At first, it’ll take time and concentration to find neutral posture and activate your core and pelvic floor, but before long you’ll be able to do it in only a few seconds. Make the postural-adjustment routine part of your day, doing it at least five times a day, every day. Soon it’ll become automatic, and, most importantly, will kick in when your joints need protecting without you having to consciously think about it. You can do the exercises sitting (in the


1. Stand sideways to a mirror without your shirt on. Your back should have two curves, slightly outward at your shoulders and upper back, and slightly inwards in your lower back. Imagine that someone is pulling upwards on a string that runs all the way from your tailbone, up your spine, and out the top of your head. Don’t just lift your chest as you would with military posture; rather, lengthen your spine and keep your chest relaxed. If you currently have back pain, this should feel better immediately as you increase the space between your discs.

2. Check that your pelvis is underneath you by placing one hand on your hip bone and one on your pubic bone. Both hands should be in the same plane; your pubic bone should not be behind your hip bones, or in front of it. You can use this technique to check your posture any time, it’s easy to feel your hip and pubic bones even through snow pants.

3. Use your core to hold your newly corrected posture in place while you’re focused on other things. Do this by drawing your lower abdomen in and up slightly (at about the level of where the zipper in your fly starts). Your muscles should tighten without any hollowing or stiffening of your upper belly and chest. Make sure that you can still take a deep

breath and move your rib cage; it’s only your lower abdomen that’s doing the work. This is the best abdominal exercise you can do – much more effective than crunches or leg lifts – and will build six- pack abs if you use it regularly.

4. The final step is to add the pelvic floor. This muscle can be hard to isolate, but having a strong pelvic floor has lots of benefits. The easiest way to learn how to contract your pelvic floor is to imagine you’re urinating but consciously “stopping the flow.” Do five slow contractions, holding for a count of five each time, and then 10 fast contractions, trying to relax between each one. If you have to lift something heavy, make a powerful movement, or are setting up to ski a steep line, acti- vate your pelvic floor first for increased strength and stability!

bus, on the chairlift) or standing (when brushing your teeth, pouring your coffee, walking, or waiting in the lift line). With practice, your spine will stay tall and your core will be solid all the time, with only the occasional reminder needed. It’s this auto- matic correction that will save your joints from injury, increase your strength, and reduce pain from existing joint problems. Try the stand-tall and core-activation sequence with your clients. The image of the string leading up out of their head is a great cue to get people to move their pelvis into neutral, whether they start with ante- rior or posterior tilt. Get them to use it as a preparatory movement before they start, each time they head downslope. It will help reduce back and knee injuries as well as allow them to use their leg and hip muscles more effectively.

Delia Roberts has a doctorate of exercise physi- ology and a fellowship with the American College of Sports Medicine. She has worked with many of Canada’s Olympic medalists and is the author of the )LW IRU 6QRZ injury prevention and perfor- mance enhancement program for snowsports instructors. Dr. Roberts also conducts research and designs programs for other occupations. For more information, check out the following links or

contact her at fiW IRU VQRZ#JPDLO FRP Q Q


1. $ QHXWUDO SRVWXUH LQ WKH VSLQH DQG SHOYLV DOORZV \RXU PXVFOHV DQG MRLQWV WR IXQF- tion at their best. This enhances your ability to generate force, resist fatigue, and WUDQVIHU ORDG WKURXJK \RXU MRLQWV LQ D ZD\ WKDW GRHVQȇW FDXVH LQMXU\

2. It’s necessary to consciously realign your spine and pelvis and activate your core to re-establish healthy movement patterns. This should be practiced daily. Core DFWLYDWLRQ ZLWKRXW fiUVW ORFDWLQJ QHXWUDO SRVWXUH LV FRXQWHU SURGXFWLYH DQG HYHQ LQFUHDVHV WKH VWUHVV RQ \RXU MRLQWV

3. Skiing with your spine and pelvis in neutral positions will increase control, provide greater freedom of movement, and allow your existing muscle to generate more force.



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