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Stiff lower leg...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
The recent voluminous thread regarding turn completion on the inside leg has gotten me thinking about my leg action under various conditions. One thing which occured to me was that when moving at higher speeds and on very steep pitches, I have a tendency to instinctively completely straighten my lower (new outside) leg as I approach the fall line and encouter the high g-forces of the turn. I often straighten it to the point that I actually lock out my knee.

As noted, I tend to do this instinctively and do not really think about it, but only at high speed and on verey steep pitches. This seems sensible in some ways. It allows the leg which is bearing most of the force to be stacked against the compressive force of the turn thus saving muscle energy and presumably reducing fatigue. However, it seems that it also probably reduces the ability to make subtle corrective changes in terms of weight shift, balance, transfer etc. perhaps locking you more into the turn than might be desirable.

So, what do you folks think. Is this a reasonable accomodation to increasing speed and pitch or is it just a defensive maneuver which will ultimately get in the way.

Thanks, all opinions appreciated.
post #2 of 11
I would advise strongly against locking your knee. You may get your leg almost straight during the maximum g-force (provided you can see well and are sure you won't be needing any any further extension from it), since you will shortly be bending it again, but never get it perfectly straight. Just my opinion.
post #3 of 11
I like the term "flexibly straight" meaning a "long leg" in a strong position/angle but still ready to react.

It makes my knees hurt imagining how they take all the shocks when completely locked.
post #4 of 11
I like checkracers definition for the leg, but also think that most of the "subtle adjustments" that you talk about take place at the ankle, not in the leg. Think of the leg (primarily the knee) as we stride forward on uneven terrain. The knee is extended as the weight shifts to it (but not locked?) but the ankle is doing most of the terrain accomodation and balance adjustment..
post #5 of 11
RiDeC58,
Like ghost and checkracer stated, long and strong. Think of having functional tension on the extended leg, but suptle enough to control the building forces of gravity and terrain. You should have a slight flex in your ankle, so your knee also bends a little as a result, but your hip joint is still lined up with the middle of your foot. That way, you are still stacked skelletly and using some muscle tention, but more able to rotate your femor in the hip socket. Long and strong, but not locked.

RW
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. this makes sense. I just need to pay alittleattention and overcome this tendency to extend so completely, but almost straight certainly makes sense as does adjustment to balance/steering etc.utilizing other joints.
post #7 of 11
Wow, Ghost, Checkracer, Gandolf and Ron, I'm impressed! 4 posts and the question is answered clearly and put to bed.

Just proof this forum can exist on multiple levels.
post #8 of 11

I doubt that it's "put to bed"

I've only been here a short while, but it seems to me that posts are seldom "put to bed", they just morph into something else; which is OK, it's sometimes pretty interesting.
post #9 of 11

Bracing

[quote=RiDeC58]The recent voluminous thread regarding turn completion on the inside leg has gotten me thinking about my leg action under various conditions. One thing which occured to me was that when moving at higher speeds and on very steep pitches, I have a tendency to instinctively completely straighten my lower (new outside) leg as I approach the fall line and encouter the high g-forces of the turn. I often straighten it to the point that I actually lock out my knee.
QUOTE]

Long & strong is good if there is angulation involved at the hips/waist to keep you over your skis. From what you seem to describe, I suspicion you may be bracing against your ski at the bottom of your turn to control speed you have gained in the turn. If this is true then I would suggest you ski on a slope you are very comfortable with and a) slow your skiing down for now, fast skiing creates bad habits even though it appears to be easier to make turns, b) attempt to maintain the same speed through out the turn, and c) keep your outside ski underneath but allow the leg to go long and strong by angulations at the hips and flexing the ankle; long and strong will come as you become more comfortable with angulation and flex of the ankle/knee. Enter the turn with both skis equally weighted and complete the turn the same. At the apex of the turn you will be roughly 60% outside & 40% inside.

Just a thought from what you described.
post #10 of 11
RiDeC58, You can do a bed check on whether the subject was exhausted here when you attend ESA Weekend, eh? Let us know what your coach advises!
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the thoughtful advice. If I haven't resolved this by ESA-East, I will def. seek some guidance there and report back.
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