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Knee care...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi all!

Though I am relitavely new to skiing, I learn
fast and am gaining momemtum.

However, I still want to maintain a long term view on skiing,
and I was wondering if there are rules in taking care of your body
relative to skiing.

For example, I skiied 8 hours net movement today with a 30 minute break
only. I am stressing my knees? Should this be avoided for any reason?

After such a long session, should I skip a day to let my ligaments
recouperate? Should I all Glucosamine to my diet?

Basically, I want to ski at a high level, but not race, and wish to make
the proper choices to avoid any physical problems later on.

I do lots of leg sports in the summer, primarily mountain hiking
(I hike up the mountains in the summer that I ski in the winter lolll)
biking and scuba diving (which required lots of leg work).

Thanks for any advice!

post #2 of 10
I've been skiing 100+ days a season for the last 40 years, half that amount for the 25 years previously.  Haven't worn out my knees yet, far as I can tell.  I've been using glucosamine for about the last 10 years. I noticed last season (149 days on the snow) that 1500 mg. daily wasn't quite taking care of knee irritation, so I upped it to 2000.  No issues noted in the 42 days I've skied so far this year.

I do rely on being as efficient as possible.  Septuagenarians have to do that, you know.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comment!

I would like opinions from skiers who push the limits!
post #4 of 10
Originally Posted by MasterGoa View Post

For example, I skiied 8 hours net movement today with a 30 minute break
only. I am stressing my knees? Should this be avoided for any reason?

Greetings Master,

Whether you are stressing your knees or not depends on how you ski, where you ski and what shape your knees are in to start with. If you were skiing black diamond moguls runs at high speed in the back seat and had weak hamstrings and quad muscles and arthritis in the knees, then yes you'd be stressing your knees. If you have healthy knees, toned and balanced (proportionally strong) hamstrings and quads, and you're skiing groomed greens and blues with proper technique, then you won't be stressing your knees just by skiing for a full day.

If you want to test yourself, do a deep knee bend at the end of the day after you change into street clothes. Listen to your body for sore muscles or achey knees. If so, rest, medicate, exercise and/or get instruction.

If you want to take steps to prevent excess knee wear try:
-Making sure you ski centered over your skis instead of with your hips over or behind your heels
-Making sure your hamstrings can lift 50% of the weight that your quads can lift
-Skiing with your skis parallel instead of in a wedge
-Skiing slower

If you want to prevent knee injury, check out Vermont Ski Safety Research.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank for the good info Rusty!

I do not do moguls so that is fine.
As for skiing over the skis, this would be the posture I have
when I ski on one ski?

Since I do lots of hiking, my quads and hamstrimgs are fit, and
I lift 70% of my quads weight. I will however, be a little more
intence with my hams as I have heard many people attibute
knee injury to weak hams...

Thanks for the link as well!

post #6 of 10

Have you met my friend Tony? Tony knows how to ski. Oops - I spelled that wrong:
Toe - Knee - Nose = How to ski

When your toes, knees and nose are in vertical alignment - you're skiing centered. When you look at your position from the side, we want to see most of your body mass positioned between your toes and heels as a reference position. It's ok to be temporarily either more forward or more back, but centered is where we want to see you on average. That's what I mean by weight over the skis.

70% is a high number for hamstring strength. Don't go over 100%. 50% is ok. But if a trainer tells you different, they would know better. I'm at 57%. The main point here is that the strength needs to be balanced, not 100%, but relatively.
post #7 of 10
Great replies above.  I would just add - don't forget your glutes!  There is a strong correlation between glute strength (lack of) and knee injury.  

In terms of percentage strength from hamstring to quad, the number I've always seen is about 2/3 (66%).  As long as you are working both the front (quads and hip flexors) and the back (hams and glutes) of your lower body fairly equally, you should be in good shape.

If you're using machines for quads and hams (leg extensions and leg curls), then you may be missing out on glute strength - particularly glute medius - so you may want to add some in. If you're using full body free weight exercises like deadlifts and squats, you are probably hitting everything, but you probably can't go wrong adding in some glute bridges or mini-band walks to your warm-up just to make sure. 

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank for ths info Elsbeth! (Is this a Keltic name?)

I do mainly balanced board squats with a weight bar
and then use machines to concentrate the quads and hams.

Thanks all for the excellent advise!

Because I want to ski forever!

post #9 of 10
Hi Pierre,

Elsbeth is Scottish/Germanic actually - although believe my mom just pulled it from a book. :)

Based on what you are saying above, I would definitely add some mini-band walks to your workout.  Here's a description of a mini-band walk (if you're not familiar with it):
"Place a band or tubing around your knees, with your knees about shoulder width apart.  Now take side steps in one direction.  First step out to the left with the left leg, at which point you should feel the band stretch.  Place the foot down, then step with the right leg toward the left until it is shoulder width from the left.  Keep the knees slightly bent in an athletic position.  Progress this exercise by shortening the mini-band, moving it down around your ankles, and then moving it around the balls of your feet."

It doesn't take long, and in fact I'd suggest you pair them with your balance board squats.  Do you do multiple sets? If so, do the mini-band walk (5 each direction), and then do your squats. And as you are doing the squats, focus on "gripping the floor" with your feet - so imagine toes and heels digging into the floor.  As you are pushing up through the squat, imagine "spreading the floor" with your feet.  This, combined with the mini-band walk as activation, will help you to get a bit more glute involvement in the movement.

If you don't have a mini-band, and you do have a stability ball (swiss ball), then an alternative is to stand perpendicular to a wall with the stability ball held between the wall and the side of your knee.  From this position, push into the ball with your leg and hold for 3 seconds.  Relax and repeat 5 times then switch sides.  You should feel it in your glute medius, which is near the top/side of your butt.  

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I will ty that, and I understand which group
it is going to train. Focused indeed!
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