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Toe Arpeggio

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I learned this really cool exercise this weekend to help me get used to using my feet. This was really helpful in getting me used to my new boots and footbeds.

Start by lifting the pinky toe of one foot, then follow through till you get to the big toe. Then, press down on the big toe, following down to the pinky toe. Then try the other foot.
post #2 of 14
That is a good exercise. It will also make you flex your ankles more and improve your balance. Now do it while you are skiing.
I have been trying to lift my toes while skiing bumps. sound's counter productive but it works!

Toes Up by Rob Sogard
post #3 of 14
Lisamarie and dchan, this may be one bo-coo very cool hint. As tiny as it is, this sounds like one of the great pieces of advice, almost like "ski the slow line fast". Thanks! I'd be really intested in reading what Bob Barnes has to say about this.
post #4 of 14
He'll probably say this "trick" has been around since SCSA was in kneepants.
post #5 of 14
I like it! I like how this focus is highly kinesthetic, how it requires us to become very aware of our feet. I like too how it should help develop smooth, progressive movements, obviously originating in the feet.

It is obviously an "exercise," vs. "how to ski"--and I hope everyone understands the difference. But in the right situation, this is a great exercise.

Any concerns? Remember--ALL exercises have SOMETHING wrong with them--otherwise they would be "skiing." I would be a little cautious with this one because of its focus on only one foot at a time. And the way Lisamarie has described it, at least, its focus seems to be on the OUTSIDE foot--another potential "red flag." When we focus on edging movements that tip the outside leg, they tend sometimes to become static, limited by the interference of the inside leg. An INSIDE leg focus--rolling toward the little toe of the inside foot, rather than toward the BIG toe of outside foot--tends to produce continuous motion of the entire body (including the outside foot) into the turn.

None of these problems HAS to happen, though. They are just potential pitfalls to be aware of when playing with this exercise.

Thanks, Lisamarie!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Great!!! Just so you know, in case anyone has not been following my new boot/footbed saga, this was given to me before a run, when I expressed concern about my boots feeling uncomfortable. The difference was incredible! Then, when we began the run, she stressed the INSIDE pinky toe for iniation. Although none of this was news to me, in my old slush bucket boots, it was not so easy to do. WOW! What a difference!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 11, 2002 11:32 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Lisamarie ]</font>
post #7 of 14
Arpeggio? Did someone say arpeggio? Ah, my favorite, a #9 arpeggio. I just love that major/minor ambiguity. Yeah!
post #8 of 14
Ahhhh, the toes. Ooooh, the feet. Oyez, the ankles.

I tell those who want to know to gently wiggle their toes when they ski: it keeps them warm and relaxes the foot and enables it to stroke the snow through the boot and ski. I especially like to lift my big toes in a slow wave to stroke the outside edge while lifting my little toes in the same tempo (slightly delayed) to define the inside edge. Back and forth, wave left, wave right. It's really quite as Lisamarie describes, only dynamic and with the actions mirrored in each foot, and only executed halfway. I sometimes ask people to (and I myself) think of how it would be if we had IMAC boots and we could see the feet WORKING in there. If we could fully appreciate all the stuff the feet and ankles can do for the whole structure of a person's skiing (since it builds up from there) we would revolutionize the sport. Nothing less.

Those who want to talk about "balance drills" should meditate on the ankle joint and what softer boots offer a skier in balance enhancement simply through increasing the mobility of the ankle joint (in particular the subtalar joint). I, who have skied in men's race boots all my life, got into a pair of much softer Dolomite 5 buckle junior race boots last season and my balance improved immensely immediately.

Why? Because I can move my feet back and forth under my body to regain my balance without effort: it's like I regain balance before I ever lose it! I feel I'm skiing with my feet and my skis, not my boots.

I commend the industry for moving in this direction and I recommend purchasing boots that allow your ankles a wide range of flexion-extension while still offering adequate lateral stiffness to withstand lateral forces.
post #9 of 14
Or you could put on 150 lbs (I know, that would be more than two of you) and bend those race boots just fine.
post #10 of 14
Are you saying that the move from race stock to soft stock is just for the shrimpettes among us?

Any of the big guys (and gals, let's be fair) on a softer boot this year who'd care to give us a review?
post #11 of 14
All I know is I couldn't WAIT to get out of the previous round of "softie" carvers (the Green Machine from Lange, the XZero Banshee) and back into an L10 (albeit the larger volume model). But, like I say, I've got more than 100 lbs on you, NB.
post #12 of 14
I thought I read that you ski 90-100 days a year. True, Kneale?

How much vertical are you getting a day?

How many days do you ski a pair of boots?

I am seeing the most hardened Tecnica race boot users abandoning ship for softer models. Maybe they've gotten better? I know the buckle over the instep and the extra padding around the Achilles on the Dolomite is great for the female "pie-shaped" foot (wide at instep, narrow at heel).

I'm in the Jr. boot at 100 lbs+ less than you. The Dolomite Sintesi 8.5 would be the right model for your stature.
post #13 of 14
Care for another foot/ankle stuff to play with?

Yes, the toes work wonders. Try this instead of the dreaded big toe little toe downward to initiate a turn. Try this lift the big toe up and over the top to initiate the little toe edge and on the outside ski lift the little toe up and over at the same time. Way better than driving the knees as the initiation because is difficult to move the knee independently from the foot. Bit like the tail wagging the dog.

Try this one too. If you stand in your boots you can lean completely against the front of the boot shell and it will hold you up by the shins. Now lift the whole fore foot off the bottom of the boot. Now try to engage edges by pressing against the top of the boot not the bottom. Now you are ready for RR tracks.

That is all for today time to practice some
post #14 of 14

You mean you only just learned about toes and skiing. Mate and for all the talking you east coasters do !!!!!

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