New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Posture and low back pain

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I skied for my 2nd day of the season yesterday and felt my low back stiffen up after a few runs. I have working on my carving skills and really focusing on staying forward or centered thru the turn. When I ski (especially when it gets a little steeper and icier) I feel like i need to bend more at the waist to prevent backseat driving. i do feel the boots pushing back against me. I feel my low back muscles really firing on all cylinders and even though I have worked pretty hard in the off season on core strengthening I sit here today with a sore low back and muscle spasms. I will post a video in a couple weeks and do plan on taking a lesson in Tahoe on 1/13. I'm wondering if my boots are the problem vs poor posture? thanks

agreen

post #2 of 12

Without seeing, I cant say for sure, but on your assessment you may be too bent at the waist.  However, I will point out that skiing is a sport, that involves active muscle use.  Sore lower back muscles are common even if you are skiing well....at least until the muscles develop some more as the season progresses....just like quad fatigue.....better technique can minimise it for a given performance level...but of course better technique allows you to up the performance level, creating greater loads, creating more fatigue...there is a reason WC and Big Mountian movie stars are very very strong and fit.  Its a fallacy that you should be able to ski all day with no muscular effort/fatigue ...even WC skiers are gassed after one WC run, its not their technique or boots are faulty, they are gassed because of the effort they are putting in and the loads they are placing on their body!  If you are skiing all day with no fatigue...then most likely you are skiing well below your potential.

post #3 of 12
If your boots are pushing back against you, it's possible they are too stiff in forward flex.

Which would lead to folding at the waist.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies. Skidude: its good to know that maybe its more of a conditioning thing as i am using a different technique now. Of course a video will be helpful. I posted a video about one year ago and you as well as others helped out alot. I plan on submitting a new video and ill put it on the same thread for comparison sake. I sure would appreciate any input.

 

GV: i have Dalbello Aero 67 boots. pretty soft intermediate boots I believe. could it be that they are too upright with not enough forard lean?

thanks, agreen

post #5 of 12
Feeling the boots pushing back at your shins means you are forward, that is good. It may mean you reached the range of your boots flex and you are ready for a stiffer boot. I use Atomic Hawx 100 for every day skiing and I find them fairly easy to flex, at 144 lb. these were recommended to me when i was an intermediate... My next pair will be the same in a 120... My race boots are 110 but that is a different beast wink.gif

No workout survives the encounter with the snow... For me, lower back kicks in the more i move on the skis... More movement normally equals better skiing, so keep it up!
post #6 of 12
I simply can't imagine that boot pushing back against you. It's very soft. You should be able to flex into/through that boot without trouble. Are you trolling? biggrin.gif If not, perhaps your legs aren't strong enough to flex the boot?

Maybe you're afraid to try to flex the boot?

Maybe something else is going on that we can't diagnose through words in a post and would need to see you skiing. My first thought when someone is jacked at the waist (folded at the waist) is that they can't flex their boot and therefore they get weight forward by tipping their head, shoulders, torso forward. It could be something else, but I'd need to see you on snow trying to ski. Maybe someone else is better at diagnosing through words rather than watching you ski?

Maybe you feel more stable when you crouch and that's what's causing the folding at the waist?

Do you play any sports? Or have you played any in the past? When you are playing a sport like soccer, basketball, lacrosse, hockey and you are a defender, ready to challenge an offensive player who has the ball/puck, how do you stand? Do you fold at the waist and get your shoulders and head low? Do you keep your torso more upright, so that you can move quickly with the offensive player?
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by agreen View Post

I skied for my 2nd day of the season yesterday and felt my low back stiffen up after a few runs. I have working on my carving skills and really focusing on staying forward or centered thru the turn. When I ski (especially when it gets a little steeper and icier) I feel like i need to bend more at the waist to prevent backseat driving. i do feel the boots pushing back against me. I feel my low back muscles really firing on all cylinders and even though I have worked pretty hard in the off season on core strengthening I sit here today with a sore low back and muscle spasms. I will post a video in a couple weeks and do plan on taking a lesson in Tahoe on 1/13. I'm wondering if my boots are the problem vs poor posture? thanks

agreen

 

My thought is that you are excessively bent at the waist.  It is more important to be "moving" the hips forward into the turn at the right time than it is to be forward all the time.  In fact if you get forward and stay there, then you can't move forward and you become static and stuck.  I don't believe that you are stuck forward from your description.  

 

The best way to move the hips forward is by straightening the knees and opening the hips.  In other words standing taller and using the ankle joint more.  Bending at the waist almost always puts the skier into the backseat.  IME the low back pain is caused by the lower back doing work that should be done with the legs.  I see people get over-flexed in the waist on steeper slopes and in bumps all the time.  I think it psychologically makes the skier feel safer by lowering their CG and they think they are getting forward by bending at the waist.  

 

Being over-flexed at the waist will cause your lower back to get sore fast just like being over-flexed at the knee will cause your quads to burn.  Having too muck flex in either of these joints makes it harder to access rotational moves (passive or active) from your hip joint and makes it harder to carve.  In general, you would want your lower back to be roughly parallel to your lower leg, so as you flex more at the waist, you must also flex an equal amount from the ankles. 

post #8 of 12

Are your boots pushing back at you from the front or the back?

 

normally, breaking at the waist to prevent "backseat driving" as you describe, is caused by not enough bending at the anke. Try standing sideways in front of a full-length mirror and get into skiing position (in your boots). Try getting low without bending the ankle, the only way to keep your body in overall balance is to break at the waist or push your head forward. then try getting low only bending at the ankle and not the waist. can you? is the former how you feel most of the time? Might not be your boots, just that you need to change your focus of getting forward from you waist to your ankles.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

GV: def not a troll. I think you were joking because of the smiley face after that comment. An ogre sometimes but only after I havent eaten or slept in awhile. I do play competitive tennis and Im def not bent at the waist with that sport. I guess the boots arent pushing back but more so feel like they are resisting my attempts to push them forward. I really tighten them up as tight as they can go (all the buckles are pretty much maxed out). I do feel more stable when I crouch.

 

TPJ: can you please explain "opening the hips"? What muscle groups am I using to flex the ankle while keeping my femurs fairly vertical?

 

Mom: Its the front of my boot thats doin the pushing on my shins for sure, but as above its more of a resistance I am feeling. Am I buckling too tightly? Again, I am using a soft boot. Discaimer: I was blessed with a pair of severe chicken legs (or as the boot guys say which I prefer "low volume" :) I have been working on leg strngthening for the past 2 years and have come a long way. I used to feel quad burning all the time, now not so much, but maybe because I am using my back too much. I do see what you mean when trying that exercise. Ill try it with boots on this eve.

 

thnks again

post #10 of 12

Semi-resurrection here, but I was going through posts and this one caught my eye.  If you feel like you're sitting back and you are counteracting that by bending way forward at the waist -- well, yeah, that's gonna put strain on your lower back.  If it hurts, don't do that.  smile.gif

 

The solution is that rather than moving your shoulders/head forward you need to move your hips forward by flexing more at the ankle and less at the knees.  Then you won't have to fold over at the waist to keep your fore-aft balance in the right place.  That's what the other posters meant by "opening your hips" -- not being bent over at the waist.

 

If you're not able to flex enough at the ankle to stay forward, something is wrong with your boot setup.  It's possible that your boots are too upright and this isn't letting you flex far enough.  (Even very soft boots will only flex so far from neutral.)  If that's the case, usually the forward lean angle of the boots can be adjusted.  Another less likely possibility is that your boots are leaned too far forward, which then forces you to bend your knees to avoid falling forward... and then to actually get 'forward' on your skis you have to overflex at the waist.  Normally you only see that when someone is in crazy expert/race boots when they shouldn't be, though.

 

Too-stiff boots can also cause this, but from the description it sounds like these should be fairly 'soft'.  However, if they don't fit well, even 'soft' boots can be difficult to flex.  You said you "really tighten them up as tight as they can go" and have a low-volume foot/leg, so that could be going on.  Normally good-fitting ski boots should be fairly snug even with the bindings unbuckled.  If you have to crank them down hard to get them to stay put your boots are almost certainly too big.  (If you pull out the liners and just check the 'shell fit' on your feet, is there much room?  If there is much more than half an inch of empty space at the back when your toes just touch the front, the shell is too large.)

 

Pics of you in your boots on a flat surface from the front and side both 'neutral' and flexed forward might be helpful.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the resurrection Mathias. I was thinking the accusation of me being a troll killed the thread. I had left my boots in the car overnight and it was cold. Then I cranked'em super tight. (so i think your right about the boots being too big or my chicken legs being too small smile.gif ) I am planning on getting new custom fit boots this summer, saving my pennies. Combine that with trying to bend my knees more to look like Shiffrin and I was quite aft. So I was compensating by bending forward waaaay too much. I went out again yesterday and really worked on being more upright by using more ankle flexion with less knee flexion and i have absolutely no back pain today. Thanks very much for your response and Im planning on posting some video of my trip tomorrow to MT Rose/Squaw for analysis. Id very much appreciate your critique.

agreen

post #12 of 12

icon14.gif

 

Glad to hear it helped.  I'm sure if you post some video you'll get plenty of feedback.  (Might want to create a separate thread for that, though.)

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching