After months of winter hibernation, many of us are gearing up for our “big return” to the sports world. Before we go, it is wise to “warm up” our muscles with daily exercises to lower our risk for injury. Activity-related Injuries are prevalent in our society and often result from poor movement patterns, muscle imbalance, and poor range of motion. More research is needed to determine if stretching prior to exercise will prevent injury so we will focus on core stability.
Our core is defined as the lumbo-pelvic hip complex and stability is defined as the act of controlling force. Core stability is deep back and abdominal muscles that react on a reflex basis that motor programs call into action. We use these muscles for stability and coordination and there is a strong relationship between our core’s muscle activity and lower extremity movement. Research supports that decreased core stability exposes us to injury so below are some daily exercises to help you increase your core stability to prevent injury.
In a push up position with arms over shoulders, place hands on a raised bench or step. Keep back in a neutral position and draw one knee to chest allowing knee to come as close to chest as possible, alternate legs.
Leg Lowering Progression
Lie on your back on the floor, place your arms out to your sides. Lift both legs straight up in the air and hold them as straight as possible. Lower one leg straight down until heel taps floor while keeping opposite leg straight up, lift up and alternate sides.
Aim for 1-2 sets of 10 repetitions. In performing these exercises regularly, you may have just prevented missing another day on the slopes!