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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Fitness, Health, Nutrition, Injury, and Recovery › Almost 8 months post Knee Surgery...... Seeking Advice for Pre-Ski Season Excercises.
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Almost 8 months post Knee Surgery...... Seeking Advice for Pre-Ski Season Excercises.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey Epic Ski Community,


My name is Matt, I'm 23, and I've been skiing since I was around 12 or 13. I would describe myself as having Advanced/Expert skill levels. I can ski everything comfortably, however you can usually find me on the most challenging terrain I can find. I spend about 50% of my time getting big air in the Terrain Park. I am very aggressive in my skiing style. I definitely consider myself an athlete, I am in pretty good shape and I go to the gym 5 or 6 days a week.

I tore my ACL Late December 2008 and I had ACL reconstructive surgery last February the 25th on my left knee. They used the graft from my left Patellar Tendon to reconstruct. I went through all the standard Rehab and what not over the first 6 months after my surgery.

So at this point, its been about 9 months since my injury and 8 months since my surgery. I feel comfortable jogging long distances for periods of time of 30-60 minutes. I just started sprinting about 2 or 3 weeks ago. I've been changing direction and cutting alot to strengthen my knees. I still get occasional soreness and weird occurrences where my knee will kind of give out without warning causing mild to medium pain.

Mainly, I'm posting here because I'm more than a little nervous about the upcoming ski season. Missing the majority of last year's season was DEVASTATING to me. It was the hardest thing ever to be sitting on my couche, with my leg iced and elevated while it was dumping fresh pow. It was like a slap in the face, Mother nature giving me the good ol' proverbial kick while I was down.

******With the Ski season about 3-4 months away, I was wondering what sort of exercises I should be working on and how often? I need leg and core exercises that specifically train muscles necessary for skiing. I already do a leg day once a week at the gym to do standard strengthening exercises (Squats, leg press, extensions, etc.). What exercises in addition to the standard strengthening ones, should I implement to make my chances of re-injury minimal, as well as strengthening my legs and knees for the best ski season possible.

Any credible advice would be appreciated...

post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

what I basically do for leg day right now is.....

squats (135lb first set to 185lb last set)

Leg Press (225lb first set to 360lb last set)

Lunges (25 lb barbells in hand first set to 50lb barbells in hand for last set)

Leg Extensions

Calf Raises
Jump rope
20-30 minutes of Treadmill/Elliptical
Contained Area Sprints with lots of Cutting/Changing Directions

I'm basically just looking for Ski Specific exercises that will prepare my body for the rigors of intense daily skiing. I want to go into this season in tip top shape so that I don't miss another ski season due to knee injury/re-injury.

Please Help!

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Come on EpicSki Community!  I joined this forum because I am in need of immediate advice. Please someone respond to my post with something useful. I want to go into this ski season ready to shred up the mountain without having to baby my knee. Please HELP!
post #4 of 7
Your knee is ready to ski, your mind is not. I was in the same position as you at the beginning of last season. My surgery was in April, yours in Feb, so you have 60 days or so more than I had. I did not go to PT (no insurance), did little or nothing extra, here at home.

I wore a brace all year, it was completely unnoticeable. My knee had NO TROUBLE. I hiked for hours on it...nothing.  Skied big moguls...nothing. It was one of the best seasons ever, for me-started 7 months after surgery.

Ski on bro, and quit worrying about it.

Do leg curls and strengthen your hamstrings. Bike, Skiers Edge machine, Bowflex...
post #5 of 7

Find a competent trainer before you miss this season.
Squats are great and one of the best things you can do.But only if done correctly.

Lunges the same deal.

You couldn't pay me to do leg extension,hamstring curls or leg press.
Squat,Deadlift,Lunge and all there variations
Sprints are great,cutting right now I'd say not so much. But if Dr. cleared you ,fine.


post #6 of 7
Sorry to learn about your surgery and hope all works out for you.  I had an ACL replaced too a few years ago in May and skied during the spring of the following season.  Like Snowfan above, my mind was the restraining force.  I took it very easy the first season back, wore a brace on the affected knee and mostly cruised ... not the most fun, but definitely better than not skiing at all.

For exercises, I did squats, seated leg presses on each leg-not together, cardio, pilates stretches and hamstring exercises along with some mild plyometric exercises for balance and foot quickness.  I did not do seated leg extensions.  To me the more affective exercises are the ones which stress a few muscle groups ... legs, calfs, hamstrings, quads - all together and not just one group.  Thus squats and lunges are more effective at building strength in the appropriate areas. 

My drills were a combination of 2-3 times a week in the gym and I'd alternate between doing a lot of reps one trip using about 1/3 max weight and the next time focus on strength using more weight and fewer reps.  It took me about 2 years to get back to where I felt comfortable on the slopes, probably about 3-4 years before I threw away the brace.  

10 years later, I seldom think about the affected knee any more,
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the advice and encouragement guys! I'm sure I will be fine this season. I will deff start off slow and feel the knee out. But I hope to be jumping and spinning in no time.

~What I started to do, per a recommendation from a friend, is some very fundamental but seemingly difficult exercises. I go onto the basketball court when its empty and I do a series of Karaokes, Quick Side Steps, Stationary forward jumps, Skipping, Squat-Thrusts, Crab Walks, Sprints, Backwards Sprints, Putting a basketball down and jumping sideways over it, knee-Highs, and Bear Crawls.


At first these seemed like rudimentary activities, however after about 20 minutes they became extremely difficult. So I guess I will continue to work out normally, forgoing leg extensions, and add these new open court exercises. Have a great ski season everyone and I will be sure to follow up mid-season to update everyone on my condition.


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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Fitness, Health, Nutrition, Injury, and Recovery › Almost 8 months post Knee Surgery...... Seeking Advice for Pre-Ski Season Excercises.