What peculiarities does alpine skiing have?


Alpine skiing is a sport that involves the main muscular areas and in particular those of the lower limbs. Although there is essentially only one fundamental athletic gesture that can be identified in the basic curve, this is repeated countless times and under different conditions and occasions such as to determine the total involvement of the whole body structure. In this specific case, if we want to examine alpine skiing, we can define it as a sport of dexterity, with a predominantly muscular involvement of the lower limbs, supported by an anaerobic metabolism both alactacid and lactic acid.


What are the affected muscles?

The involved muscle groups are involved to guarantee the necessary condition of equilibrium in relation to the speed and the innumerable variations of the ground.


Muscle groups involved: - flexion-extension: buttocks (big, medium, small), quadriceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps femoris, tensor of the fascia lata, sartorio and triceps sural; - torsion: rectus abdominis, obliques, iliac and psoas, intratrasversal, interspinal and spine spinal.


When to start training?

The training to achieve a physical preparation appropriate to skiing should start as early as summer and the activities should be based on exercises that can stimulate and adapt the body to the typical effort that takes place on the snow.


What do you recommend to the passionate skier?

Anyone who wants to tackle the snowy slopes safely and steadily, should rely on a coach prepared on the subject, who can identify, based on a timely medical history, the correct way and indicate the custom method to deal with a preparatory path to the winter season. Preferring outdoor sports is definitely recommended, but in conjunction with running, cycling on the road, mountain biking or trekking, you should pay particular attention to exercises aimed at the discipline practiced, opting for circuit training and using typical tools to gym; obviously the more the body is trained in a global and total way, the better will be the adaptation of the physical abilities that are typical of the sporting discipline.


What are the fundamental aspects to be taken care of for a correct preparation?

Skiing is a complete sport that more stresses the lower limbs, but that requires, in order to correctly perform a sporting gesture, a preparation of the entire muscular system and must also involve the muscles of the trunk and the abdomen (core stability). For this reason, during the preparation, it is important to insert a progression of "core training" exercises and proprioception in various combinations, as the right assumption for a perfect acquisition of the execution techniques of the single movements and for the improvement of the position on the skis. The practice of exercises on unstable surfaces such as "fitball" or "bosu" represents a primary component in the "core stability" programs for the discipline in question, being based on lumbo - pelvic stability and considerable neuromuscular control.


How has skiing evolved and what problems to prevent?


The use of carving skis has modified what are the stresses to which our body must resist, the speed of skiing, the execution of curves, resulting in greater stress on the muscles and joints of the lower limbs, in the first place 'knee joint, which is very stressed in rotation. Furthermore, back pain is an ever-present problem caused both by the rotational movements of the trunk, associated with flexion and extension movements, and by environmental and atmospheric variables.


What to eat?


The skier's diet must take into account not only physical effort, but also the fact that this effort is made in particular climatic and altitude conditions. In particular, there is a slowing of the digestive function in the face of an important energy expenditure. Breakfast is the main meal. Making a good and proper breakfast guarantees our body the nutritional contribution to face the descents of an entire day on the snow; introducing liquids and carbohydrates, which form the main nutritive base, supporting their contribution with the right distribution during the various hours of skiing, avoids eating too much at lunch, which is a digestive burden, which could jeopardize the hours of afternoon skiing.


What equipment do you recommend?

The chapter is really wide: as a starting point, I recommend wearing appropriate clothing that is comfortable, breathable and maintains the right body temperature, avoiding sudden changes in temperature and slowing of the motor response. In concert, the equipment must be checked before the start of the season by going to the authorized laboratories; it is advisable to wear dry boots (at home) a few days before skiing, to accustom the foot to the typical sensation of closing the boot it self.


What to do before skiing?


Before starting to put on skis, I suggest a warm-up of 10 minutes, also on the field, to condition the muscles of the whole body, with gaits and movements from short to wide for lower and upper limbs, and inclinations and rotations of the trunk. It is also good to start gradually, choosing slopes not too demanding in the first descents and in the first laps, opting for curve arches not too large and fast, then you can increase sequentially and vary the degree of difficulty, always according to their potential and never wanting to exceed. Remember that the number of accidents increases significantly in the last hours of activity, usually from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. When you feel tired, stop because the first cause of injury is tiredness.


What to do after the day of skiing?

Especially for those who spend a holiday in the snow for several days, but also for those who ski just one day, it is important to perform in the hours following the skiing exercises of cool down that can vary from slow ride to pedaling on bikes, followed by a stretch phase and stretching of the lower limbs and back. Certainly for those staying at the hotel, the wellness and spa area will be chosen for a relaxing sauna and an invigorating whirlpool.


A short vademecum for those who practice skiing?

1) check the equipment or have a check carried out at expert laboratories.

2) well-connected helmet;

3) protective shell for back or backprotection;

4) respect the directions on the track and pay attention to the intersections;

5) avoid drinking alcohol before and during skiing and bingeing for lunch;

6) adjust your descent based on the physical preparation performed and the skills you have; skiing is a sport to be tackled safely for oneself and for others.




Venturi Dr. Luca Graduated in Sciences and Techniques of Preventive and Adapted Motory Activity Ski instructor and 3rd level Alpine Ski Trainer Personal Trainer at the VirginActive Brescia Freccia Rossa center