Downhill Slide Sports
Alpine (downhill) skiing, telemark and snowboarding are lift- or backcountry-access sports where skiing downhill is the main objective.
“The sport offers a great opportunity to strengthen the legs and core,” says Levin. “The thrill of charging through the snow, especially deep powder, is pure joy.”
The pure fun of downhill skiing offers a respite from a serious training focus, making it a great way for off-season triathletes to hit the reset button. However, the body can benefit as much as the brain. Compared to its Nordic cousin, downhill sports offer more strength and power benefits rather than a cardio workout, especially since the legs and core need to be constantly engaged to stay upright and steer.
In fact, to remain safe while downhill skiing, Levin suggests athletes prepare for the sport with a solid strength, flexibility and balance training program. By strengthening the core and leg muscles, skiers can reduce the risk of falls and their associated injuries.
“ACL and other knee ligament tears are common in downhill skiing, and happens mostly when a ski twists and the knee does not, or when a skier falls back on the skis,” Levin explains. “Tibia and fibula fractures are also common, as a fall can create a fracture line where your boot hits the lower leg at a breaking point.”
And, of course, Levin suggests all athletes wear a helmet to prevent head injury. “You’d be foolish not to wear one out there. Even if you are a great skier, you may be surrounded by out-of-control skiers.”