A ski jump is a feeling of exhilaration that few exercises can match. It is also one of the most dangerous things that people do on skis. The majority of injuries from a ski jump are the result of a poor landing. The landing of a ski jump is difficult to master, but necessary if you want to get the rush without the bruises. The key to safely landing a ski jump is all in the knees.
When you are flying through the air, your impact will depend entirely on how prepared your body is to absorb the shock of the landing. A ski jump does not take place on fresh powder. The hardpack landing zone is as hard as it gets and the impact can be jarring if your knees are not properly bent. Bend your knees together and do what you can to absorb the impact of the landing while keeping your legs equidistant apart. Balance is the other key to landing a ski jump.
Practice your balance by starting with short jumps and moving up to larger ones gradually. If you can make it into the jump, holding your balance through the air can easily be taught. Practice makes for more than perfect when it comes to a ski jump, it also makes for safety.
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|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|