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Any other thoughts on "Fuctional Tension"

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
This is a little catch phrase I like and after using it in a video thread and being questioned about the idea, I thought the idea may be interesting to a more general viewing. (I hope you don't mind that used your quote from the other thread josseph.)

[quote]Originally posted by josseph:
"Functional tension"???? But it does look like you went into those bumps a little too hot.

Originally posted by Holiday:
[QB] Never heard of functional tension?
I don't have much time to hit on it now, but it has been and idea that is key in high level disciplined skiing. I'd recommend checking out the article in last months "The Professional skier" on it. If you're not an instructor and don't get that mag, I will see if I can post it. It is definitely a key to allowing your absorbtion to come from the lower body instead of the waist. without discpline of the upper body and a strong core, bumps and crud can both be very irritating exercises and tough on the lower back. This idea is what allowed me to get past my level 3 some years back. I had been failed for absorbing from the waist and focused on it for a season to put that behind me.

the bottom line, find the correct balance of tension between two opposing muscle groups. in the illustration I've made above, you need the tension between the abs and lower back. for good footwork and accurate ski control of both feet, you need a balanced tension between the shin muscles (anterior tibalis) and the calf muscles. another key to a strong POS (postion of strength) is the functional tension between the hamstrings and quads.

Functional tension doesn't mean tight, though. we need to be loose enough to respond and fire the muscles quickly, but strong enough that we don't get thrown out of our POS.

there has been an awful lot of talk here around the active dorsiflexion of the inside foot in a turn. That is another illustration of funtional tension. If you relax it too much, the inside ski slides forward and tends not to stay on matching edge angles with the outside.

Anyway, got to run. I hope that helps.

post #2 of 4
This is one of my favorite topics. We discussed it last year in this thread http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...=001726#000000
but its great to see more on this!
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks Lisa Marie,
I didn't want to start from scratch, but didn't know where to find the already created wheel. I didn't think I was bringing new ideas or verbage, so back to the archives.

Thanks again,

post #4 of 4
BTW, Wade, some of the stuff we spoke about off line regarding segmental spinal stability is relavent to functional tension. While active core muscles are important, the muscles that connect the TVA to the spine must be functional.
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