Weekly Rehab Minute: Do's and Don'ts for Snowshoeing

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 | by Janelle Gordon PTA l Sponsored |


As we approach the upcoming winter season, many of us will be getting outside and enjoying the beautiful outdoors. There are many outdoor activities that people like to take part such as snowshoeing.  There are important aspects to think about such as appropriate equipment and proper mechanics to avoid injury when snowshoeing.

Before picking out the proper snowshoes, it is essential to think about the terrain you will be hiking in.

  • Flat Terrain shoes
    • designed for easy walking on flat to rolling terrain
    • ideal for families
  • Rolling Terrain shoes
    • best for hiking on rolling to steep hills
    • ·good for hiking off the beaten track
  • Mountain Terrain shoes
    • for icy or steep terrain
    • for those who blaze their own trails for hiking or backcountry snowboarding

When snowshoeing, it is crucial to dress appropriately for weather conditions as well as to wear supportive shoes to avoid injury and additional stress on joints. Insulated, waterproof boots are best. Make sure they have thick soles, rubber/leather uppers and insulation.

Having proper technique while snowshoeing helps prevent strains and joint stress and allows you to have fun instead dealing with pain.

  • Walking on flat or rolling ground
    • fairly intuitive when you first start out
    • stance should be wider than normal to avoid stepping on the insides of the frames
    • you may feel your hips and groin muscles ache after the first few times out 
  • As you ascend hills
    • you use your toe for traction
    • always place your feet firmly on snow with poles in front of you
  • In powdery snow
    • use the kick-step technique where you pick up your foot and literally kick into the snow
  • When descending hills
    • keep your poles planted in front of you, knees bent and relaxed, and your body weight slightly back
    • walk smoothly and plant heel first then toe 

Keeping all of these considerations in mind, have a fun and safe winter while experiencing all the beauty nature has to offer!

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