EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › How 'tight' should my core muscles be?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How 'tight' should my core muscles be?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Took this quote from another thread as it's something that's been on my mind lately.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by nolo View Post

I did attend a PSIA clinic this fall from a D-Team member and it was all about maintaining functional tension in the torso muscles.


 

I recently had the good fortune and pleasure to ski with a four time Olympian.  She told me that her skiing took a major leap forward when she started clenching her core muscles during her bump runs.  I have pretty well developed core muscles but I don't tend to ski with them clenched.

 

Nolo, I would love it if you would elaborate on the content of the clinic.

 

Of course input from anyone else would be appreciated as well.  Do you ski with a tight core?

 

post #2 of 13

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post

 

 

I recently had the good fortune and pleasure to ski with a four time Olympian.  She told me that her skiing took a major leap forward when she started clenching her core muscles during her bump runs.  I have pretty well developed core muscles but I don't tend to ski with them clenched.

 

Nolo, I would love it if you would elaborate on the content of the clinic.

 

Of course input from anyone else would be appreciated as well.  Do you ski with a tight core?

 

 

I ski with mine abs/sides/back about as tense I can when I am skiing tough terrain.

post #3 of 13

For me It's similar to the amount of abdominal tension I have when riding a bike at a brisk pace and I take my hands off the handle bars for awhile. Not too loose, and not to tight, just very functionally active and engaged. Posture control and spine alignment is an important ingredient of this tension as well. 

post #4 of 13

Why do it? 

Because is stabilizes fore/aft mainly, with a dash of rotational control mixed in

 

How much to do it?

Only as much as needed, and not a penny more.  You learn with experience how much that is.  Over do it and you're just burning energy needlessly, and making yourself stiff, non-fluid, and non-functional.  Much like nervous DOG IN A BATHTUB skiers do. 

 

www.YourSkiCoach.com

post #5 of 13

Pertubation drills off the snow are a great way to develop the strength and a feel for core tension. A couple MD's and PT's have suggested to me that the deep core muscles aren't all that consciously controlable though. Which would explain why so many of these types of drills involve things like basu balls and body balls, They allow the deep core muscles of the body to work on balancing while we are performing another activity (like catching a medicine ball while balancing on one of those balls). A word about Functional tension, it is just the right amount to facilitate greater stability without inhibiting or interfering with our skiing movements. To me it is similar to holding the steering wheel of a car slightly tighter and making very accurate steering moves. It's important to understand that too much tension, or too little, do not produce the stability we seek in those situations.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys.

 

So when you find that perfect balance of just enough but not too much, is it always a conscious tightening or could it be just one of those things that the body does involuntarily?

post #7 of 13

A conscious decision as far as we can actually control those deep core muscles. The idea is as much mental as physical. The intended outcome is to resist being knocked around and just flailing. Disciplined and purposeful movements will create this.

I would say in the case of cut up crud, or moguls, the first thought is to tighten up to maintain a little more resistance to getting bounced. Although most skiers take this to mean we get stiff and they end up getting bounced anyway. There isn't a hard fast rule beyond the idea that even though some is good, more isn't going to be better. If you feel stiff and your movements are no longer smooth and progressive you are too tense. If you are too relaxed staying up as the skis stall and jet is impossible. In other word it varies with the situation, terrain, and snow conditions.


Edited by justanotherskipro - 3/9/2009 at 01:48 pm
post #8 of 13

Sometimes I do set myself up with conscious core engagement. Really I am focusing on the pelvic floor muscles rather than the abdominals. If you really want a better understanding of the role and use of our pelvic floor and abdominal muscles in sports try these two books, "ProBodX" by Marv Marinovich, and "Athletic Body in Balance", by Grey Cook. For simple fitness routines that only requires inexpensive equipment that you can do at home, I like the ProBodX routines.

 

For a simple focus to play with on the hill, stand up now in front of your computer and flex your legs slightly, put your hand on your tailbone and feel it move as you drop it down and move it forward under your pelvis. This levels out your pelvis from front to back, engages the muscles in the pelvic floor and gently engages your abdominals in a supportive manner. Now take this out on the hill and ski holding your tailbone in this posture. This puts a person in a posture of strength and power without creating tension and rigidity.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks Ric.

 

I'm familiar with the body position you described.  Ordered the ProBodX.  Always look forward to adding inexpensive new exercized to my routineThumbs Up

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

 

 

I would say in the case of cut up crud, or moguls, the first thought is to tighten up to maintain a little more resistance to getting bounced. Although most skiers take this to mean we get stiff and they end up getting bounced anyway. There isn't a hard fast rule beyond the idea that even though some is good, more isn't going to be better. If you feel stiff and your movements are no longer smooth and progressive you are too tense. If you are too relaxed staying up as the skis stall and jet is impossible. In other word it varies with the situation, terrain, and snow conditions.


Edited by justanotherskipro - 3/9/2009 at 01:48 pm

No doubt there aren't any aspects of my skiing that can't be improved upon, but I think I'm pretty much doing this already.  I'll mosdef give it some focus next time I'm out.  Thanks so much for the vivid description.

post #11 of 13

There is a lot of information available on how to train your core. Look in the fitness training forums for ideas on how to develop a stronger core. A word of advice though. Develop a well rounded fitness routine that includes weight training activities like squats, military presses, etc. Core strength drills (and the agility drills associated with things like a bosu ball) are an addition to those activities and should not be seen as replacements for a well designed basic strength training regimine.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

 

There is a lot of information available on how to train your core. Look in the fitness training forums for ideas on how to develop a stronger core. A word of advice though. Develop a well rounded fitness routine that includes weight training activities like squats, military presses, etc. Core strength drills (and the agility drills associated with things like a bosu ball) are an addition to those activities and should not be seen as replacements for a well designed basic strength training regimine.

Done.

Done.

Done.

and

DoneThumbsUp

 

I'm a bit of a bosu freaq too =)

post #13 of 13

Functional tension in the core is a big part of my skiing.  I want to feel balanced and stabilized throught my core.  Most people tension the half the core that is on the outside to get angulation but do not tension the inside half.  To me this shuts down a lot of good movments below the waist.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › How 'tight' should my core muscles be?