6 Tips to Avoid Knee Injuries When Skiing

Are you preparing for a skiing getaway? Here are some tips to keep in mind if you want to prevent an unforgettable trip from becoming a nightmare.
6 Tips to Avoid Knee Injuries When Skiing

Last update: 12 April, 2020

Knee injuries from skiing are feared by anyone who enjoys this activity. They happen quite frequently since the knees support much of our body weight, and it’s common to make turns when we’re supporting our weight on only one foot.

This movement can lead to very severe injuries. Therefore, it’s important to know how to prevent rather than cure them. Here are some helpful tips to avoid knee injuries when skiing.

Maintain good physical condition

Although it seems logical, there are many people who don’t prepare for skiing. The movements that we make with our knees when skiing are very difficult to imitate in another context. That’s why maintaining good physical condition, in general, is essential.

It’s important that we do not only cardio but also strength and balance exercises to be able to ski for long periods of time. Having strong muscles will help them withstand some of the force that would otherwise impact the joints directly.

Meanwhile, working on our balance will help prepare our soft tissues ready to cope with unexpected stress. Thus, the ligaments, tendons and other tissues will have a faster reaction speed to a sudden movement. This will greatly help to avoid injuries.

Even though it’s hard to simulate the exact movement, practice all kinds of jumps and turns; any preparation will do. It’s important to prepare at least three days a week for several weeks before going skiing.

A man and a woman preparing to go skiing to avoid knee injuries

Learn the basics to prevent knee injuries when skiing

As in many other cases, good sports movements are essential. Taking classes is a good way to learn. They offer this service at pretty much any ski resort. This way, you’ll learn to distribute the forces correctly and act in different situations that can happen while practicing this sport.

On the other hand, going with an experienced skier can also be a good way to take care of your knees when skiing. Look at their movements, ask questions and, if they’re willing to help, make sure that you both go together on various tracks so that they can see and correct your technique.

Choose your equipment well

Another fundamental element is to make sure that the sports equipment is right for each person; from the length of the poles and shape of the skis to the size of the boot and the protective equipment (helmet, glasses, etc.). Everything should fit you perfectly.

Make sure that you can move your toes in the boots, but that they’re tight and your feet don’t move around. Skis will vary depending on your skills and experience. Generally, they should be the same length as your height. You should also be comfortable holding the poles.

Watch the time

At the stations, they give information about the slopes on a daily basis. With the internet, you can also inform yourself well in advance. It’s important to know what visibility conditions there’ll be.

Likewise, the state of the snow is also a vital factor. Powder, hard, wet, spring… there are many types of snow, and they will have an impact on how you ski at all times. You must take that into account, along with your previous experience and physical condition, when choosing the slopes that you’ll be skiing on.

Rest to avoid knee injuries when skiing

You’re visiting a station that you like and you want to take advantage of as much time as possible, but don’t forget about the importance of rest. We must give our bodies time to recover from the efforts that we’re demanding.

Therefore, after a day of skiing, it’ll always be better to take the rest of the afternoon calmly. Taking a bath, a short walk, dinner, and proper eight-hours of sleep is the best way to prepare for the next day.

On the contrary, if you decide to spend the whole afternoon in the town or the city, walking and sightseeing (or even worse, going for a run), you’re adding stress to the body structures that are already quite touchy. Similarly, if you go out partying and don’t sleep as much as you need, you don’t give your body enough time to prepare.

A happy woman skiing down a beginner slope

Be aware of your limits

Finally, we must remember that the vast majority of people who ski don’t compete for medals. Therefore, know how to enjoy the adrenaline, speed and pleasant sensations that skiing causes without putting yourself at too much risk.

You must know your limits. Choose the slopes that go accordingly to your abilities and don’t try to go down an unknown path in adverse weather conditions. If you’re constant, your skills will improve and you can then conquer that red or black track that you’ve been finding hard to complete.

But remember, you have to learn to walk before you learn to run. It’s always better to be cautious than to risk tearing a ligament in your knee when skiing.

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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • V. Nieto. Consejos para esquiar sin peligro y disfrutar de la nueva temporada. Viajar: la primera revista española de viajes, Nº. 427, 2014, págs. 30-30
  • S.Caudevilla Polo, S.San Gumersindo Lacasa, P.Fanlo Mazas y C.Hidalgo García. Fisioterapia en el equipo nacional de esquí de fondo. Fisioterapia. Volume 29, Issue 6, December 2007, Pages 278-287
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The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.