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Standing on one leg

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I had a discovery the other day.  For years, my biggest pet peeve in skiing has been quad fatigue (not doubt due to bad technique).   I've been trying to find a position in skiing that wasn't so hard on my quads.  I finally found it.  Standing in the lift line, I discovered that if I put 100% of my weight on my left leg, and lock it straight, and then keep my right leg flexed and forward (so that the right tip is in front of my left tip)---that puts the least amount of pressure on my quads (probably because my left leg is locked straight, instead of slightly bent).

 

I tried to ski in this position--and amazingly, my quads didn't get tired, and my skiing stamina improved tremendously.  Needless to say, I was very happy about that.  But it felt kinda weird--I was constantly shifting one foot in front of the other (when my left leg was locked straight, my right tip was in front of my left tip--when my right leg was straight, this position would switch--there was so much fore aft movement of my skis--it felt like cross country skiing!)

 

My question is--is this an acceptable way to ski?  Is balancing all your weight on your outside ski, keeping that leg locked straight, while having the other leg flexed with significant tip lead---is that correct?  It's certainly a lot easier on my quads!!

 

 


Edited by mrzinwin - 3/5/2009 at 09:35 am
post #2 of 8

Mr. Z,

 

If you're not hurting anyone (including yourself) or putting others at risk, any way to ski is acceptable. What your doing is taking the load off one leg by using your skeletal structure to support the weight instead of your muscles. By alternating back and forth you're giving each leg a rest break. This will certainly work. But there are easier and more effective and more fun ways to reduce quad fatigue.

post #3 of 8

Common cause of quad fatique = backseat.  Don't know if it applies to you, but try getting more forward and see if that helps. If you lean against your boot tongues, you'll use the boot to hold you up instead of your quads.

post #4 of 8

If your quads are always burning, you need to stand taller when you ski (and stay out of the back seat).  If that is not possible, you may have stance issues.  For example, too much forward lean in your boot will force you into a crouched stance in order to balance over your skis.  This causes tremendous quad fatigue. 

 

Based on the position that you are taking to alleviate the pain, I would guess that you have way too much forward lean. 

 

Put your skis on in the living room.  Can you stand in an athletic stance with just a slight bend in your knees?  If you feel like that is putting you too far forward and you have to flex more deeply to regain balance, you may be looking at a forward lean issue.  You may also be looking at a forward lean issue if you feel like an athletic stance puts you in the back seat.

 

If you aren't balanced in an athletic stance, step out of your bindings. Stand on a level surface in your ski boots and flex as deeply as you can at the knees.  You should be able to bend to a sitting position.  If you can bend any deeper than that, you have more forward lean than you need.  If you can't bend to at least a sitting position without falling over, you don't have enough forward lean.

 

Now try it again while standing back on your skis.  Your bindings may have a difference in elevation between the toe and the heel (called delta).  This can also contribute to the problem.  If the problem exists only when you are standing on your skis, you just need to shim your bindings to adjust the delta.  That said, if you have (or intend to have) multiple pairs of skis, the best idea is to shim all of your bindings as needed so there is no delta whatsoever.  This allows you to set up your boots to work with every pair of skis you own and it allows your bootfitter to assume a level surface when doing the work. 

 

A good bootfitter who understands alignment issues can help resolve these issues.  More than likely, they will add lifts to the sole of the boot (in your case probably at the toe) to correct the problem.  Since binding delta plays such a role in this,  a good clue as to whether you are dealing with a good bootfitter is whether he/she asks you to bring your skis with you for the appointment.  If they aren't aware of the need to consider binding delta in the alignment equation, find a different bootfitter.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffda View Post

 

If your quads are always burning, you need to stand taller when you ski (and stay out of the back seat).  If that is not possible, you may have stance issues.  For example, too much forward lean in your boot will force you into a crouched stance in order to balance over your skis.  This causes tremendous quad fatigue. 

 

Based on the position that you are taking to alleviate the pain, I would guess that you have way too much forward lean. 

 

Put your skis on in the living room.  Can you stand in an athletic stance with just a slight bend in your knees?  If you feel like that is putting you too far forward and you have to flex more deeply to regain balance, you may be looking at a forward lean issue.  You may also be looking at a forward lean issue if you feel like an athletic stance puts you in the back seat.

 

If you aren't balanced in an athletic stance, step out of your bindings. Stand on a level surface in your ski boots and flex as deeply as you can at the knees.  You should be able to bend to a sitting position.  If you can bend any deeper than that, you have more forward lean than you need.  If you can't bend to at least a sitting position without falling over, you don't have enough forward lean.

 

Now try it again while standing back on your skis.  Your bindings may have a difference in elevation between the toe and the heel (called delta).  This can also contribute to the problem.  If the problem exists only when you are standing on your skis, you just need to shim your bindings to adjust the delta.  That said, if you have (or intend to have) multiple pairs of skis, the best idea is to shim all of your bindings as needed so there is no delta whatsoever.  This allows you to set up your boots to work with every pair of skis you own and it allows your bootfitter to assume a level surface when doing the work. 

 

A good bootfitter who understands alignment issues can help resolve these issues.  More than likely, they will add lifts to the sole of the boot (in your case probably at the toe) to correct the problem.  Since binding delta plays such a role in this,  a good clue as to whether you are dealing with a good bootfitter is whether he/she asks you to bring your skis with you for the appointment.  If they aren't aware of the need to consider binding delta in the alignment equation, find a different bootfitter.

 

Thanks for that--it was really helpful!  I do have a history of problems with binding delta--back when I tried the Look p12 lifter turntable bindings, they had so much ramp that at the end of the day, I could not even stand in the lift-line my quads were so sore (I had to lie in the snow, while my friends went skiing!!).  Since then, I've switched to tyrolia bindings, which are better.  But I still get quad soreness after multiple days of skiing.

 

Maybe I need to reduce my forward lean even further.  I know my boots have heel lifts, and perhaps that is contributing to the excess forward lean...

 

Thanks for the help!

post #6 of 8


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzinwin View Post

 

 

 

Thanks for that--it was really helpful!  I do have a history of problems with binding delta--back when I tried the Look p12 lifter turntable bindings, they had so much ramp that at the end of the day, I could not even stand in the lift-line my quads were so sore (I had to lie in the snow, while my friends went skiing!!).  Since then, I've switched to tyrolia bindings, which are better.  But I still get quad soreness after multiple days of skiing.

 

Maybe I need to reduce my forward lean even further.  I know my boots have heel lifts, and perhaps that is contributing to the excess forward lean...

 

Thanks for the help!


 

If you are talking about heel lifts inside the boot, that is a sign that your boot has aggressive forward lean, but removing them probably won't have any effect on the situation.  The purpose of a heel lift is to open the ankle to allow additional range of motion to flex.  In some cases, the forward lean of a boot will be such that it will hold the ankle completely closed.  In other words, you will have to flex your ankle to its maximum just to match the lean in the shell.  That leaves you with no additional rom to flex the boot while skiing.  By lifting the heel, the ankle is opened and additional ROM is provided.

 

Probably what you need is shims on the toe of your boot sole (in addition to the heel-lifts). 

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffda View Post

 


 


 

If you are talking about heel lifts inside the boot, that is a sign that your boot has aggressive forward lean, but removing them probably won't have any effect on the situation.  The purpose of a heel lift is to open the ankle to allow additional range of motion to flex.  In some cases, the forward lean of a boot will be such that it will hold the ankle completely closed.  In other words, you will have to flex your ankle to its maximum just to match the lean in the shell.  That leaves you with no additional rom to flex the boot while skiing.  By lifting the heel, the ankle is opened and additional ROM is provided.

 

Probably what you need is shims on the toe of your boot sole (in addition to the heel-lifts). 

 

I think I may have to make a trip to the bootfitter!

 

Another thing though--do you think that it would help to move the binding position backwards? (my binding is on rails)  I figure that this will force me to lean forward in order to stay on the 'sweet spot' of the skis. 

post #8 of 8

My thought would be no.  Moving the binding back will simply require you to more agressively pressure the tips.  That doesn't really solve your problem which is one of balance.  If you try to stand upright, your COM gets pushed so far forward, that the only way you can restore balance is to crouch and drop your hips back (which also puts you in the back seat when you are trying to turn).  Since you are already compensating for being pushed too far forward, setting up your skis to require even *more* forward pressure is just going to exacerbate the problem and force you to crouch even deeper to get the pressure you need.  If you like the way the ski is performing, I wouldn't move the binding around.  That said, since its easy for you to do, you should experiment and observe the effects for yourself.  Don't take my word for it!

 

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