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INJURY how do you plan to avoid it in 2024


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  • Baller

I have lost all or part of a season every 3 years due to injury. This is really I guess a subsection of @Horton thread about about plan for 2024 so I hate doing it but I have to do some work in the off season and when skiing to  reduce my chance of injury. Not everything I do is intuitive, I have just learnt the hard way.  As we share a common sport maybe we can help others by sharing what we have learn't. So..........

My big learning from sports phsio was my lower back muscle pulls was nothing to do with my back, my ham strings were really tight which tilted my hips which preloaded my lower back. Skiing then just overloaded it, get rid of preload, problem solved. So the learning is don't assume the problem is where the pain and injury is get professional help.

I hit a major problem two years ago, I was doing my stretches especially ham strings, they stretched but then just kept tightening up again. Sports phsio explained I was loading in skiing at close to 100% all the time. I needed to do some muscle strengthening as well as stretches as well as my skiing.

This one my phsio apparently sees all the time in different sports. If you load to your maximum every time in your sport you end up using your sport as strength training, YOU WILL DEFINITELY BECOME INJURED. Recommendation do x-training and  gym work so that you are not at 100% in your sport. I struggle with this as I can't find other sport that loads like slalom.

ANY THOUGHTS ANYONE

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  • Baller

I find one of the most important things besides off season training, and mobility work, is how you start your season. I'm on the shelf for pretty much 8 months. If I start right out on the course it's pretty much a recipe for injury. Like any strength training program it needs to be progressive. Problem is your mind knows exactly how to do what your body won't allow. Free skiing to start, than short sets after, running starting passes. This is very important to me especially after a winter of work and feeling strong.

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  • Baller_

I'm seriously considering the Flow Point Method off season training program.  Looks like a combination of strength training, mobility and stretching geared towards skiers.

I'm a rower.  Typically 150km/month on the machine.  It's very important to train opposing muscle groups when we do one activity on a regular basis.

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  • Baller

@MitchellM good point, I had forgotten that, my phsio picked me up for stretching and strength training ham string chain - glutes down to calves and neglecting quads.

15 minutes ago, MitchellM said:

t's very important to train opposing muscle groups when we do one activity on a regular basis.

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my focus this year is on hip mobility and strengthening, with the ultimate goal of being able to better get hips to handle.  Tips from flowpoint (e.g. the sofa stretch) have been useful so far.  

The big thing I want to avoid is the tendonitis in my elbow.   been trying a slew of exercises from my PT friend.  Been using a bent handle for a while, but I'm always interested in other ideas.

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@101driver The back is usually always the effect of something else like you said. I would definitely try to focus on stretching your hip flexors and doing some hip mobility work like others have mentioned. That will help loosen it up. Hips take major abuse in our sport. One thing I always tell people too is work on your core....A LOT. the stronger your core the more it protects your back. Abs recover extremely fast, so you can work them a lot. 

 

@DonT change your handle diameter through the year it will help with the elbows. Go back and forth every few weeks or month depending on how much you ski.

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6 minutes ago, ColeGiacopuzzi said:

@101driver The back is usually always the effect of something else like you said. I would definitely try to focus on stretching your hip flexors and doing some hip mobility work like others have mentioned. That will help loosen it up. Hips take major abuse in our sport. One thing I always tell people too is work on your core....A LOT. the stronger your core the more it protects your back. Abs recover extremely fast, so you can work them a lot. 

 

@DonT change your handle diameter through the year it will help with the elbows. Go back and forth every few weeks or month depending on how much you ski.

@ColeGiacopuzzi  if my typical handle is a 1.062 -  are you thinking up or down from there?

Edited by DonT
changed handle size
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1 minute ago, 101driver said:

@ColeGiacopuzzi good points, could you explain the handle diameter theory please. 

@DonT how much has the bent handle helped ? I have just bought one after seeing @Horton video of the s-line. I don't have tendonitis as such but they do start to get sore.

In previous years - it helped.  This last year it seemed I took a beating, even with the bent handle.  I'd hate to see what a straight handle would have done

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Years ago I figured out that a bigger handle was a little friendlier on my hands and elbows, masterline has offered up to 1.182 diameter for years, then I alternate between a straight handle and a curved one. It's also possible that eliminating slack hits has been the most helpful part of a lack of elbow issues the last few years. I've found a morning pt shoulder routine that has my shoulders mostly decent these days. My back and left hip tho, still working on those,

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Low back issues? @AdamCord showed me the this video a few years ago and it is the gold standard for low back maintenance. YouTube will not let it embed but trust me and click on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BOTvaRaDjI

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FlowPoint Method, problem solved. 

https://app.flowpointmethod.com/signup

I truly feel it's worth the coin if you're disciplined enough to put in the work either at home or in the gym. Because of the price (about $135/month) I tried some other less expensive programming from other fitness professionals (in person and virtual) and while it wasn't horrible, it didn't compare to FPM. 

Lot of strength, conditioning, stretching, and mobility work.. and it's actually fun. I had never stepped foot in a gym before 2021 and now I can't do without.. I feel better and stronger all-around especially with skiing. Even if you weren't a skier, it would be a great program. Additionally you get 2x monthly group coaching calls, nutrition info, ski specific exercises, 2x monthly 1-on-1 coaching for gym work or skiing.. the list goes on. 

If you utilize it, it's a great value. Numbers don’t lie and I am basically twice as capable in the gym as I was three years ago. No missed skiing last year due to something hurting. 

 

 

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You never really know what is going to jump out and bite you. Two years ago my rope broke which resulted in my ribs separating from my sternum. I now change my ropes every year. Last May, I completely tore my rotator cuff and a couple of other tendons tricking(of all things). I was working out on Tonal, 4 days a week, and skiing the other 3 days. I was probably in the best shape of my life. Sure, you can try to minimize your chance for injury, but you never know what freak thing might be lurking. I thought about not tricking anymore, but I need that necessary evil for overall.

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I have also been meaning to get off my ass and order a few more MasterLine Mesh Handle Guards. No reason to not have one on every handle I use and on Buford Danger's handle. 

https://www.masterlineusa.com/collections/mesh-handle-guards

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@Horton we are not having the handle debate again!!!! you are right I was wrong.....I have bought 4 new ropes and 3 new handles this off season as penance. 4 gyms a week impressive!

Interesting that two people like flow point be interesting to see if others also like.

@The_MS you are right good advice, I now park at the caravan, stretch jog down to the dock, stretch and then ski. It really helps but as you point out I should stretch afterwards and I don't. I will try to correct that.

Just tried @Hortonvideo, I thought I was doing pretty well until the last 2 mins with that elbow palms together stuff............. I am steeling that.

@ColeGiacopuzziThanks for posting easy swap out I have new handles in 1.0, 1.04, 1.09 straight and bent so easy to implement.

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  • Baller

If you are carrying extra weight, get lighter.

For me deadlift, stiff leg deadlift, good mornings, hip thrusters, exercises on the Donkey (glute-ham, reverse sit ups, etc.) and bandwork seem to help with the back. 

I also need to get back in for ART/deep tissue massage to deal with elbow pain (golf and tennis elbow).  That's about the only thing that helps my elbows.  

But, ya, get lighter.  

 

 

 

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For me it’s - off season training: strength, cardio, and mobility/stretching.  This helps offset the abuse from the asymmetrical loading incurred from waterskiing.

then in season, warm up before skiing, stretch/mobility after. Give yourself rest days and mix in a few non skiing workouts.

Big fan of Jenny LaBaw’s program, I have worked with her directly and highly recommend it direct or via flow point method.

as I have gotten older, skipping post workout stretching/mobility exercises gets me in the most trouble.  It makes a big difference in how sore I am the next day.

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Last winter I spent a lot of time in the gym focusing on Dead Lifts. Not doing crazy amounts of weight, but getting comfortable with the range of motion. I was injury free all summer, skiing at least once/day from mid April, but did pull my back, the last set of the season. 😞

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1 minute ago, Mateo_Vargas said:

Maybe I need a new doctor. He says I have golfers elbow in one arm and tennis elbow in the other and all I do is ski?

Sounds like you're a genuine candidate for a grip switch🤛🤜

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I suffered from golfer’s elbow for years. Since going to a larger diameter radius handle and the Masterline Optimized 2 rope, I have had no elbow issues whatsoever. However, a couple weeks before Regionals I switch to the regular black ML rope and ski it through Nationals, and I can hear my elbows just starting to talk to me by the time I switch ropes again after Nationals. Once I switch back, my elbows almost immediately recover. 

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Lpskier

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@MitchellM plus one more recommendation for FlowPoint Method.  I already had most of the equipment necessary at home, so I dropped the gym membership, which offset the cost.  I love the variety in the workouts. I did nine sets in five days at Swiss to start last season and felt fine, but definitely tired on day five. Consistent video coaching from Marcus all season was a huge plus. Other positives have already been mentioned. 

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I do a lot of pull-ups and monkey bar movements, started to notice pain in my forearms/elbow, felt like the onset of tendinitis. Discovered that I never would stretch my forearm muscles, just jumped right into every workout. Now before I do anything at the gym I stretch those muscles by holding arms out and moving hands up/down and side to side to get the muscles and ligaments stretched out. Have not had a pain or issue since, I believe it is critical for that stretch before skiing too.

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I love this topic, and have a couple questions for those who are more involved in the sport, and attend some of the schools taught by professionals. I’m a firm believer that there are a few people on the planet who shouldn’t be doing strength training and cardio workouts. Not only to improve your skiing (or any activity), but to fend off metabolic disease, neurodegenerative disorders, injury, and many other things that shorten our life, and lead to a poor quality of life.

Is strength training and cardio ever discussed at these clinics as part of someone’s complete training program to be a better slalom skier, or the reason why they can’t make it through a certain line length? What do the professionals actually do? I’ve read everything along the spectrum from Nate doing nothing, to Regina being the greatest gym athlete on the planet. There’s a lot of information saying to watch so and so ski, and try to emulate what they do on a ski. I’ve never seen any off the water training that we should emulate. 
 

I know a lot of people say, this is what I do, and it helps, but is there any consensus as to what we should be doing based on the success of the professionals? We use the same boats, they do, the same skis, ropes, vests, but what about the other training things? 

Flow Point Method seems like an absolute no-brainer if someone’s main goal is to be a better slalom skier. I guess it works for the world champion. But beyond that, is there anything the professionals do that we should be doing? Or is everyone just doing their own thing?

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2 hours ago, Slaloman said:

I do a lot of pull-ups and monkey bar movements, started to notice pain in my forearms/elbow, felt like the onset of tendinitis. Discovered that I never would stretch my forearm muscles, just jumped right into every workout. Now before I do anything at the gym I stretch those muscles by holding arms out and moving hands up/down and side to side to get the muscles and ligaments stretched out. Have not had a pain or issue since, I believe it is critical for that stretch before skiing too.

Good advice. I do pullups and chinups each day and was starting to have the same issue.

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@tjs1295 You ask some very good questions and I agree with your positive approach to the subject, it would be really helpful if anyone out there could give some insight as to what those who are achieving more do to help meet their goals. Lets hope we get some posts.

I sadly approached the subject from the negative, I get injured so I now have learn't the hard way what I need to do to reduce the probability of injury. Although it is the negative side of the coin and your approach is better. I have already leaned a lot from the posts above of other peoples experience.

Before I had:

  •  known knowns and I knew what to do to avoid some injury
  • I had some known unknowns where I needed to do a bit more work and research
  • I had some unknown unknowns, some of those are now known unknowns eg @2Valve post forearms. I need to do some work with this new info.

I always do some reflection at end of season and plan what to keep and what to throw away, what to do better next year and what to do different. Injury prevention is part of that plan. My plan for 2024 has been revised thanks to the insights above. THANK YOU BALLERS for taking the time to share and help your fellow ballers learn from your pain.

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You guys, you focus on reducing the probability of injury off the water. What about the probability of injury while skiing? Off water preparation (very important), but what about skills or the lack of it, or split second bold decisions that don’t work out?

I don’t find getting injured often to be acceptable. I’m trying to avoid big crashes,or at least to reduce them as much as I can. luck plays some role here too…

I’m on a releasable system and my percentage of releases is less than once a year and still know that an injury can happen at any time, while skiing. 
so my plan for 2024,  is the same as before,  Ski safely. Push my limits on a feel good day, ski more back to back passes on bad days, or bad setups, or when tiered. 

knock on wood for more injure free years, cause it can happen.
 

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over the years I have seen a number of skiers not avoid injury by just letting go of the handle. situation awareness seems to be void with slalom skiers. they just don't seem to know where or what is going on around them once the boat comes up to speed. 

core conditioning is key to minimize injury.  skiers that constantly break at the waist and hang on and try to get to the other side. these skiers invite frequent flyers points. Kenny Rodgers said it best: know when to hold em, know when to fold em. know when to walk away, know when to run.....!

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@Jody_Seal The Gambler. That is the song I play in my head as I start every pass!!!!!!! Honestly it is.

@skialexYou are right the fitness prep is only part of the whole. Right now is the off season and not being on the water is giving me cabin fever...........so this is some thing I can do now to move the odds in my favour for when we are back skiing. Doing this prep better is my focus now. Other factors will be my focus then. My approach to skiing is in the main thread which @Horton put up. My plan is to ski less and not smash myself against the wall when tired, "know when to walk away" . What I have taken from this forum this year is to make a conscious decision whether to run a practice pass just below my limit and really work my technique or to go for it and push the limits on this one pass. @Horton collated some very good posts on this subject a while back and I am determined to take this wisdom from people better than me into my learning. I have already used this in my clay pigeon shooting this winter to successfully adapt my learning program, I am really confident that this will both reduce risk and increase my chance progress this year

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I broke my ankle last summer and don't want to repeat that - i ordered a MOB system.   I do grip training and general stuff like pushups, curls and cycling over the winter.   That's about the best I can do with my busy work schedule

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@101driver sorry for that, wasn’t thinking of the off season as totally off the water. We still ski here, not so much, depending on the weather. Have had 2 sets already beginning of the month and I’m set for some more this week as the weather is getting better and air temp goes from below 40 to mid 60s.

skiing like 4-5 sets a month is not much, but it’s something and stil have February ahead of us, which usually is the coldest… from there after is uphill.

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@skialex and @Rednucleus I agree with you both. Normally my policy is to try and get a couple of sets in durring the winter to try and keep my ski muscles working. It makes a huge difference to that climb back up the hill in the spring. I am always the first on and last off the water but that still leaves 5 months with the club shut. I have found that by skiing at other clubs even though the traveling is a pain for one set, if I can reduce the off season to 3 months or less the impact of the off season on my body is reduced several fold and the time to get ski fit again is only a couple of weeks with full fitness within a month of season start, all lower risk less pain etc etc. Unfortunetly I have not been able to ski this off season so I am approaching the next year with eager anticipation and a little bit of foreboding. Now you get why I posted this thread.

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My biggest injury that affected my skiing last year was actually tripping while I was walking down a set of granite stairs with my ~65lb work tool backpack on and grinding my shins along the edge of 2 steps.  Couldn't ski for almost a month which is a good portion of our season up here.  So I plan on not doing that again first of all. 

But in terms of preparation, a good program from my PT for general strength training starting about now, and then in March a more tailored workout routine. Likely won't have a first set until April or May, so a couple months to hone in should be lots of time.  

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I was talking to @twhisper yesterday about how I need to stretch my hips more. he told me to try yin yoga. So basically I ended up watched this video of this woman in sweatpants twisting herself into ridiculous pretzel shape and then going to sleep. I got the going to sleep part down, the pretzel part I'm not very good at.

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So basically I ended up watched this video of this woman in sweatpants twisting herself into ridiculous pretzel shape and then going to sleep. @Horton

Well I think I found her on line. I manages 7 mins out of 10  of your last video @Horton couldn't even get in the start position for this one. I know women are built different but thats not right. 

Johnny in point break quote "little rubber people"

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