- The slip-catch: This typically happens during a turn when the outside ski loses contact with the snow and the skier attempts to regain contact in a more vulnerable, extended-knee position.
- The dynamic snowplow: This occurs when the inside ski loses contact with the snow during a turn and re-engages with the snow in a snowplow position. This causes the inside knee to twist.
- The backward fall: An out-of-balance backward fall can happen when the skier sits on the back of the ski. It also occurs when the skier hits the snow with the backs of the skis while the legs are very straight.
What you can do to prevent ski injuries
- Core strength: Exercises that build your core will help maintain a stable position on the skis. Try a plank (hold a push-up position with straight arms or while resting on your forearms) or a bridge (lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat, and use your glutes to lift your hips up).
- Knee and hip control: Exercises that develop dynamic strength and balance can help in situations when the snow is suddenly icier or bumpier, or when another skier runs into you. Try standing on one leg with your knee slightly bent and back straight. Lower your torso, so it’s parallel to the floor. Or try lunges on a balance pad. With one foot on a balance pad or disk, step the other foot back. Now lower your back knee to the floor.
- Hamstrings and quadriceps: Strong legs act as a brace for the knee, and balanced strength between the quads and hamstrings is an important factor when skiing. Do squats. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees and hips to 90 degrees.
- Lower-limb asymmetry: Exercise one leg at a time. This helps maintain the ability to stop and make turns in each direction, especially while fatigued. At the gym, do single-leg presses on each side. Or do squats or calf raises while standing on one leg, then switch sides.
- Dynamic movement: These exercises can improve power and explosiveness, which is important, because skiing involves quick contractions of muscles to turn, stop and jump. Try jump squats, broad jumps (jumping forward) or skater jumps (jumping from side to side, one leg to the other).