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Preventing Knee Injuries During the Ski Season

The knee joint and its associated structures including ligaments, cartilage and bony formation, account for up to approximately 30-40% of all skiing/snowboarding injuries. Therefore it is important to strengthen and maintain the knee joint and it’s surrounding tissues. In this review it will explain the importance of preventing injuries around this area, during this very popular sporting season

Firstly it is important to gain and maintain strength in the muscles that surround the knee joint. These muscles include the quadriceps, hamstrings, gastroc, and glutes. Gaining muscle in this area will help to protect and take pressure off of the knee joint, as well as prevent injuries occurring.


Preventing knee injuries with a four week exercise plan – starting from scratch.

Exercises to complete within the first two weeks:

In sitting, straighten your knee and hold for 5 seconds.

Squats: Leaning against a wall squat down to 90 degrees with your feet hip width apart.

Hamstring curls: Standing with a chair in front of you, bend your knee up to 90 degrees and hold for 5 seconds

Toe Raises: Standing with feet hip width apart, come up onto your toes and hold for 5 seconds

Repeat all exercises for 3 lots of 10.


Exercises to complete within the third and fourth week prior to skiing holiday:

Skiers: Standing on one leg, squat down a quarter squat and hug arms into chest, with opposite leg touch leg on floor in front of you, then to the side and then out to the back. Repeat 10 times



Super skaters: Standing on one leg, bend knee to quarter squats as opposite leg is bent and bring it out behind you. The opposite moving leg should co-ordinate with the opposite arm coming through




Clam: Lie on your side with your hips and knees at 90°, keep your ankles together and your hips steady as you repetitively lift your top knee 10 times. Repeat both sides

To progress these exercises add a BOSU ball/wobble board.


Stretches: To be completed throughout programme. Hold all stretches for 20 seconds.

Calf (gastroc) stretch: Standing with both feet hip width apart, step out one foot so that it is in front of the other. Lean weight forward keeping both heels touching the ground until you feel a stretch down the calf that is out behind the other. Repeat both sides.

Quadriceps: Standing near a chair/work top for support, stand onto one leg and bend up the opposite knee towards the buttock, re-enforcing with your hand. You should feel a stretch down the front of your thigh.

Hamstrings: Standing on one leg, bend it slightly and bring other foot slightly forward with you heel touching the floor and toes pointing towards you. Keep this leg straight. Place both hands on the leg that is bent. You should feel a stretch down the back of your leg.


Flexibility is an important part of training for any sport and can help reduce the risk of injury. It is important to take the time to stretch straight after each training session, whilst the muscles are still warm. A well structured stretching program will assist in a good range of movement in your joints and enable your body to get used to the sudden stretching movements that a good ski run will place on you.


Carrying out this exercise plan will prepare you for the slopes, and prevent injuries.

However, should you be unfortunate enough to sustain an injury, our team of experienced physiotherapists are here to help you at our modern state of the art practice.To make an appointment please contact us on 01279 414959 or visit our contact us page.

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