Originally Posted by chad
Originally Posted by TheRusty
The ankle joint is the most important joint for balance in skiing. With the feet on the snow surface, just flexing (closing) the ankles is the most powerful/quickest movement to get weight forward
If this is true, doesn't it seem slightly odd everyone is working so hard to restrict its mobility, boots that don't bend, multiple straps, taping, etc. While it is a joint that may be quicker, that speed comes at a price, small muscles and muscles that need to use long thin tendons because they are located further from the joint axis.
Maybe the desire to stabilize the joint is telling us something else, maybe, in managing skiing related forces it is better to not have such active, mobile ankles so the forces can be sent further up the chain to the larger joints and larger muscles that have a more direct joint impact and larger cross sectional mass to handle the generated forces.
If this is plausible, ankle mobility training should be done in an effort to feel how little muscle activation a person needs to maintain balance, not how much they can use their ankles.
Another consideration I was thinking of, the larger, burly boots extend higher up the shaft of the lower leg, better lever system, cranking the boot on to the bone enhances the proprioception in an otherwise lesser sensory laden area of the body, controlling the orientation of the lower leg comes from the hip, improved feedback=improved hip management.
Just a couple thoughts.
Yes, why are we not in ankle high boots if ankle flexion is the number 1 priority?
Because the ankle couldn't handle the forces.
So chad, how much force can dorsiflextion actually provide? In other words, if one clamps the foot down, leans back, is there enough force in dorsiflextion alone to move the entire body forward?
Or do other muscles get activated and assist?
These other muscles could act without the dorsiflextion muscles to close the ankle no?
Also, is there enough strength dorsiflexing the foot to move forward in a 130 flex boot without the other muscles?
There seems to be 3 categories of skiers when it comes to the ankle.
1) Those who often think "lift the toes" or whatever cue to dorsiflex. At whatever point in the turn, doesn't matter that's a different discussion. They in general believe it's fundamentally essential to consciously dorsiflex the foot - frequently, to be able to ski well. I'm not talking about opening/closing the ankle but the actual dorsiflextion movement.
2) Those who never or rarely think about such things as lifting the toes. They do it some other way.
3) Those who don't know what you're talking about.
Groups 1 and 2 don't seem to believe the other knows what they're talking about or just don't realize what they're doing. How could you ski that way?? As a card carrying member of group 2, I tend to think group 1 is mildly insane.
I've heard it for years - "lift the toes" to do all sorts of things. I honestly almost never do it consciously. No doubt I do, and there are times like sliding where I do adjustments in steering with the lower leg/ankle that I do it but in general, not something I think about. Then there are people opposite who've thought about it and do it for years.