How to Avoid Knee Pain When Skiing?
It’s finally ski season and that means getting out there on the slopes for days of fun and exercise. There’s nothing like leaving tracks through fresh snow and enjoying runs with friends, but there’s also a catch. Like many sports, skiing puts pressure on your knees. You’re constantly in a seated position, moving and bending your knees in different directions not to mention the impact that doing jumps, tricks, and skiing down moguls have.
Injury is always a possibility and staying pain-free or avoiding knee pain altogether is an issue that many skiers face - especially if you’ve had an injury in the past. But there’s a bright side, with proper preparation, training, and precautions, you can protect yourself and avoid pain, injury or reinjury. Below are some tips we’ve put together to help you get out there and ski without limitations.
Like any other sport, warming up before skiing is key in preventing injuries. To prepare your body for a full day of skiing, don’t forget to do a quick warm-up. If you have previous knee injuries or want to prevent them altogether, this is an essential step.
As little as 5-10 minutes for warming up could make a difference. This can include some basic stretching and aerobic exercises, such as lunges, squats, and leg lifts. If you don’t feel like stretching, you can take a walk to the chair lift to pump up your heart and warm up the muscles.
Strengthen Your Knees
Strengthening your knees can help alleviate and decrease knee pain. So how do you strengthen your knees for skiing?
Well, it’s not exactly about strengthening the joints themselves, but about conditioning the muscles around them. Building up key muscles in your leg around your knees helps take away the stress and pressure from your joints and helps your knee better absorb shock.
Below are some suggested exercises that Healthline recommends for key areas: your hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and hip muscles. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise.
- Half Squats
- Calf Raises
- Hamstring curls
- Leg extensions
- Straight leg raises
- Side leg raises
These are easy and straightforward, but effective exercises that you can do at home. It will take only 20-30 minutes of your time every day but will have impactful results.
Wear the right boots
When buying or renting skiing boots, make sure that they fit properly. They shouldn’t feel too small or too big.
Touch the front of your boots and bend your knees forward - you should still have some room to wiggle your toes. For a comfortable fit, make sure that you are able to slide one finger beside your heel at the back of your boots. Ask a salesperson for help, if needed, to make sure that you’ve chosen the right ones. A precise boot fit is important for control and performance.
Protect your knees
If you want to prevent knee injuries or re-injuries, don’t forget to wear the right knee support. Knee braces can provide you with support to protect your knees, but they have many problems like being prone to slipping, carrying extra weight and bulk, and being generally uncomfortable.
Our Stoko K1 is the ultimate skiing gear. It’s supportive apparel that has the support of conventional knee braces integrated directly into the fabric. Instead of using rigid materials, the tights are seamlessly integrated with the Embrace System™ - high-strength cables that are woven through the tights to mimic the natural support structures of your muscles and ligaments. The result is joint support that is 60% lighter and 13x thinner than traditional knee braces but moves with your body and is extremely comfortable. It can be worn as a base layer and provides support to both of your knees.
Made with environmentally conscious Repreve® yarn, our fabric is breathable and stretchy minimizing heat and perspiration. You can even throw it into the washing machine for a quick and easy wash after a day of skiing.
We hope that these tips will help you stay pain-free while skiing. Make sure that you have planned everything properly so that you can hit the slopes with peace of mind!