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Excessive quad burn -- form, equipment or both?

post #1 of 314
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone.  I'm a long time appreciator but first time poster on epicski and looking for some feedback.

 

Since returning to skiing a few years ago, I've experienced what seems to be a far greater than average amount of fatigue in my lower quads.  They start burning within a run or two and, if I'm on a multi-day trip, I can barely walk, let alone ski, by day 3.  I'm in decent shape and work out regularly with a focus on leg strength and endurance.  I've included my specs and a video of me skiing.  Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.
 

Me: 6'6" tall and 205 lbs and 31 y/o

My gear:  Lang RS 130s with custom footbed and slight heel raise recently added  b/c my ankles have very limited range of motion and the help me to flex the boot without pain.

Prophet 90's @ 186

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_INwMXPW0-E

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 314

You are over flexed at the knees and hips, look at your rear end in relation to your feet as you go by in the video. Stand up and use more ankle flex so that the ankles, knees and hips all 3 flex together. Also, you are pushing your skis away from you on each turn which puts you in the back seat position so by standing up and guiding your skis instead of pushing them your bones will will be stacked over your feet and you won't be burning your quads for support.

Try hopping through a series of turns, even if you don't leave the snow the action of hopping,flexing up and down through the turns, will keep you over your feet/center of the skis. Then start focusing on standing on the arches of your feet through the turns, if you are curling your toes this will be impossible. Lift the toes and stand on a flat foot to aid flexion of the lower leg/ankle joint.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Cheers

 

Barry
 

post #3 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by rambleon365 View Post

Hi Everyone.  I'm a long time appreciator but first time poster on epicski and looking for some feedback.

 

Since returning to skiing a few years ago, I've experienced what seems to be a far greater than average amount of fatigue in my lower quads.  They start burning within a run or two and, if I'm on a multi-day trip, I can barely walk, let alone ski, by day 3.  I'm in decent shape and work out regularly with a focus on leg strength and endurance.  I've included my specs and a video of me skiing.  Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.
 


Go for some lessons and tell them that leg burn is what you want to work on.

post #4 of 314

Go Skins, RGIII MVP.
 

post #5 of 314

Could be too much boot angle.  I kind of also seem to use that angle/stance and it does take more quad work to ski it.  I've added additional wedges to the backs of my boots to push me more forward and down, but I like the feel of it like that on steeps and in bumps.   Perhaps I could follow this thread some for my own benefit!

post #6 of 314

Need video. All else is speculation.

post #7 of 314

While it's certainly possible that equipment is exacerbating the problem, you are clearly skiing in the backseat. This is a less efficient stance than skiing centered or forwards as your center of mass is not stacked over your legs. Therefore, instead of your skeleton taking most of your weight your quads need to be constantly engaged to hold you up. Concentrate on really driving yourself forward during each turn, and strive to keep your hips in front of your heels. You especially want to work on getting forward at your pole plant as you prepare for the new turn so that you ensure that you are starting each turn in a proper, balanced position.  You may want to work on planting the pole further forwards.  You seemed to be touching the tips of your poles about a third of a ski back from the tips and out to the side. Try planting closer to the tips (maybe 10 cm back) and perhaps even work on double pole plants (planting both poles simultaneously at the beginning of each turn) as a drill.  This will really force your body to come forward more than a single pole plant will.  Best of luck, and I'm sure much better skiers than I will chime in with more advice shortly.

post #8 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by rambleon365 View Post

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_INwMXPW0-E

 

 

markojp, he has video

post #9 of 314
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the helpful comments!

 

One question about ankle flexion:  in attempting to flex more should I be pulling up with my feet (as in lifting my toes), or should I be purely trying to drive my knees forward while keeping the foot/ankle relatively relaxed?

 

Marooned, when you say "stand on the arches"  I'm assuming that you are referring only to the downhill foot, correct?  On the jump turns, should i be pushing off of both legs equally, or favoring one over the other?

 

Also, are shorter poles a good idea?  I've heard that this can help get you reaching further forward for the plant.  My concern is that I'll just end up bending more at the waste and make matters worse...

post #10 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by rambleon365 View Post

Thanks for all the helpful comments!

 

One question about ankle flexion:  in attempting to flex more should I be pulling up with my feet (as in lifting my toes), or should I be purely trying to drive my knees forward while keeping the foot/ankle relatively relaxed?

 

Marooned, when you say "stand on the arches"  I'm assuming that you are referring only to the downhill foot, correct?  On the jump turns, should i be pushing off of both legs equally, or favoring one over the other?

 

Also, are shorter poles a good idea?  I've heard that this can help get you reaching further forward for the plant.  My concern is that I'll just end up bending more at the waste and make matters worse...


All great questions.

 

If you lift up your toes/feet you will be flexing/closing your ankles which will move your shin bones up against the cuff of the boots, it is where we want to be and driving your legs forward/pressuring the front of the skis is desirable at the initiation of some high performance turns. The arches are where the center of the skis are and we want to bend the skis in the center. During the turn you will balance on the outside ski predominantly so the outside arch is where you should strive to be. The inside leg should maintain contact with the boot cuff to keep that ski from getting ahead during the new turn which would place you in the back early. Jump turns with both feet, but in your case I would recommend hopping through all fazes of the turn so you don't just jump and then push the skis away, the hopping will keep you balanced in alignment to your feet under your hips. As far as poles are concerned, I would do some double pole drags in basic parallel turns on easy blue terrain, if the down hill/outside pole lifts off the snow you know you are twisted to the back and ind inside, this will also promote a stacked alignment to the fall line and aid in independent leg rotation under a stable upper torso/body.

 

As far as bending too much at the waist, keep in mind that the angle relationship of the lower leg, femur and upper body should be similar, if you are leaning forward at the waist you will have to compensate for that by flexing somewhere else, equal and opposites, and that somewhere else ends up being at the knees which is what I am seeing now. Hopping for success.

 

Good luck and have fun,

 

Barry

post #11 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladeskier231 View Post

 

markojp, he has video

 

Oooh.... Saw it. Very very back seat and in need of deconstructing/reconstructing very basic movement patterns. 

 

OP, it's time for ski camp. There's much to do, and some time with an instructor/coach will do MUCH to sort out your issues in a timely manner.

post #12 of 314

These two screenshots are from your video, rambleon365.  You'll notice that your whole body, including your head, is behind your toes.

You are holding yourself in a seated position by your quads.  This is very backseat.  If you pay attention to your lower legs,

you'll be able to notice that your lower legs are pressed against the back of the boot cuffs.  

 

You need to have your body more forward so that you aren't using up all your oxygen just fueling those contracted quads.  

 

 

 

 

 

post #13 of 314
Thread Starter 

Yeah the bent knees/back are byproducts of my attempts to stay forward.  I can assure you that my shins are against the front of the boot and flexing in through the beginning of the turn.  It's the end of the turn where I end up backseat.  Essentially, I never a chance to straighten out my knees and rest my quads b/c of whatever is happening at the end of the turn.

 

Next time out I'm going to focus driving my shins forward by pulling up my toes instead of bending my knees and work on a few of the drills y'all have mentioned.

 

Anyone have tips specifically directed toward finishing a turn without falling backseat?  Some instructors (Warren Smith on youtube) indicate that the feet should ride in front of the hips as you move toward the end of the turn.  How the heck can you do that while keeping out of the back seat?!?

 

Thanks again.

 

- Dave

post #14 of 314

Rambleon, how do you start a new turn?   When the old turn is finishing up, what are you doing to get the new one started?

post #15 of 314

Honestly, it would be a good idea to deconstruct and work up from a wedge with your pelvis over your boots. At no point in your turn (sagitally) are your feet under your pelvis, Do them switch (backwards) and you'll develop kinisthetic awareness of the sensation immediately. Can you side slip both directions in a narrow corridor and in control? 

post #16 of 314

You are definatley backseat.  Try getting into that position in your living room...see how long you can last. 

 

To fix....I wouldn't focus on flexing at all.  I would do the opposite.  You got flexing nailed....your issue is you never "stand up".  As you move into the new turn..."stand up".  Thats it.  Stand as tall as you can, get your ankles/knees/hips fully extended as you start the turn...and hold that tall feeling until the fall line....relax....and complete the turn....repeat.

 

You will notice as you repeat, that you will be flexed at the end of the turn again...almost automatically...how?  Habbit.  The thing you need to focus on is what you dont do...and that is extend...or "stand up" between turns.

post #17 of 314

Welcome to Epic Dave!

 

It's nice to lurkers come out of the shadows. 

 

Stand up! Push your belly button out until your knees are over your toes. Now your back should be slightly arched. Dearch your back by rolling your shoulder forward while simultaneously bringing your hands forward as if you were holding a cafeteria tray. Now you should have your toes, knees and nose in vertical alignment. Do this in street shoes at home. Then do it in your ski boots. You should be able to feel equal pressure all along both feet. This is "neutral". From this position you should be able to imagine that there is some string tying your hands to your hips. Move your hands forward one hand width (and they imaginary pull the hips the same amount forward) and you should feel the pressure on your feet move up to the balls/toes and feel a teetering sensation. This is very similar to a movement that needs to occur as you start a turn. Add the pulling up the toes to reinforce the sensation.

 

Think of it this way: When you turn your skis down the hill to start a new turn, they are going to start moving faster. If you don't move your hips down the hill to stay with the skis, they will relatively slide back from over the bindings to behind the bindings. Your natural reaction is going to be to bend at the hips to lean your upper body forward. This keeps you from falling over backwards, but it makes your quads do a ton of work to pull the rest of your body weight down the hill. Some skiers think of letting their upper body flow to the inside of the new turn. Some skiers think about moving their hips to the inside of the new turn very similar to the exercise above. Either way, when the hips move faster down the hill as the skis move faster down the hill, the hips stay over the skis and the quads do a lot less work. 

 

Try this exercise on skis standing on a flat spot. Have a trusted friend push both bindings forward slowly. If you stand the way you do now, the initial jerk of movement is going to make you think you are about to fall and you will bend at the waist to stay in balance. The skis will pull you forward. If you stand the way I recommend above you will be able to resist the jerk movement by moving your hips forward  and stay upright over the skis. The skis will push you forward. This is the change you need to make in your skiing to stop the quad burn.

 

In high performance skiing, there is fore/aft movement of pressure along the length of the ski. In low performance skiing, the amount of movement is so small it is hardly noticeable. There is plenty of room to move within the bindings.

post #18 of 314

Your legs burn after three runs and you can't ski after three days of skiing in the back seat because you are a _________ (very descriptive term deleted so as not to offend anyone)!. 

 

Or you could learn not to ski in the back seat.  Hope you have better luck with that than I'm having.

post #19 of 314

Get your hips over your feet and keep them there using the lower leg and ankle to produce the cuff pressure you desire. By flexing in the hip all you do is move more mass behind your feet defeating your purpose.

 

Learn the Athletic Stance. Hips over feet using the flexion  of your ankles, knees, hips and spine to work together .Moderate amounts of each will keep you in balance . Stand tall. While keeping your hips over the feet flex into your boots .Move through a traverse flexing and extending back . Stay in a tall stance and do some complete turns

 

Next while standing tall move aft onto your heels still staying in a tall stance. Do a traverse flexing and extending in an aft stance. Then  make a few complete turns in an aft stance while tall. 

 

Repeat this drill again using a fore stance over loading your tips.

 

Next do these same drills in  heavily flexed stance.

 

 

When you're done experiencing this measure how your legs react to each stance option . Take Skidude72's words to heart also.

 

 

Time to drill my friend and some more vid would help you  see if you are on the right path.

post #20 of 314
gotta keep those quads in shape with other activities when it is not ski season.

bicycling is great for this
post #21 of 314

... and the gym. Squats and all their variations... core work as well, and don't forget those hamstrings (Romanian dead lifts). smile.gif

post #22 of 314

I've been working through the exact same thing and still struggle tremendously on steep terrain. When you ski in the backseat, it is a KILLER on the legs. What worked for me is spending a little time just getting a feel for where I'm balanced over my feet, and understanding the sensations of having your weight back (where you are now), having your weight forward (pressing the tongue of the boot), and then just being in balance. In general, I think you want to feel like your weight is right over the balls of your feet, and not pressing forward or back.

 

With your weight back, you're always ready to hit the brakes, which is why you end up in that position in the first place. When you're in balance, you're always ready to turn, which is a different but also effective way of controlling your speed. For myself, when I'm balanced over my feet on steeper terrain it really feels like I'm dramatically leaning down the mountain about to go over the tips of my skis. It takes getting used to for sure, and learning to trust your skis will do their job. So get the feeling down on gentler terrain first. You'll be amazed how much your skis will work for you when you're in balance (or stacked as others call it) and at the gains in stability (you can absorb terrain so much better without being thrown out of control!). 

 

Besides just learning to feel when my weight is over the balls of my feet, I also like doing traverses and turns on easy terrain on one ski as a drill. It's almost impossible to do out of balance, so this can teach the right sensations.

post #23 of 314
Thread Starter 

I'm all over squats, deadlifts, lunges, balance ball squats, planks etc.  That was my first attempt at fixing the problem and it has had minimal effect.  Guess I'm gonna have to learn how to ski instead wink.gif

 

Markojp: when you say "work up from a wedge" what are you talking about?  And as to slipping both directions, do you mean just putting my skis across the fall line and letting myself slide straight down hill?  I find that to be pretty easy.

 

Liquid: the way i initiate a turn (when carving) is just to let the skis carry their momentum through the end of the prior turn, pressure/flex the soon-to-be downhill boot, and bend my rib toward my hip to keep my torso upright and generate edge angle.  The problem (I think) is that I never really stand up at all during this process and I've got my ass hanging way out back there.

 

TheRusty: when you say to move my hands forward simultaneously with my hips, are you suggesting a pelvic thrust type of move??  I was with you until that part (my GF is pretty amused by the entire display).  Are you saying that i should be moving my hips in front of my head??  Is the concept of keeping the hips forward just another way of saying "don't bend your knees" or is it something else (pelvic thurst)?

 

Thanks again!

 

- Dave

post #24 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by rambleon365 View Post

I'm all over squats, deadlifts, lunges, balance ball squats, planks etc.  That was my first attempt at fixing the problem and it has had minimal effect.  Guess I'm gonna have to learn how to ski instead wink.gif

 

Markojp: when you say "work up from a wedge" what are you talking about?  And as to slipping both directions, do you mean just putting my skis across the fall line and letting myself slide straight down hill?  I find that to be pretty easy.

 

 

- Dave

 

 

Now unbuckle your boots and stand as tall as you can and do it. And how's the transition (pivot) between left and right a la pivot slips?  The wedge + wedge turns are a starting point to reinvent how you initiate your turns.   There's a whole bunch of progressions I could throw at you just using variations of side slips that will do wonders for getting on top of your feet with your center of mass leading the dance.. I'll have to make some diagrams when I have some more time.

post #25 of 314
A couple things to add-you have very stiff boots with won't help the issue. And like others have said stand up! Imagine you are peeing against a wall at the start of the turn to bring your hips forwards. If you get the start of the turn right the end sorts itself out and its more about preparing for the next one already. Get a lesson it'll be well worth it and much more effective than you tube lessons and all of us flinging advice around. Ali
post #26 of 314
Quote:
With your weight back, you're always ready to hit the brakes, which is why you end up in that position in the first place.

i totally disagree with this to put the brakes on you have to preform some sort of turn or hockey stop by turning your feet (as this i the only effective way of slowing down on steep terrain), and turning your feet when you are in the back seat is very hard. leaning back is a very common reaction to being on terrain you are uncomfortable on, but this actually makes it a lot harder for us to ski by getting our weight centred it allows you to turn your feet easily therefore giving you much more control over speed and direction.

post #27 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marooned View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambleon365 View Post

Thanks for all the helpful comments!

 

One question about ankle flexion:  in attempting to flex more should I be pulling up with my feet (as in lifting my toes), or should I be purely trying to drive my knees forward while keeping the foot/ankle relatively relaxed?

 

Marooned, when you say "stand on the arches"  I'm assuming that you are referring only to the downhill foot, correct?  On the jump turns, should i be pushing off of both legs equally, or favoring one over the other?

 

Also, are shorter poles a good idea?  I've heard that this can help get you reaching further forward for the plant.  My concern is that I'll just end up bending more at the waste and make matters worse...


All great questions.

 

If you lift up your toes/feet you will be flexing/closing your ankles which will move your shin bones up against the cuff of the boots, it is where we want to be and driving your legs forward/pressuring the front of the skis is desirable at the initiation of some high performance turns. The arches are where the center of the skis are and we want to bend the skis in the center. During the turn you will balance on the outside ski predominantly so the outside arch is where you should strive to be. The inside leg should maintain contact with the boot cuff to keep that ski from getting ahead during the new turn which would place you in the back early. Jump turns with both feet, but in your case I would recommend hopping through all fazes of the turn so you don't just jump and then push the skis away, the hopping will keep you balanced in alignment to your feet under your hips. As far as poles are concerned, I would do some double pole drags in basic parallel turns on easy blue terrain, if the down hill/outside pole lifts off the snow you know you are twisted to the back and ind inside, this will also promote a stacked alignment to the fall line and aid in independent leg rotation under a stable upper torso/body.

 

As far as bending too much at the waist, keep in mind that the angle relationship of the lower leg, femur and upper body should be similar, if you are leaning forward at the waist you will have to compensate for that by flexing somewhere else, equal and opposites, and that somewhere else ends up being at the knees which is what I am seeing now. Hopping for success.

 

Good luck and have fun,

 

Barry


I would recommend you stop taking all the wild advice here and go for a lesson from a ski pro. After all, we do train for years on how to improve skiers.

 

Good luck, it will be worth the money, and maybe keep you from a knee repair.

 

Cheers

 

Barry

post #28 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by rambleon365 View Post

I'm all over squats, deadlifts, lunges, balance ball squats, planks etc.  That was my first attempt at fixing the problem and it has had minimal effect.  Guess I'm gonna have to learn how to ski instead wink.gif

 

Markojp: when you say "work up from a wedge" what are you talking about?  And as to slipping both directions, do you mean just putting my skis across the fall line and letting myself slide straight down hill?  I find that to be pretty easy.

 

Liquid: the way i initiate a turn (when carving) is just to let the skis carry their momentum through the end of the prior turn, pressure/flex the soon-to-be downhill boot, and bend my rib toward my hip to keep my torso upright and generate edge angle.  The problem (I think) is that I never really stand up at all during this process and I've got my ass hanging way out back there.

 

TheRusty: when you say to move my hands forward simultaneously with my hips, are you suggesting a pelvic thrust type of move??  I was with you until that part (my GF is pretty amused by the entire display).  Are you saying that i should be moving my hips in front of my head??  Is the concept of keeping the hips forward just another way of saying "don't bend your knees" or is it something else (pelvic thurst)?

 

Thanks again!

 

- Dave

 

It is a kind of pelvic thrust sort of move.  You don't want to move your hips out in front of your head though.  I see this move in a lot of women, where the hips move forward as the shoulders move back.  I've been calling it the "bikini" move...  Looks great on the beach, but is wasted on the ski slope because the assets the move highlights are generally hidden under goretexbiggrin.gif.  It's an attempt to move forward and backwards at the same time.  It lacks commitment which, I have been told, is generally a male characteristicrolleyes.gif.

 

What I think Rusty is driving at is that the whole upper body, hands, hips, shoulders, and head all move forward together as a quiet organized package.  You move forward by opening/extending/straightening  the knees and hips.  Some of my students like to say lean forward or lean down hill.  I hate the L word.  It's passive....  What we are doing is projecting our CM.  We are not just active, we are Pro-active.  No one is telling you "don't bend your knees".  If you are straightening them out on turn initiation, it follows that you must flex your knees at turn completion so that you can extend your knees and move forward into the next turn at initiation.  You are constantly over-flexed at the knee and never straighten or move forward.  You have an A-frame because you don't release your old outside ski into the next turn.  Look at liquidfeets stills....  The bottom one comes first BTW.  This position, braced against the old outside ski, at initiation must lead to a 1-2 type of stepped rotary push off move.  The top pic is the follow through into the shaping phase of your turn.  You haven't generated pressure yet.  There is no bending of the ski and no snow spray as your edges are barely engaged here much less the front of the ski.

 

You need to stand up taller and maybe ski easier terrain until you get the feel.  Your quads will thank you and you will have more fun skiing more interesting terrain safely.

post #29 of 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

These two screenshots are from your video, rambleon365.  You'll notice that your whole body, including your head, is behind your toes.

You are holding yourself in a seated position by your quads.  This is very backseat.  If you pay attention to your lower legs,

you'll be able to notice that your lower legs are pressed against the back of the boot cuffs.  

 

You need to have your body more forward so that you aren't using up all your oxygen just fueling those contracted quads.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's the pics I referenced and I corrected the order.

post #30 of 314

It's sorta like doing a wall sit. Sit against the wall with your quads at a 90 degree angle and parallel to the floor and your back flat against the wall. See how long you can hold that for, and see how long it takes for you to go down the mountain because your doing a mobile wall sit down the mountain.

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