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  • Colin Liggett

Tune Up Your Muscles For XC Skiing Season With SMR

You tune up your skis pre-season, why not tune up your muscular system?

Sensory Motor Repatterning (SMR) is an incredibly powerful way to assess the firing patterns of your musculoskeletal system and quickly correct any dysfunctional firing patterns that have been identified. Visit to find out how SMR can benefit you.

In a sport were technique rules supreme, having muscles firing how and when they should is critical. Here is a breakdown of some fundamental biomechanics concerning planes of movement for classic and skate skiing. If the muscles are firing in faulty patterns, you are either having major energy leaks in your gait and/or you are on your way to an injury.

For classic cross-country skiing, everything moves in the sagittal plane, which means moving forward or backward. The key muscles often inhibited (weak at a neural level) are the gluteus maximus (drives us forward by pulling the leg into extension) and the psoas (stabilizes the pelvis and assists in hip flexion). The glutes are primarily turned off by overactive hamstrings (causing hamstring strains and knee pain) or overactive calves (causing plantar fasciitis or achilles tendonitis). The psoas is often inhibited by a dysfunction of the SI joint (producing back pain).

For skate skiing, the dominant movement is in the coronal plane (sideways movement), a plane that is not used in many summer sports such as cycling or running. The key muscles often inhibited (weak at a neural level) in this plane of movement are the gluteus medius (causing hip pain) the adductors (causing groin pain), and the quadrates lumborum (causing lower back pain). These three muscles have a pattern of either overworking or underworking and often the pattern on one side of the body will be reversed on the opposite side.

For both classic and skate skiing, the upper body needs to move in the transverse plane to allow the chest to rotate. The Lats (Latissimus Dorsi) are critical players in rotation, and they are also the primary driver of forward propulsion in single or double-poling. The lats are also the only muscles that connect the lower extremity to the upper extremity. They are commonly inhibited, and correction of this pattern can signifigantly improve performance.

Don’t wait for an injury to occur, “prehab" is the name of the game these days and having your nervous system finely tuned to fire the correct muscles in the correct sequence can make the difference between winning a race or sustaining a season-ending injury. Book your initial session today with Ottawa SMR and go enjoy the snow!

#neurokinetictherapy #NKT #Crosscountryskiing #skateskiing #SMR


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