How To Get Up From A Fall

A question from reader Jeffrey Dunning:

What are good exercises to help skiers get up after a fall? Getting up with both ski boots attached to skis is a lot harder than when I was young.

For an expert opinion, we turned to Seth Masia, founder of the skiyoungernow.com instructional approach, offered at the Aspen/Snowmass Ski School.

Unless the slope is pretty steep — in which case your hips are already well above your skis — you have to be pretty spry to get up after a fall with both skis still attached. The drill is ALWAYS to pivot on your hip until both skis are below you and oriented across the fall line, so you can stand up into a traverse position. Then lean forward, putting one hand on the snow in front of your knees and the other hand on the snow behind your shoulder. The hands are now positioned to prevent sliding either forward or back. Push yourself erect by “walking” on your hands. If you don’t have the strength for this, take off the uphill ski. Now you can “walk” your hands until you can get the uphill knee onto the snow. From kneeling on the uphill knee, you should be able to stand up while using the poles for balance. Once again, you need a triangle — one pole in the snow ahead, one pole behind, to keep from sliding in either direction. 

Note: This technique requires upper body strength. Check with a PT or gym trainers to learn more.

Have a question about technique, gear, destinations, travel, or any other aspect of winter sports? Send it to [email protected], and we’ll do our best to find an expert to respond.

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