Back Pain And Skiing
Let me first just tell you briefly my own story with back pain and skiing…
I went through a long battle between back pain and skiing as a world cup moguls skier. I was in agonizing pain and regularly out of the game for weeks when my back would get stuck. The two didn’t make peace until I found the right way of training after years of searching for solutions. I had been told from different sides that I should quit skiing after I herniated some discs in the lower back. To be honest, I was close to believing that it was probably my only choice.
Luckily, I was not ready to accept it though. I kept searching to find a solution to get my pre-injury body back. With the help of great experts, we managed to break the vicious circle that kept sustaining my back pain for years. Fast forward two Olympic finals, a second skiing career on the Freeride World Tour, and a personal trainer certification, I now still enjoy skiing – and help other athletes and skiers win that same battle. In fact I think my back is better today than if I had quit back then. Why?
Because I have learnt how to take care of my back. Breaking the circle involves specific exercise and losening and tightening in the right places.
I really hope to inspire you to explore this possibility if you suffer from back pain and you love skiing. Of course, I will always advise you to check with your back specialist, but read along to gain an understanding of what you can do to change that pattern of back pain and skiing.
Stronger back, hips and core will help get rid of most back problems when skiing
In order to get rid of back pain when skiing you have to start working your back muscles as well as your hips and core muscles.
Weak hip muscles or muscular imbalances around the hips will transfer stress to the lower back when skiing, so this is an important part of the solution to get back to pain free skiing.
The same goes for the core muscles whose job it is to stabilize around the spine. If your core muscles are untrained and inactive, they cannot do their job when skiing, and your back will be more at risk of an injury. There are also exercises you should avoid if you suffer from back pain, such as regular crunches or sit-ups.
You can also work the lower back by doing variations of hyperextensions, supermans and bridges. My training videos Get Fit To Hit The Slopes will be a good match for you to return to skiing pain free.
“Some of the excercise i found them really useful and simple, so perfect match. i had lower pain back due to an injury i had. I got to your videos because ur tedx talk touch my heart.” Clara, Southamerica.
One final important thing to do to avoid back pain is to make sure your hamstrings and hip flexors don’t get too tight, by doing proper stretching exercises:
Hamstring stretching example
Lie down on your back and grab your one leg at calf level. Pull it towards your chest in an extended position till you feel the stretch on the back side of the leg. You can flex your foot for even more effect and experiment with turning the lifted leg a little to feel where your are tightest.
Hip flexor stretching example
Take a big step forward, both feet pointing forward. From here bend the knee of the front leg while you keep the back one extended. Keep your chest up and tuck your tailbone in as your move your hips forward and feel the stretch in your hip flexors.
Follow this advice or try out my hip and core strengthening training videos, and you will see that back pain and skiing don’t have to go hand-in-hand anymore.