• Lynn Grandjean

Pilates for Skiers

Marc, my Swiss husband, is from the Alps - he was a ski instructor, like my daughter is now and my son is in the top state team for skiing - skiing is a big part of our lives.

As my son is a part of the Ski Valais competitive youth team, I have spent many weekends observing camps, training sessions, races, watching skiers of all levels. I have also worked with the Anzère-Crans Montana Ski Team to introduce them to the many benefits of integrating Pilates in their pre-season training and competition.

A good skier has upper and lower body separation, and the ability to change directions and turn shapes at will. A skier’s legs and skis turn beneath them while their upper body stays perfectly stable. The ability to resist those kinds of forces requires real strength, not just in the legs, as most skiers assume, but in your entire trunk. To make that happen, you need solid anti-rotation and stabilization from the trunk.

Trunk stability is often confused with abdominal strength, forgetting about the rest of the muscles of the trunk— your chest, upper and lower back, hips, glutes, hamstrings, and quads— muscles that are critical in helping you withstand the forces you work against while moving down the hill. When your trunk is stable, you’re able to move in the direction you want.

In 2019, both Marc and I tore our Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). Separate ski accidents, a week apart - Marc, his left knee and me the right - both not our fault. The specialists had never seen this in all their experience: husband and wife, same break, a week apart. After 3 months of physio, the specialist decided that Marc was good to go but that I should have an operation to cut perfect ligaments from my hamstring and restitch it to the ACL.

Post-physiotherapy, we both attended a course on Preventing Ski Injuries with leading experts on sports rehabilitation in Switzerland. They work with Olympic skiers and have seen more than their fair share of ski-related injuries. We worked on more muscular strength - quadriceps, abdominals etc. As I had torn my right ACL, it was pure emphasis on my right leg, creating an imbalance in my body and resulting in a sore lower back on my left side.

I had seriously thought of doing the operation but decided instead to use my own knowledge of Pilates. Daily, I worked on my alignment, strengthening and proprioception work - footwork on the Chair and on the Reformer Tower, feet in straps, standing work, use of the foot corrector to name a few, and here I am one year later, doing all the activities I love - including skiing, without the operation! Hard work and perseverance with the Pilates method paid off and even the specialists congratulated me on my own personal rehabilitation. Thank you Mr Pilates!

I have combined my own rehabilitation experience with my Pilates knowledge to create a course that focuses not just on muscular strength, but also stability, flexibility and whole-body integration.

Pilates is the perfect complement to winter sports, so reduce the risks of injury and so get yourself ready for the season with our program specifically suited to the demands of the slopes!

To learn more about our upcoming course and to reserve your place, please visit our WORKSHOP page https://www.onepilatesstudio.ch/workshop

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