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Need a drill for Inside leg steering.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

What would be a good drill to teach inside leg steering. I have heard so much about the outside leg being involved with edge and pressure and the inside leg involved in steering. I would like a drill or excercise line to help students explore this skill.

post #2 of 12



One drill for inside leg steering starts with lifting the tail of the inside ski during initiation and keeping it lifted until the next turn initiation.  The second part is to start tipping the inside ski toward it's outside edge while the tail is lifted during the initiation and all through the turn.  The part that integrates it into the person's skiing is to do the same movement while keeping it on the snow.



post #3 of 12

Welcome to Epic skibone!


My top recommendation is get on some snow blades and rip the gnarliest Euro carves you can muster. At the highest edge angles/G forces on the outside ski you'll be much more able to feel the effect of inside ski steering. And you'll need to adjust turn shape with inside ski steering more because of the outside ski feeling more locked into carving.


White pass turns (turns initiated with only the new inside ski on the snow) and cowboy turns (ski with feet > shoulder width apart) are also good exercises to build strong awareness of the inside ski. Skate step turns (initiate turns with a skating step of the new inside ski) and what I call flamenco turns (lift and tip the new inside ski so the tip is pressured on the downhill edge) can help with initiating turns with inside ski steeering influence.

post #4 of 12

This drill covers both inside and outside ski steering.

  1. Ski in a wedge down the fall line.
  2. Steer one ski/leg to bring the skis parallel and across the fall line. (inside ski)
  3. Steer the now up hill ski to bring the skis back into a wedge and down the fall line.(outside ski)
  4. Repeat
  5. Repeat with the other ski/leg steerring first.
  6. Ski steering both feet at the same time.

Throughout the drill focus on stable upper body and only the legs turning.


post #5 of 12

There are many drills that can develop effective inside leg activity. One of the very best is known as "Thousand Steps," but like any drill, it must be done correctly.


Thousand steps involves simply stepping from ski to ski throughout a series of turns, with movements similar to skating (which is, itself, a good inside leg activity drill). To develop the rotary aspects of "steering," be sure to make turns smaller than you would make by "pure carving." In other words, you have to do more than just transfer your weight from foot to foot with parallel skis. You must actually turn each ski with each step.


As I've often described, you can turn your skis two different ways. You can turn the inside ski first, moving its tip into the turn, and then turn the tip of the outside ski into the turn, bringing the skis parallel. Your skis will create the letter "V" if you look down at them, as the tips diverge. Or you can turn the outside ski first, moving its tail out, away from the turn (to the left in a right turn), and then move the inside tail out to match (become parallel with) the outside ski. This movement causes your skis to resemble the letter "A," as the tips converge when you move the outside tail out.


"A's" are common when many skiers first try Thousand Steps. But "V's" are correct! The outward twisting of the ski tails that cause the "A" is the defensive movement pattern of braking, skidded turns. The "tips into the turn" activity that creates the "V" is the offensive movement pattern of high-performance turns, including dynamic carved turns. The tail-out "A" move is a "stem"--the first step (literally) of the terminal intermediate's habitual skidded turns.


"V's, not A's"--that's the key to good Thousand Step turns. You want to eliminate all skidding. The tracks you leave should be clean, crisp lines in the snow. And your turns should be rounded, and very complete (meaning that you bring them well around, perhaps even back up the hill a little, before transitioning into the next turn--with a "V" movement of the new inside ski!). There is no braking whatsoever, so your speed control comes exclusively from the shape of your line. You use tactics to control speed--not technique. Gravity itself manages your speed, as you skate as fast as you can on whatever line keeps your speed comfortable. (This is the oft-discussed "slow line fast" tactic that is the habit of all great skiers!)


The movement of the inside ski and leg in (proper) Thousand Steps is complex, but highly appropriate for good skiing. The drill will develop rotary skills ("tips into the turn"), edging/tipping skills, as you step to the "little toe edge" of the inside ski, and pressure control skills, as you develop better foot-to-foot balance, fore-aft balance, and powerful, disciplined "driving" movements that move your entire body into and through the turn, as well as out of the turn, through the transition, and into the next turn. (Be sure that there is no "A" in the transition!)


And versions of Thousand Steps are appropriate at every skill level, including first-day beginners. The movements resemble walking, so just walking around circles and figure-8's on the flats develops the same movement patterns. At high speeds, it is a very dynamic exercise, involving high edge angles, no skidding, and the intense g-forces of carved turns.


Have fun with them!


Best regards,

Bob Barnes


Stowe * Aspen * Big Sky

Edited by Bob Barnes - 2/7/2009 at 05:34 pm
post #6 of 12


Thousand steps done right is a great way to cure an abstem.  The lateral movement of the body  enables the outside ski to continue slicing.... the body does not stall/park itself over the outside ski and cause overpressuring/downstemming.


post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 


Thanks for this highly technical explantion. I never gave that much thought to thousand steps being a rotary drill. I always used it for a edging/inclination/balance drill. Thanks for opening my eyes!

post #8 of 12

You're welcome, skibone--glad to help!


One of the things I love about Thousand Steps is that they really incorporate all of the right movements, tactics, and intent of great, high-performance turns. Without exaggerating anything, they make movements more obvious. One of the challenges of observing good skiers is that their movements are typically so smooth and continuous that it can be difficult to see them. Thousand Steps break those continuous movements into easily observable, feelable, doable chunks. What is continuous and simultaneous in "real" skiing becomes sequential, so we can think about it and experience it, literally, one step at a time.


The trick, of course, is to recombine the "chunky" movements back into continuous and simultaneous again. Like audio's "digital to analog converter," we've got to translate the individual movements of Thousand Steps into the music of real skiing.


Hint: Think of "Infinite Steps"! Make them smaller and smaller, and quicker and quicker, until the individual movements become "infinitely small," and the sequential lag between them becomes infinitely brief. The activity remains, but the outcome is smooth and sinuous. The inside leg steering that creates the "V" is still there, just as actively as ever, but the "V" is infinitely close to parallel, and the movements are continuous. Great turns are "infinite steps"!


Best regards,



Stowe * Aspen * Big Sky

Edited by Bob Barnes - 2/7/2009 at 07:22 pm
post #9 of 12

Flex and extend. As you are travelling across the slope you should be in a relaxed flexed position. Just before you initiate your turn go in to a more standing position ensuring that your chins remain in contact with the front of your boot, ensuring that you have equal pressure on both skis you should now start to head down the fall line, as soon as you are facing fown the fall line either pivot both feet to the direction you are going, or to initiate a carve put both ski's on their edges towards where you want go and flex back down firmly but not sharply. The more you flex down and pressure the ski the greater the angle of turn.

post #10 of 12

Help2ski--Welcome to EpicSki!


You have described a number of movements. Could you please describe their intended effects? Why should you "go into a more standing position" before you initiate? Why equal pressure? Why contact with the front of the boot? Why does "flexing down" increase pressure?


Some of the movements you have described would be controversial, to say the least. None are necessarily wrong in themselves, assuming that their intended effects are what you want. I have always believed that movements and technique have no point without being tied to intent and purpose. Furthermore, none of the things you've described appear to me to relate obviously to the "inside leg steering" topic raised by the original poster. Am I wrong?


Please go deeper!


Best regards,


post #11 of 12

Bob, good idea advising the 1000 steps drill.  Great not only for focusing on rotary moves, but also for developing balance and agility, flexion/extension skills, and overcoming stiff (dog in a bathtub) skiing.  Here's a video I produced that has two examples of different versions of 1000 steps.  They start at 4:15





A couple other things that can help inside foot steering skills is inside foot skiing done with steered turns.  Every  turn is a steered inside foot turn.  Lift the outside ski completely off the snow for the entire turn. 


You can build up to it with White Pass Lean turns, where weight stays on the old outside ski to initiate the new turn, and stays there untill the apex of the new turn. 


Also, try skiing with an A-frame and doing carved turns.  The inside foot HAS TO steer when doing these, to keep pace with the sharper turning outside ski.  It's good for discovering the power of inside leg tension in auto generating necessary inside foot steering. 

post #12 of 12

Nice video Rick. I actually took  a lesson this past weekend just lifting my outside ski and just turning with my inside ski. I got to a point where I just took one ski off later in the day and just switched back and forth. It made me realize how much I was relying on my down hill ski before.

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