Exercise and Movement Strategies that Prevent Ski Knee Injuries.
With advancements in ski technology and ski training techniques skiers are being exposed to greater forces, causing more knee injuries. Therefore, it is important to take preventative measures to prepare the body. Improved physical fitness and increased muscular training has been proven to reduce ski related ACL injuries. Specifically, if those who are identified as having neuromuscular risk factors can be prescribed corrective and preventative exercises.
The goal of neuromuscular training (NMT) is to improve the skier’s ability to generate fast and optimal muscle-firing patterns to enhance knee stability and to expose the athlete to movement patterns that aid in preventing situations that stress the knee. This can be achieved through specific joint stability exercises, jumping technique training, plyometric exercises, agility drills, and sport specific exercises. These exercises will improve proprioception, postural stability, muscular strength, correct biomechanics and reduce the frequency of fatigue, which all contribute to ACL injury.
The Ski Knee Prevention Program Focuses On:
- Detection & Correction of incorrect skiing, jumping and landing mechanics.
- Improving a skier's stance, balance and proprioception.
- Activating and strengthening muscles that stabilize the knee.
- Developing leg muscle symmetry.
- Increasing skier's strength and muscular endurance.
- Creating safe movement strategies and sport specific training.
Samples of Preventative Exercises:
Below are samples of preventatives exercises. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in the knees these exercises should NOT replace physiotherapy. While the exercises below may be used for injury prevention, it is suggested that if you are unfamiliar with them that you see a certified exercise professional to ensure that they are done correctly and progressed appropriately.
1. Clam Shells
2. Kneeling Stability
3. Squats (Intro)
4. Skater Hops
5. Releasing the Hips
Will Bateman, a friend and colleague of mine is a registered physiotherapist. He made this great video on releasing the hips. This is a great tool to use for ski knee injury prevention as well. He also has a awesome website focused on injury prevention at http://www.projectphysio.com/
New Exercises Coming Soon!
Picking the appropriate corrective exercises is dependent on the individual risk factors identified. To have help with the correct exercise prescription please visit the Services page. The Ski-Knee Injury Prevention Program detects the incorrect movement patterns, provides correct exercises and applies into sport specific exercises to prevent knee injuries.
- Raschner, C., Platzer, H-P., Patterson, C., Werner, I., Huber, R., & Hildebrandt, C. (2012). The relationship between ACL injuries and physical fitness in young competitive ski racers: a 10-year longitudinal study. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 46, 1065-1071. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2012-091050
- Michaelisdis. M., & Koumantakis, G. A. (2014). Effects of knee injury primary prevention programs on anterior cruciate ligament injury rates in female athletes in different sports : A systematic review. Physical Therapy in Sport, 15, 200-210.
- Myer, G.D., Ford, K. R., Paulumbo, J. .P & Hewett, T. E. (2005). Neuromuscular training improves performance and lower-extremity biomechanics in female athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 19 (1), 51-60.
- Risber, M. A., Mork, M, Jenssen, H. K. & Holm. (2001). Design and implementation of a neuromuscular training program following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Journal of Orthopedic & Sport Physical Therapy, 31 (11), 620- 631.
- Sell, T. C., & Lephart, S. M. (2012). Neuromuscular differences between men and women In Noyes & Barber-Westin (Ed.), The ACL: Anatomy, biomechanics, mechanism of injury, and the gender disparity. Springer: Heideburg. doi: 10.10071978-3-642 32592-2.