A quick message from Brian Mallon, PT, DPT at Full Range PT- West Chester!
The season has finally turned, and the snow has fallen. A quick reminder to all of us snow lovers that snow sporting activities are about to kick into high gear. Be it skiing, snowboarding, sledding or tubing, winter fun is finally upon us.
If you are like me, you wake up every day and check the Poconos ski report and the Poconos weather forecast. You can’t wait to finally strap that equipment to your legs and let gravity control your destiny. Here in Pennsylvania, we don’t get a particularly long season by comparison. More notable ski locations do boast bigger mountains, more trails and the most divine snow you could ask for, but with COVID restricting our travel, we must make the most of every chance we have to glide down a slope of pillowy ice crystals.
While we can’t make it to the slopes as often as we would like, we can take steps to make those all to infrequent trips all the better. Some daily body maintenance can help you perform better and decrease the soreness you feel when your snow day is done.
Squat Hold: Bring your feet roughly shoulder width apart with toes pointed forward. Keeping your knees steady, drop your rear end into a deep squat, while maintaining neutral spine. Find a spot in the squat and hold for 5-10 second hold and repeat up to 30 times. Try changing the duration of the hold and the depth of the squat but do not let your hip drop below your knees. For a more advanced challenge, progress to a single leg hold, if you can maintain good form.
Box jumps: Find a lift or platform around 12 inches high or a set of stairs can work in a pinch. With feet just slightly apart, make simple hops using both feet equally onto the platform, landing as softly as possible in a half squat position. When you have your balance, stand up to fully upright position. Jump back down to starting position, again, keeping feet slightly apart but moving together, landing evenly and quietly on both feet and a half squat position. Try to control the landing and keep knees in good alignment with the feet. Perform about 25-30 jumps with good form
Sidestepping: Find a flat surface and mark off about 30 feet. Facing sideways, bring feet shoulder width apart with toes forward and squat down. Maintain that squat as you slowly sidestep to the other mark. Maintain head and hip position, do not bob up and down or turn your body. When you reach the mark 30 feet away, do not come out of the squat and do not turn around, just reverse direction and sidestep back to the starting position. When you get back to your original starting position, come up out of the squat and rest. Do this three times a day.
These are some quick and easy exercises to prime the muscles and joints for the type of activities we love. So get out there and tackle those untamed slopes. Polish those black diamonds and take every opportunity to feel the crisp mountaintop air.