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S&C for Recreational Skiing – Posture

We often expect a lot of our bodies. Many people spend 50 odd weeks a year working sat down at a desk and significant number of those choose to live a sedentary lifestyle away from their desks. Then, for those other 1 or 2 weeks left over, they go skiing and this is where the level expectancy increases. The human body is great at adapting, and it adapts very well to spending 8 hours a day sat down at a desk, this adaptation though is a little analogous to skiing. Protraction of the shoulders causing that hunched upper back and forward position of the head, tightness of the hip flexors and tightness of the hamstrings are all common, throw in high heels for the girls to shorten the calf and you tick all the boxes.

I’ve mentioned the issues associated with poor flexibility before, but spending all that time sat down will also adversely effect your upper body posture and core musculature in relation to skiing. An inability to use the muscles responsible for postural control in the back coupled with the anterior (front) dominance leads to a forward lean of the upper body, sticking out the bum and an inability to flex the ski boot. Consequently, you have limited control over the front of the ski from a performance angle and the development of a close relationship between your toes and the front of your ski boot.

You have 2 options, first to upsize your boot which, because of the position you’ll sit in it can make it harder to flex and maybe cause shin pain, blisters and even less control of the ski as your foot moves around inside it. Option 2 is to sort your body out. Not only will it help your skiing but it will improve bone health and reduce the incidence of common ailments like back pain (amongst many other benefits), but it will better prepare you to participate in activities that can take you away from a sedentary lifestyle making you fitter, happier and more productive.

Neil Welch

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