Strong Knees For Skiing — Cre8 Fitness | London Personal Trainer

The Ski season is upon us, and you should be acting now to maximise your experience and minimise the risk of injury by getting your muscles around the knee as strong and as functional as possible.

Injuries to the knee joint account for nearly 50% of all skiing injuries. The most common injury is the medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear, which is typically treated without surgery. In skiing, the MCL is often torn when the ski tips are pointed toward one another in a snowplow position (the common slow or stop position), and the skier falls down the hill.

Also, while the overall percentage of knee injuries has remained constant over the past 25 years, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of knee ligament ruptures, particularly ruptures of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).

You are only as strong as your weakest link and from experience we have found that the Vastus edialis obliquus (VMO) be one of the main culprits for poor knee stability. What’s unique about the VMO is that it is the only one of the four quadriceps muscles to cross the knee, and as such it plays a significant role in knee stability. The VMO is the large tear drop shaped thigh muscle, which lies just above and on the inner side of the kneecap, or patella as shown below:

Below we have put together 3 key exercises which will improve the stability and strength of the knee joint, this will help you dominate the slopes and improve your recovery.

//The Hack Squat

Set Up

This can be done with heels elevated or heels flat on the floor, however we suggest that using a block to raise the heels will place more emphasis on the VMO which is key for knee stability. There are many variations of a hack squat, we are using a dumbbell, a kettlebell or a progression of a barbell can also be used.  Hold dumbbell behind your legs keeping back as upright as possible.


Lower under control maintaining head forward with chest held high until the dumbbell touches the block. Drive upwards until legs are straight and then repeat.

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