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Get out of the backseat?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have a bad tendency to end up in the backseat no matter what I'm skiing. I end up with a lot of quad burn most if the time. Its not a fitness issue because i spend a lot of time with cardio, weights, trail running, etc. I'm assuming its a direct correlation between the backseat skiing and the quad burn or do I have something else going on causing the quad burn? And how do I work on getting out of the backseat?
post #2 of 20

I'm not a professional coach, but it would be good to see a little video.  Try to think about what part of the turn you are unable to pressure the front of your boot in.  I always jump back to some flatter terrain in order to work on the pressure and technique, it just feels so slow sometimes.  Problem is that when I get back onto the steeps, I enjoy pressuring my heel so much through the final third of the turn that I become late for the set up and then its just hang on and have fun.  I'm trying to work on it too…  curious what the pros would say without seeing vid

post #3 of 20
Had the same problem, best advice and lessons was to use the poles more and emphasize pole plants as it moves the body forward over the skies.
post #4 of 20

The affects of your boot setup on your stance have been discussed here at various times... suffice it to say that if your boots aren't setup correctly, it's entirely possible that you can't get out of the backseat.

 

And, that said -- it's entirely possible as well that your boots are fine and that you have a technique problem instead.

 

As KeepCold mentioned -- video would allow us to determine which issue (or both...) is causing your perpetual backseat skiing.  But getting my boots dialed in did wonders for my ability to ski all day.

post #5 of 20

Prolly the one biggest technique flaw of most skiers. You can take all the lessons you want and ski a billion vert. feet but until you get your ass  moving down the hill in every turn nothing will change. 

post #6 of 20

I had this problem for a while. It's an easy habit to fall into. I tried almost every drill and trick known to ski istruction, all to no avail.

 

What finally got me out of the back seat was deliberately trying to close my ankle joint. I know it doesn't make sense, because if I put on my ski boot, stick my foot in the air and try to close the ankle, I will not be able to budge my boots; they are too stiff for unassisted ankle closure. However trying to close my ankle on the hill skiing soon had me practically kissing my ski tips if I wasn't careful not to over do it. Sometimes the simplest things work the best.

post #7 of 20

Boots are massive as KevinF said, including questions about the flex index, cuff height, how hard you crank them down.  Would also be good to know mountain/trail type, typical snow conditions, ski specs, and what type of skier you think you are.  

 

As something you can try before you spend on tech adjustments is thinking about how you conduct your foot pressure throughout the turn in close relation to how you pressure your upper cuff. I attempt to follow this pattern, attempt being the word. Also note that I'm far from convinced I have the most modern articulation methods. You have four main sections of your foot in a turn, toes, ball, arch, heel.  I pick one for each part of my turn while trying to keep fair pressure on the other three spots if possible to stay balanced for when the trail variations come. After dropping into trail and gaining desired speed, it begins with the big toe, rolling it up into the inside of the shell and then rolling it back down and passing pressure off to the ball of the foot.  Things begin to get faster here, pushing hard on the ball of the foot speeds up the ski and the importance of hand dynamics and keeping weight forward comes into play big time, along with knee angulation, hip movement, shoulder alignment, etc.  Pass pressure off to the arch as your weight now begins to become neutral and the pressure on the cuff subsides a bit.  Your weight drops further back onto your downhill heel.  Then, it's the heel press, as hard as you can without setting yourself up to be late for the next turn, you should be flying here.  During the press, the inside ski begins articulating pressure on the three outside toes,  almost clawing them backwards, which pressures your inside ski's inside edge.  Your transition to the next turn is dependent on how long and hard you ride the heel, also what trajectory you're taking on the fall line. The toes of the inside ski roll over to the big toe and the pressure is released from the heel.  Pressure now refocuses on the cuff of your new downhill ski and the pressure along the entirety of the foot.  Having dynamic body position allows for variable foot weighting and really skiing the terrain, kind of a foot improvisation. First time writing something like this, pretty sure there are about 37 other components.

post #8 of 20

Okay I'm going to throw spaghetti at the wall on hope one sticks.

 

1. "Stick your dick out": Many people try to get out of the backseat with their feet because people tell them "you have your weight on your heels" and then people focus on their feet more than the rest of your body. Getting out of the backseat is more centering the rest of your body over the balls of your toes rather than trying to shift weight with your feet themselves. Putting your hips forward helps tremendously.

 

2. "Pinch the 100$ bill stuck on the tongue of your boot": pretend there is a 100$ bill stuck where your shin contacts the tongue of your boot and keep it pinched so it doesn't get lost in the wind. You always want to maintain that contact.

 

3. "Pull your toes up": It sounds like you'd be putting your weight on your heel but it's not! This actually flexes your ankle and shoves your stance forward. When instructors tell people to put weight on the balls of their feet, many people do the opposite of this pushing their ankles back and putting them further in the backseat.

 

4. "Keep your arms out in front of you": This just shifts the weight of your upper body forwards putting the rest of your weight forwards. You can ignore the rest of my advice and still get out of the backseat, but you will NEED your arms out in front of you. It also tends to keep you from twisting your upper body resulting in better technique anyways.

 

Practice doing a skiiers flex and feel the weight over the balls of your toes on dry land, do this every so often just to get a feel for it so it comes more naturally on the slopes. Hopefully one of these helps you and good luck!

post #9 of 20

For me the big breakthrough in this area was related to what Ghost said.  If you flex (close) your ankles your body and center of mass (COM) move forward.  If you flex (bend) your knees it moves backwards.

 

I had a long time habit of bending my knees in an attempt to get forward and pressure my skis.  One day I played around with extending (unbending) my outside knee during the turn and it moved me forward and out of the backseat.

 

Play around with straightening your knees, particularly the outside knee, the one with all the pressure on it.  You'll be amazed what a difference this makes, particularly if you have a tendency to bend it.

post #10 of 20

jasmap, there are two simple movements that will work very well.

 

...On every turn, strongly pull your inside foot back and keep it pulled back.  Try to keep both feet even side-by-side.  You can't quite keep them even, but try hard.  This pull from your hamstring muscle will impel your body forward over the sweet spot on your skis.  Before anyone says that this won't work, try it.  It is like turning on power steering for your skiing.

 

...At the end of each turn (which is the beginning of the next turn), strongly pull both feet back behind your hips.  Again, this is using the strong hamstring muscles rather than weak foot or ankle muscles.  The tighter you want to turn or the steeper the hill, the stronger and farther you want to pull both feet behind you.  If you pull back (not up) so far that your ski tails momentarily come off the snow, you've made a very strong turn initiation.  Also use this when cresting a ridge or skiing in bumps.  Rule of thumb--if your ski tips are in the air, you have no control.  Get the ski tips down to the snow by pulling your feet strongly back behind you.  Again, try it before you knock it.

 

While we want flexibility in the waist & knees, getting the body's center of mass (somewhere around the belly button) over the feet is best accomplished by hinging forward at the ankle...pull the feet back using strong hamstring muscles and let the ankles hinge against the front of your boots.  Of course, you need supportive boots.

 

As mentioned, your set up can make things worse.  High heel position, either from risers under the binding heels or heel pads inside the boots will tip the lower leg forward.  The knees must bend and the hips go back to balance, and thigh burn is the result.

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

I had this problem for a while. It's an easy habit to fall into. I tried almost every drill and trick known to ski istruction, all to no avail.

 

What finally got me out of the back seat was deliberately trying to close my ankle joint. I know it doesn't make sense, because if I put on my ski boot, stick my foot in the air and try to close the ankle, I will not be able to budge my boots; they are too stiff for unassisted ankle closure. However trying to close my ankle on the hill skiing soon had me practically kissing my ski tips if I wasn't careful not to over do it. Sometimes the simplest things work the best.

Ghost's words in blue are excellent advice (for some people - this works for me). 

Close that ankle to muscularly move your shin up against the tongue and work that tibialis anterior muscle.  Keep this up all day long.  

Works like a charm for some people.  

May not be the issue given your boot/binding set-up, however.  Everything always just depends..............

 

Video will help sort this out.  

Do not use a POV camera on your body pointed ahead.  

Have someone stand on the side of the trail and video you coming down and passing them then skiing away down the hill.  

Post that and you'll get custom-designed advice.

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
 

jasmap, there are two simple movements that will work very well.

 

...On every turn, strongly pull your inside foot back and keep it pulled back.  Try to keep both feet even side-by-side.  You can't quite keep them even, but try hard.  This pull from your hamstring muscle will impel your body forward over the sweet spot on your skis.  Before anyone says that this won't work, try it.  It is like turning on power steering for your skiing.

 

...At the end of each turn (which is the beginning of the next turn), strongly pull both feet back behind your hips.  Again, this is using the strong hamstring muscles rather than weak foot or ankle muscles.  The tighter you want to turn or the steeper the hill, the stronger and farther you want to pull both feet behind you.  If you pull back (not up) so far that your ski tails momentarily come off the snow, you've made a very strong turn initiation.  Also use this when cresting a ridge or skiing in bumps.  Rule of thumb--if your ski tips are in the air, you have no control.  Get the ski tips down to the snow by pulling your feet strongly back behind you.  Again, try it before you knock it.

 

While we want flexibility in the waist & knees, getting the body's center of mass (somewhere around the belly button) over the feet is best accomplished by hinging forward at the ankle...pull the feet back using strong hamstring muscles and let the ankles hinge against the front of your boots.  Of course, you need supportive boots.

 

As mentioned, your set up can make things worse.  High heel position, either from risers under the binding heels or heel pads inside the boots will tip the lower leg forward.  The knees must bend and the hips go back to balance, and thigh burn is the result.

 

Pulling the feet back at the end of the turn works too, like a charm.  This is done with the glutes as well as all kinds of things happening all along the legs.

Pulling the new inside foot back at the top of the turn also works.  Try it all!

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the help. It all makes sense now. I was trying to put pressure on the front of my shin but I know for sure I almost never pull my feet back. I was actually cognizant of my feet last weekend while skiing and I actually caught myself curling my toes down. I'm going to work on pulling my feet back this weekend. And I do occasionally get lazy and drop my arms back so I'll continue to focus on the good pole plants and arms forward. Thanks again.
post #14 of 20

You can also try lifting the tail of the inside ski at the start of each turn and pull it back as mentioned above. This will force you to keep your weight forward. Once you get comfortable with that, lift the ski just a hair off the snow entirely and notice where your body likes to go. This will immediately show if one turn side is stronger or better balanced than the other

post #15 of 20

jasmap, pulling back your feet, or just the inside foot is a good tip.

 

However….

 

You don’t need to do that.  It is a mental focus more than a basic maneuver.  You need to keep your body moving ahead of your skis, so pulling back on your feet does that.  So however do other things.

 

Flexing your ankles does this.  Extending your outside knee helps with this.

 

Moving your hips forward is the same as pulling your feet back, just a different focus.

 

Some things work for some people, others work for others.

 

You need to move forward and not let your skis get out ahead of you, which pressures the tails of the skis.

 

To me I’d rather think in positive forward movements, rather than pulling back movements, although I do at time to time focus on the foot pullback, it’s just not a go-to thing for me.

 

You’re in a race down the hill with your skis.  Don’t let them win!

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
 

 

Moving your hips forward is the same as pulling your feet back, just a different focus.

 

 

SMJ, I agree with you that both areas of focus are useful, however I do not think they are quite exactly the same.  In my opinion, there are certain parts of a ski turn that demand attention to pulling back the foot and other parts that perhaps benefit from a focus on keeping the hips ahead of the feet through certain body movements beyond just pulling or holding the feet back.

 

For example, pulling the inside foot back all the way through a ski turn while its basically unweighted, while you tip it a lot at the same time...there is no other way to do that other than pull that foot back.  if its unweighted because you're standing on the outside ski, then you can project your hips forward by flexing the outside ankle, etc.. but keeping that inside foot back underneath you during that will require you to hold or pull it back.  This will come in handy when you go to change feet and you're already forward requiring no recentering move.

 

I strongly reccomend pulling and holding that inside foot back all the way through the turn....and tipping it aggresively at the same time, which by the way happens more effectively when pulling it back and towards the other boot.

 

However, that does not negate other focus on moving your CoM foragonally or whatever and keeping it ahead of your outside foot.  I personally prefer to think of my hips in relationship to my outside foot, and I think of my inside foot in relationship to my hips.  In other words, make sure hips are ahead of outside foot but make sure inside foot is back under the hips.

post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
 

 

SMJ, I agree with you that both areas of focus are useful, however I do not think they are quite exactly the same.  In my opinion, there are certain parts of a ski turn that demand attention to pulling back the foot and other parts that perhaps benefit from a focus on keeping the hips ahead of the feet through certain body movements beyond just pulling or holding the feet back.

 

For example, pulling the inside foot back all the way through a ski turn while its basically unweighted, while you tip it a lot at the same time...there is no other way to do that other than pull that foot back.  if its unweighted because you're standing on the outside ski, then you can project your hips forward by flexing the outside ankle, etc.. but keeping that inside foot back underneath you during that will require you to hold or pull it back.  This will come in handy when you go to change feet and you're already forward requiring no recentering move.

 

I strongly reccomend pulling and holding that inside foot back all the way through the turn....and tipping it aggresively at the same time, which by the way happens more effectively when pulling it back and towards the other boot.

 

However, that does not negate other focus on moving your CoM foragonally or whatever and keeping it ahead of your outside foot.  I personally prefer to think of my hips in relationship to my outside foot, and I think of my inside foot in relationship to my hips.  In other words, make sure hips are ahead of outside foot but make sure inside foot is back under the hips.

For some reason as soon as I think about the fore-aft movement of my feet I immediately begin skiing like complete ass. The hips thing helped me out when I was trying to get out of the backseat.

post #18 of 20

bts, points taken - thanks.  I definitely see what you mean that when it's very light that the only way to do this is with a pull back.

post #19 of 20
duplicate post follows, I lost it and retyped it and it's better.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikoras View Post
 
 

For some reason as soon as I think about the fore-aft movement of my feet I immediately begin skiing like complete ass. The hips thing helped me out when I was trying to get out of the backseat.

 

I know what you mean.  Just this morning I had a breakthrough with counter that made me think later "what the hell?  why did I just figure this out now after all these years of understanding it?"

 

There are so many movements involved in high-end, efficient skiing - it's not easy.   

 

To me now the key is awareness.  I focus on the feeling on the bottom of my feet and I know where I am fore/aft.  I just do whatever it takes to be where I want to be.

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