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  • Becca van Klinken - Physiotherapist

Ski Technique - aligned and well!

I am going skiing - how can I prepare?

Even if you are not injured, you ought be assessed by a ski specialist. This can help avoid injury and improve your performance on the slopes. Your skiing will be safer, and more fun.

Ski Stance

Having the right ski stance can work wonders, for example it will:

  • help absorb bumps on the slopes better

  • hold your skis in the correct position, making manoeuvring easier

  • allow you to see where you are going

  • helps you recruit your stability muscles which in turn help improve your stamina on the slopes

Good ski technique is not easy to describe in words but most of us will find that we can easily recognize good and bad ski stances. A good skier "sits back" on their skis and their body is straight and vertical. Few skiers get this right and it can largely be due to their body's response to "falling" and the habit of the response which we adopt.

Knee Position

A great place to start checking your ski technique is by bending your knees: see what your knees do by doing this whilst standing in front of a mirror with your feet parallel and hip width apart in a position like you are standing on skis. Ideally when you bend your knees you should keep the middle of your knee cap over your 2nd/3rd toes. If one or both knees fall in, the chances are this happens on the slopes too. You need to retrain your body/brain on how to bend with your knees in correct alignment - see a physio for more advice on how to do this.

Weight distribution

Next you ought to work out where your Centre of gravity (ie the spot between lower back and stomach) is. Ideally it should be forwards in order to get your weight forwards. You should keep your tailbone up but not sticking out, have a straight back and bring your stomach forwards. Your weight must go over the middle of your skis.

Some more simple tips are:

  • You should feel your weight going through the whole of your feet in order to keep it evenly spread out on the skis ie not all forwards /backwards.

  • Aim to keep your spine straight and shift weight from side to side NOT rotating through the pelvis or lower back.

  • Practice all of the above in front of a mirror to see what you are doing. This will help you train your body to realise how you ought to be skiing ie it is an exercise.

Once you feel familiar with how you are standing and moving, you should do all of the above with your eyes closed whilst visualising the being at the top of the mountain.This is a powerful exercises that has been shown to help improve performance {1}.

{1} Adding movement to "dry run" mental imagery enhances performance. Feb 2013, Biomed Central


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