Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My first contribution to ABCs of skiing: Why do my thighs burn when I ski?

Visit here to see the answer on ABCs of skiing, or read below, and let me know what you think!

The short and most probable answer is that you are "in the back seat". Its possible to be in the back seat even when you are pushing as hard as you can on the cuffs of your boots. If you break at the waist and stick your bottom out, or bend at the knees to drop your seat lower, like sitting in a chair, you are engaging your quads.

Try this exercise. Stand in your boots. Stand up just as tall as you can. Now, drop your heels down into your boots. Then, relax your shins against the fronts of your boots, naturally. Now, tuck your tailbone under just a titch to take any sway out of your back. Now, pretend like someone just punched you in your stomach, allowing your spine to curve just a bit. Elbows go in front of torso, hands outside of elbows.

WHEW! You should be in a good dynamic, strong posture now. You should have an angle of about 15 degrees in your lower leg, and it should match the angle of your back from the hips up. Your bottom should be right over your feet, and you should feel even pressure all along the bottoms of your feet.

If you feel your thighs, try thinking of your femur as a line. If, looking down, the line of your femur is pointing from hip, to knee, to any place in FRONT of your toe piece of your binding, your thighs are probably engaged, and you are probably slightly back. Try pointing the line that your femur makes from your hip to your knee and then right AT your toe piece of your binding. Now your flex and athletic stance are coming from the ankle and knee, rather than your waist and hip.

Remember that forces are generated in each turn, and that you are constantly striving to get back into balance over your feet, right over your skis. Muscularly resist the urge to get dumped in the back seat at the end of each turn, and you will find yourself with less work to get back in the middle, neutral, ready position.

Let me know if this helps, and feel free to visit for more info!

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