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If your legs are burning, you're doing it wrong

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I was told this by one of my coaches, and for groomers ect I agree, as many people get burning quads due to being in back seat and having ineffective flexion/extension.

 

Would you agree?

 

Would you say differently in moguls/bump terrain?

post #2 of 28

There are two ways to get your legs burning: Doing it wrong and doing it right.  If you're too far back or have other poor technique issues you can be unnecessarily over working muscles.  If your are using good technique from proper positions you can still over work muscles by making more harder and faster turns.  Also depends on your conditioning. 

 

An example of doing it right just to illustrate, lets pretend you have good form and technique. If you were to ski a WorldCup SL course every run at WC SL speeds, your legs would soon be burning even though you were doing it right.  If your not all that fit, your legs will be burning after three runs.

post #3 of 28

I agree with Ghost.

Just think about telemark skiing! It is really challenging for your muscles if it is done correctly. Or watch downhill racers when they reach the village of Kitzbühl or Wengen after over 2 min.

post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

There are two ways to get your legs burning: Doing it wrong and doing it right.  If you're too far back or have other poor technique issues you can be unnecessarily over working muscles.  If your are using good technique from proper positions you can still over work muscles by making more harder and faster turns.  Also depends on your conditioning. 

 

An example of doing it right just to illustrate, lets pretend you have good form and technique. If you were to ski a WorldCup SL course every run at WC SL speeds, your legs would soon be burning even though you were doing it right.  If your not all that fit, your legs will be burning after three runs.

 

IM no even on the SL or well done bump skiing.

 

When your legs are flexed you should be nearly weightless. 
 

post #5 of 28

If you have boots locked with a lot of forward lean that do not allow you to stand and unflex your legs enough between turns (or in the lift line), it will fatigue your legs very quickly.

post #6 of 28

The only time I guess it's acceptable is generating power to escape a flat in powder or soft snow.  Jean Claude Killy called it "availment" and used it in the gates also.

post #7 of 28

Once I got skeletally stacked over my boots where my skeleton was holding me up and not my muscles, the fatigue went away. A good bootfitter can help with this. 

post #8 of 28

What Phil said is so true.  After the old GMO did a number on my boots it was the first time in 30 years that I was centered as he put, skeletally stacked.

 

A good boot fitter is worth every dollar and then tip a six or bottle of wine.  

post #9 of 28

Stance, Stance, Stance.  One of the most, if not the most critical thing in skiing.  You can't over estimate the role of boot fit in this.  Even a rental boot can be adjusted to help with this.

 

If you are standing dynamically on your skis a normal skier should not experience muscle pain when skiing.  If you are feeling major burning in your quadriceps muscles then you are sitting back and using your muscles and not your skeleton as the major weight bearing element of your stance.

 

If you can ski all day long and finish with a nice tired feeling throughout your legs, then you are probably standing on your skis properly and have a good stance.

 

This is one of the first things I discuss with a student that all ready skis.  If they tell me they have thigh burn when skiing, I know they are most likely a back seat skier.  We then work on simple things to bring them forward.  One of the first things I show them is how to correctly buckle a boot so it helps support their leg.  You'd be surprised at improvements clients notice and I've seen with just that!   I consider it so important that I try to meet my never evers at the rental department to get them in the right boot.  Then we take it from there.

post #10 of 28

I believe a combination of inferior technique and poor conditioning account for the unbearable leg pain I suffer when I ski. I'm glad I can only afford to get out there about 10 days each winter. 

post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post



 

IM no even on the SL or well done bump skiing.

 

When your legs are flexed you should be nearly weightless. 
 

I guess your in a lot better shape than I am, but I'm an old man so that's ok.

Doing this  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG_ybYXk9Ao  a few times would have my legs feeling it.

 

Odds are though, that if your legs are burning and your NOT really pushing it, then your doing it wrong, and most likely from the back seat.
 

post #12 of 28

Bode Miller said his legs were toast 2/3 of the way down his gold medal combined slalom run.  Guess he was doing it wrong.

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

Bode Miller said his legs were toast 2/3 of the way down his gold medal combined slalom run.  Guess he was doing it wrong.

Naw, he was just out of shape.  It must have been before he really got into his new program.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58AOloYB7t4


 

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

Bode Miller said his legs were toast 2/3 of the way down his gold medal combined slalom run.  Guess he was doing it wrong.


Totally agree...I have run WC Level (but not WC) SL and GS and my legs were screaming, 1/2way down!  75 gate SL is not for the weak.  WC skiers have legs like tree trunks, abs of steel and great cardio for a reason! 

 

Skiing is a sport, the harder you push the more tired you get.  Sure bad technique will mean you get tired quickly, but so can great technique if you push it. 

 

It is all about what you put in, and what you get out....bad skiing puts in alot, and gets out little, most skiers are in this zone, exhausted after a few hours of easy cruising on blues.....great skiing puts in a lot, and gets out more!  That is the zone of the WCer or true expert skiing with maximum performance....

 

If you are a good swimmer it is efficient, but Micheal Phelps looked pretty exhausted after winning each of his 8 gold medals....and apparently he can in fact swim.
 

post #15 of 28

First off - I'll say from personal experience that doing it 'wrong' will make your legs burn, and doing it 'right' with a stacked skeleton reduces or eliminates leg burn - depending on how aggressive you're sking - I agree with those that state that WC athletes will be burning aftter a really tough WC race.

 

Now, what about boot fit ?  I can see how a properly fit boot can be a great advantage, although I never really had a boot truly professionally fit.  I did have a boot fitter help me select several boot models that would be a good boot for me, but I did not take it to the next step where they punched, grinded, shimmed and whatever else they do to make it a truly professionally fit boot.  Now, here's my question:  this past spring, I was demoing skis during a demo day, and I clicked into one pair of skis that felt magically naturally ballanced to me - and I skied much better, faster and with a lot less effort than my current skis or any other demo skis - yes, I did buy them.  The natural ballance that I felt obviously has to be a function of the entire system: Ski, Binding and Boot, because I wore the same boots for all demos.  Should a boot fitting be done with the skis and bindings you're using ?  Since balance is dynamic on skis, wouldnt that make a 'system' fitting all that more difficult to perform.  When you'e skiing, the fore/aft binding location, binding ramp angle, etc all make a difference in feeling dynamically ballanced and skeletally stacked  on your skis.  If I had my boots 'properly' fitted for my existing skis, would the demo skis that I loved not have felt so balanced and great ?  I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

If you were to ski a WorldCup SL course every run at WC SL speeds, your legs would soon be burning even though you were doing it right. 

 

Could happen.  Or, the SL course might just make you drop from aerobic exhaustion before your legs give out...

 

post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILOJ View Post

First off - I'll say from personal experience that doing it 'wrong' will make your legs burn, and doing it 'right' with a stacked skeleton reduces or eliminates leg burn - depending on how aggressive you're sking - I agree with those that state that WC athletes will be burning aftter a really tough WC race.

 

Now, what about boot fit ?  I can see how a properly fit boot can be a great advantage, although I never really had a boot truly professionally fit.  I did have a boot fitter help me select several boot models that would be a good boot for me, but I did not take it to the next step where they punched, grinded, shimmed and whatever else they do to make it a truly professionally fit boot.  Now, here's my question:  this past spring, I was demoing skis during a demo day, and I clicked into one pair of skis that felt magically naturally ballanced to me - and I skied much better, faster and with a lot less effort than my current skis or any other demo skis - yes, I did buy them.  The natural ballance that I felt obviously has to be a function of the entire system: Ski, Binding and Boot, because I wore the same boots for all demos.  Should a boot fitting be done with the skis and bindings you're using ?  Since balance is dynamic on skis, wouldnt that make a 'system' fitting all that more difficult to perform.  When you'e skiing, the fore/aft binding location, binding ramp angle, etc all make a difference in feeling dynamically ballanced and skeletally stacked  on your skis.  If I had my boots 'properly' fitted for my existing skis, would the demo skis that I loved not have felt so balanced and great ?  I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.


Great observation ILOJ!

 

You are correct!  There are four alignment parameters that affect our fore/aft balance which include, binding delta angle, binding mount position, boot ramp angle, and boot forward lean.  What likely made all the difference for you was the binding delta angle, which is the difference in height or thickness between where your boot heel rests and the toe rests on the binding.  There can be as much as 6-8 mm difference between binding brands and models.  Though this doesn't sound like much, as little as one or two mm. in the differential will make a noticeable difference in your stance.  It doesn't take much.  This difference between the toe and heel height will become more pronounced with shorter boot soles as the binding toe and heel are mounted closer together and therefore create a steeper angle with a shorter boot sole and a flatter angle with longer boot soles.  Careful consideration should be given to these parameters when purchasing or changing equipment.  Once you discover your optimum angles it is critical to recreate them whenever you change equipment to preserve optimum alignment.    

 

There is a protocol or methodology used by most top boot fitters that will help you achieve this optimum position in your equipment.  Since all four of these parameters need to work in harmony I would strongly urge skiers to have a pro help you with your alignment rather than throwing darts and hoping for favorable results.  Chances are, though you found that a different ski and binding set up helped your balance, you could still improve your situation even more if your foot and ankle were evaluated and the other parameters were addressed then revisit the delta angle.

 

To address leg burn, I would say the more you are using your muscles to support your efforts the more taxing it is.  Proper alignment will minimize any unnecessary efforts.  Fear, apprehension, or poor technique will override any alignment efforts.  Proper alignment will remove any mechanical disadvantages and your path to success will be cleared of impediments. 

 

Good luck!  You are already on the road to enlightenment and better skiing through proper alignment!

bud


Edited by bud heishman - 7/28/10 at 6:23pm
post #18 of 28

I thought this thread was going to be about smoking...????

post #19 of 28

I'd say that if you can't do it without your legs burning then you don't know how to do it right.

 

But let's look at simple physics - if you're making a turn where you're leaning 45 degrees into it, you're feet have to support 1.42 times your weight.  For a 200 pounds dude, that's 284 pounds.  Most people I know will notice an 84 pound back pack.  And on top of it, consider that most of your weight in a turn (90%?) is on the outside leg.  So, while you're carving some nice, smooth turns, you're effectively doing lunges, with supporting about 0.9*284 = 256 pounds on the outside leg.  I don't think I know anybody who can do one legged squats with 56 pounds on their back.

 

post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post



Naw, he was just out of shape.  It must have been before he really got into his new program.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58AOloYB7t4


 


This video is fantastic, bookmarked!

post #21 of 28



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by incognito View Post

I'd say that if you can't do it without your legs burning then you don't know how to do it right.

 

But let's look at simple physics - if you're making a turn where you're leaning 45 degrees into it, you're feet have to support 1.42 times your weight.  For a 200 pounds dude, that's 284 pounds.  Most people I know will notice an 84 pound back pack.  And on top of it, consider that most of your weight in a turn (90%?) is on the outside leg.  So, while you're carving some nice, smooth turns, you're effectively doing lunges, with supporting about 0.9*284 = 256 pounds on the outside leg.  I don't think I know anybody who can do one legged squats with 56 pounds on their back.

 


If your legs are 45 degrees to the slope the resultant angle of force will be less than 45 degrees for what that's worth-unless you really are leaning, in which case your ski technique could use some improvement. Having said that, theres no question that good smooth turns can generate significant force, even while you're making it look easy.
 

post #22 of 28

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

There are two ways to get your legs burning: Doing it wrong and doing it right. 


This pritty much sums it up perfectly. Skiing is a very physically demanding sport and you need to be in very good shape. WC skiers are top athletes and they train a lot. However, you can ski very comfortably at slow to moderate speeds without much muscle effort if you are in good shape, have lots of milidge behind you, you are well balanced and you have comfortable and good boots set up properly.

 

Not getting tired from skiing is like not getting tired from a workout in the gym or playing a soccer game. Highly questionable.

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by incognito View Post

I'd say that if you can't do it without your legs burning then you don't know how to do it right.

 

But let's look at simple physics - if you're making a turn where you're leaning 45 degrees into it, you're feet have to support 1.42 times your weight.  For a 200 pounds dude, that's 284 pounds.  Most people I know will notice an 84 pound back pack.  And on top of it, consider that most of your weight in a turn (90%?) is on the outside leg.  So, while you're carving some nice, smooth turns, you're effectively doing lunges, with supporting about 0.9*284 = 256 pounds on the outside leg.  I don't think I know anybody who can do one legged squats with 56 pounds on their back.

 



Pressure sensors under wc skiers foot soles have produced the information that the pressure increase is over double the skiers weight in sl. Look at it any way you want but balancing that kind of suddenly increasing and decreasing load down a bumpy racing track at 40mph is kind of tricky.

post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post





Pressure sensors under wc skiers foot soles have produced the information that the pressure increase is over double the skiers weight in sl. Look at it any way you want but balancing that kind of suddenly increasing and decreasing load down a bumpy racing track at 40mph is kind of tricky.

I'm not sure if you're agreeing or disagreeing with me.  My point was that a 45 degrees angle (between COG and outside edge, as oisin pointed out), which is mild by the WC standard, but at the upper end of the spectrum for the general skiing public, can already produce significant forces.

 

At 60 degrees, the load becomes 2x, and at 70 2.9x - that's beyond what most mortals could handle.

 

I think we're all saying that dynamic skiing takes effort, even when done efficiently.

 

post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by incognito View Post



I'm not sure if you're agreeing or disagreeing with me.  My point was that a 45 degrees angle (between COG and outside edge, as oisin pointed out), which is mild by the WC standard, but at the upper end of the spectrum for the general skiing public, can already produce significant forces.

 

At 60 degrees, the load becomes 2x, and at 70 2.9x - that's beyond what most mortals could handle.

 

I think we're all saying that dynamic skiing takes effort, even when done efficiently.

 



Exaxtly my point. One thing to take special notise of is that a not so experiansed or skilled skier can be carving at quite fast pace seemingly effortlessly and in balance and controll but when trying to stop or quickly adjust the line he will be overriding his limits.

post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post





Exaxtly my point. One thing to take special notise of is that a not so experiansed or skilled skier can be carving at quite fast pace seemingly effortlessly and in balance and controll but when trying to stop or quickly adjust the line he will be overriding his limits.


Yes.  Been there, done that .

 

More to the point, I've caught myself in situations, that I was not able to keep most of my weight on the outside leg, and reverting to 50-50 weight distribution, simply because of overloading my leg strength.

post #27 of 28


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHogg View Post

I was told this by one of my coaches, and for groomers ect I agree, as many people get burning quads due to being in back seat and having ineffective flexion/extension.

 

Would you agree?

 

Would you say differently in moguls/bump terrain?

 

>>If your legs are burning, you're doing it wrong"

False!!!

 

Your legs could be burning as a result of gear and/or it's poor alignment..

First and fore most,  if you can feel your quads engaged when you're standing in the lift line (or in the store),  your boots (are too old school) and have too much forward lean.


Modern ski equipment works best from a neutral or 'tall' stance  (a.k.a  Long outside leg,  stacked..)

 

Check out the new Lange RX,  RS

 

 ((Full Titlts//Racheles are rather upright as well..  hence the cult following))

 

Lange has removed 4 degree of forward lean from the new boot  going from 16 down to 12 degrees. 

 

I for one am stoke that I will not, for the first time in 10 years,  have to take my new boots in to the shop to have them stood up and find it refreshing to see that after 15 years of changes to our skis,  boot manufactures are FINALLY waking up to realize they need to do so as well. 

 

re:   ineffective flexion/extension.    If you can't flex/ext your ankle in the boot,  you then will only be flexing and extending with the knee and hip and as a result will end up with an "aft Bum"       Perhaps your boot is too stiff.   


Edited by johnpenxa - 9/27/10 at 12:42pm
post #28 of 28

Usually, my hamstrings are burning after a full day of skiing. I think it has to do with doing lunges/squads all day long as I bend my knees slightly when entering the turn and raising when exiting the turn.

Standing in the lift line is no problem as I lean into the boot which is kinda nice. Of course, sitting in the chair lift is the best as the weight of my bungling skis are relaxing the quads and hamstrings.

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