Ship Your Skis | Skiing or Snowboarding: Which is Safer?

There’s nothing else like that rush that you get from swooping down a mountain of fresh powder. It’s absolutely exhilarating because there’s that element of risk. But, just how dangerous are skiing and snowboarding?

For years, no one was sure which one posed more danger to athletes. Recent studies have settled the debate though, proving that skiing is, in fact, more dangerous than snowboarding. Outdoor lifestyle website Mpora released an infographic, explaining that while snowboarding may have more injuries overall, they’re 33% less likely to be fatal.

What are Common Injuries During Skiing or Snowboarding?

Snowboarders are going to see more dislocated shoulders, hurt wrists, and ankle injuries. Skiers are going to face skier’s thumb, MCL and ACL knee injuries, as well as broken legs.

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How Can I Prevent Injuries?

Safety is everything when you hit the slopes. First things first, you should always wear protective gear. This includes helmets, back protectors, goggles, and knee pads. In fact, the popularity of helmets has dropped head injuries by 50% overall. You should also be aware of your skill level. If you’re still a beginner, don’t try to be cool and challenge yourself to the extreme.

Lastly, you need to be aware of the weather before heading out. While resorts and lodges will make you aware of advisories, if you’re not the most skilled skier, know when it’s time to sit out.

Are You Looking to Ship Your Skis?

Minimize hassle, maximize fun! Ship Skis ships your skis and snow gear to your destination so that you don’t have to worry about traveling with it. So, start prepping for your next trip and ship your skis today!

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Ship Your Skis | How the Winter Games Brings Us Together

We live in a polarized world. If you’re not one, you’re the other. However, every two years, a single event brings us together – the Winter Games. It’s a time when we put away all of our differences to cheer for the same team.

The impact and significance of watching an athlete that hails from a small town just like our own compete in events deemed too extreme for your average Joe unifies nations in pride. It’s a whole new level compared to your typical Sunday sporting event.

But, the Winter Games evoke so much more than happiness. When we sit down with our family and friends during each event, we become nostalgic. We think back to not only the history of the games but who we’ve shared the couch with in past years.

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And, we have our minds put at ease. Knowing that we can put away tension and conflict, even if only for a bit of freestyle skiing, is a great gift. Those are positive feelings we should embrace.

The Winter Games are about triumph, passion, growth, strength, teamwork, and competition. It’s a time when the best of the best come together and experience a rollercoaster of emotion while living in history. So, live in the moment and experience “the good fight” with your fellow humans.

Are You Looking to Ship Your Skis?

Those tricks you see at the Winter Games don’t need to just be “as seen on TV”! Ship your skis with Ship Skis and start practicing your jumps as soon as possible.

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Winter Olympic Muscle

If the sight of the 2014 Winter Olympics inspired you to learn a new sport, you need to take three important steps:

  1. Take lessons in your sport of choice
  2. Understand which muscle groups the sport engages
  3. Begin a sport specific training program, and continue it throughout the summer and fall

Number 2 holds particular importance, because, as Business Insider  senior health reporter Lauren F. Friedman notes:

While everyone can see which muscles Olympic weight lifters and sprinters are using, the winter sports are a bit more mysterious.

Successful winter sport training depends upon your ability to sense the obvious, and not so obvious muscle movement patterns, and use them to your advantage. Since you came to a ski shipping website, let’s start with the muscle groups used in skiing.

Skiing Muscle Skills and Harmony

The Professional Ski Instructors Dissociation identifies four primary skiing movements, including:

  1. Balancing or aligning your center of gravity over your base of support
  2. Edging, or tipping your skis onto their edges
  3. Pressure, or shifting your weight toward the edged ski
  4. Rotation, or steering your skis to carve the turn

Your core muscles, or deeper abdominal muscles, help you maintain your balance, while the muscles of your feet, ankles and lower leg initiate the turn. Only after you engage these muscles, do your hamstrings, glutes and quads assist in flexing and extending your legs. The takeaway: Special balance and lower leg exercises will enhance your ski skills.

Snowboarding: Mastering the Tricks

Skiing and snowboarding use similar muscle groups, but in different movement patterns. The use of the upper body constitutes a major difference between the two sports. While skiers are told to maintain a “quiet upper body,” in order to explode out of the start gate, snowboarders use arm and shoulder strength. Olympic snowboarder Seth Wescott told Today.com:

  For my sport, you can set yourself up for victory by your start, so lat strength, arm strength and shoulder strength is huge.

Cross Country Skiing

In addition to the muscle groups used in skiing and snowboarding, cross-country skiing relies on powerful shoulders and triceps.  U.S Olympian Kris Freeman, speaking to Men’s Fitness, notes, “It’s one of the most demanding cardio sports in the world.” Supplement year training with a year-round aerobic exercise program.

Bobsled

Bobsledders, who take the starting push from zero to 90 miles per hour, require enormous amounts of speed and power. “It’s mostly legwork,”  advises Army Capt. Chris Fogt, a member of the U.S. bobsled team competing in Sochi., to. As such, they perform lots of squats, power cleans, jump squats, box jumps, and lunges. Upper body focus is minimal.

“If you have huge massive shoulders and a big chest, the wind is hitting you and the sled is slowing down,” Fogt explains, which is why bobsledders “don’t do a whole lot of curls, shoulder type work, biceps or chest.”

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The Cat and the Salamander: Agility Training for Life and Sport

 

In any snow sport, the ability to react to the environmental changes, without losing alignment or stability, is an important skill. Chip Richards, the champion Freestyle Skier, has much to say about this. In 1996, he was working with the Australian Freestyle Team.

Although these skiers displayed enormous strength when executing traditional weight lifting activities, they were highly prone to injury. Slight changes in snow conditions would throw them off balance. Then one day he sat on the sidelines, while his skiers played a game of soccer.

He noticed slow reactions times, and only minimal coordination and foot speed. Richards then realized that his skiers were unable to harness their gym- acquired strength when executing dynamic movement. They were strong in predictable environments. But they were lacking in their athleticism.

Richards then decided to change their conditioning routines, and engage in what he called “movement vocabulary expansion”. To create more fluidity in his athlete’s movements, he had them study Pilates. Additionally, he had them participate in other sports, such as surfboarding and tennis. The following season, the Aussie team received their best results in international competition.

Richards used agility training to improve the skills of his ski team. Agility is defined as the ability to spontaneously react to changes in the environment without losing alignment or dynamic stability. In addition to enhancing athleticism, agility is an important life skill. Think about it. Are you able to react to the mogul fields, icy paths and narrow trails that life throws at you without losing your center? If you were an animal, would you be a cat or a salamander?

The concept of the cat and the salamander is actually created by one of the most important people in the sport fitness movement; Paul Chek. By treating the body as a whole system and finding the root cause of a problem, Chek caused a major evolution in the fitness industry. Many professional athletic teams use his cutting edge training methods.

Chek has a theory of two different athletic personality types: Cats and Salamanders. “Cats” are involved in unpredictable sports such as basketball and soccer. Some skiers, such as the ones described in Witherell’s Athletic Skier, can be described in this manner. Cats are characterized by their quick reactions to varying stimuli.

When put on a conditioning program, they will respond quickly, and require additions, advancement and variety at frequent intervals. Chek describes the sports they are involved in as being “acyclical.” Acyclical sports include hockey, soccer, basketball, football and other sports that require a fast reaction time.

“Salamanders” are slower in their reaction times. They prefer sports such as swimming, weight training and distance running, which in some cases are somewhat more predictable than the activities preferred by cats. Salamanders will take a longer time to adapt to a conditioning program, and are more comfortable repeating the same routine for a longer period of time.

Skiing is interesting in this regard. For the most part, it is a cat-like activity that requires the constant ability to react to changes. However, many people take a salamander’s approach to the sport.

They ski the same trails with the exact same turn shape for each and every turn. While they usually ski safely, if a child, a tree, another skier or a snowboarder finds its way into their path, they may find themselves unable to maintain stability when they react to this unexpected obstruction.

Acting teachers often tell their students that “acting is reacting.” Of course, you can simply read the script and follow the playwright’s stage directions, but is that really acting?

In the same way, you can ski or snowboard down the same slope each day, while picking the exact same line, moving at only one speed, and using only one turn shape. But does really allow you to become part of the action?

Whether you are on the slopes, the stage, or simply enjoying your life, agility training offers you an invitation to come out and play! Use your imagination. Play Tag with a child. Chase your dog around the park, Have fun!

Agility is a fundamental skill for life. If you can move from each unexpected situation without “losing your center,” you will allow yourself to take delight in the spontaneity of daily living.

 

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Ski Fitness: Training Movements, Not Muscles

As the height of ski season draws near, ski and fitness magazines and websites will no doubt present a deluge of best skiing workouts. Some will offer excellent advice. Others will leave out two important elements: Balance and Proprioception.

Balance, Proprioception and How They Relate

Everyone occasionally falls on the slopes, but if your frequent wipe-outs are famous for triggering enormous yard sales, you are either:

  1. Skiing beyond your abilities
  2. Having equipment issues
  3. Having balance and proprioception problems

Proprioception describes your body´s awareness of its position in space. Constantly looking down at the snow as you ski might indicate impaired proprioception.  If you can´t sense the changing terrain patterns beneath your feet, you are probably an esteemed member of the frequent falling club. (more…)

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