: @IngeScheve.

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One comment

  • Martin Hall

    July 12, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Point #6—ice is only for pain–yes, but much MORE–it is CRITICAL in the recovery and healing phases—it expedites this process by shutting down the circulation to the deepest level if you are following correct procedure—ice on for 15-20 mins (yes, there are different times recommended–you choose- I use this time phase) and 30 to 40 minutes off and then repeat—helps to reduce swelling, flushes the injured area and accelerates healing—the sooner you can ice the better.
    Multiple times per day.
    Also, in post workout recovery—having access to ice baths, cold water swimming or pooling in a brook where you immerse the whole body is critical in the recovery process—again—ASAP!!
    In 2006, Chandra Crawford took an ice bath between qualifying and the heats in the sprint that she won her gold in at the Turin Olympics, as there was quite a break between. Somebody was really thinking.

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