Ski season is closing in but there is still time to get fit for the slopes In our weekly column with Perform, the elite sports medicine and human performance centre based at St. Georges Park in Burton, we’re talking snow, slopes and skiing. Preparation for your winter holiday is key so that you can stay safe on the slopes and enjoy your holiday experience. Paul Williamson, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist at Perform St. George’s Park gives you Perform’s top tips to stay safe on the slopes top have an enjoyable ski season:

• Good balance in skiing and snowboarding in crucial. Practising some balance exercises prior to your winter sports holiday may help avoid unwanted injuries. • Tiredness in your muscles has been shown to be the main factor in injury rates. Exercises to increase how long your muscles can work strongly for will reduce your injury rate! Most people ski for 5 days for on average 6 hours, that’s 30 hours of exercise!

• Knee injuries account for 30-40% of all skiing injuries. Quadriceps are the main group used when skiing or snowboarding, doing exercises like squats and lunges will help to strengthen these.

• Hamstrings and quadriceps work together to bend and straighten the knee. If your knees are non-painful, box jumps may help to get your knees ready for the slopes. • The gluteals help to stabilise the pelvis. If the pelvis stays level there is less risk of the knee collapsing or twisting. Squats will help to strengthen these to allow for an injury free trip. Although skiing can be exhilarating and very enjoyable, great care must also be taken to avoid injuries and serious falls on the mountain. Joints and bones must be strong enough to take the wear and tear of the skiing experience. If you are planning a winter break of your own, the Physiotherapy team at Perform St George’s Park are able to assess any potential imbalances or weaknesses that could affect your performance on the slopes or lead to injury, and can create a tailored training programme to make sure you are fully prepared for your holiday. To enquire or to book an assessment please contact the Perform team on 01283 576 333 or email stgeorgespark@spireperform. com.