Modern day life is incredible. You can work from pretty much anywhere you like, all the answers you have ever needed are at the tip of your fingertips, you can 3D print a completely custom ski boot and get technical advice through a smart footbed.
All this has come at a cost though, our modern lives have seen us spend more time seated than ever before, we reach for painkillers before we understand the problem and if you listen to some people are slowly killing ourselves. I know what you are thinking; “I am a ski instructor, I don’t have a desk I stand all day. I will be fine”.
Think about how you stand on your skis. Your ankles, knees and hips are in a constant state of flexion and often in these positions under tension. Over time these muscles will adapt, shorten and restrict your range of movement. From a performance point of view, correct biomechanics are absolutely essential. If you are training to become a ski instructor this really could help you break through some plateaus. For those of you who are done with performance and your ski instructor exams are in the bag, well I have news for you. Tight ankles, hamstrings and hip flexors are a shortcut to lower back problems. You won’t get paid for lying in bed unable to move with a bulging disc.
The good news is that all the modern tech some people blame for causing the issue in the first place can also give you access to some of the answers. We are in the midst of a human performance revolution; access to world-class coaches is not limited to a few elite athletes, research papers are no longer hidden in the back of dusty libraries and we can track and measure nearly every aspect of our performance and biology with little or no cost.
Eating, Sleeping and Moving properly are not fads, they are here to stay. Let’s start with moving.
Now I am not a world class physio who is going to fix all your mobility issues. The following people are though, and all have great solutions that will get you moving properly. Some are paid, some are free. All will make you move more fluidly, hurt less and probably make you better at skiing too.
Kelly Starret Mobility WOD – The original mobility guy. Kelly has worked with athletes and military personnel across the globe. You will find a selection of free videos and a paid subscription option. For those of you who want more detail, his book Becoming a Supple Leopard is awesome. Only downsides are that some workouts require a lot of kit and space and are easier to get wrong than others.
ROMWOD – No free options here – the subscription is only $13.95 a month but there is a free trial. The daily workouts have full length and shortened versions that range between 10 and 30 minutes meaning it is easy to fit into your day and keeps you nice and balanced. This is my personal favourite, it is easy to follow and from my experience really effective. What are the downsides? The music can be pretty terrible, imagine your 5-year-old niece playing a recorder.
Smashwerx – The website looks like it is straight out of the 90’s, but the advice and programming is solid. They post a ton of free content on Instagram as well as having their paid subscription service. Don’t be put-off by appearances, the coach Trevor Bachmeyer may look like he has just stepped off the stage at Mr Olympia. But he is in fact a doctor who has worked with some of the best athletes in the world.
I won’t lie – a lot of what they ask you to do maybe a little uncomfy to start with but over time you will learn to love it.