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Off-snow exercises,drills, stretches to encourage foot and lower leg articulation?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Trying to find ways to increase my ablity to initiate and angulate using my feet and lower leg. I sometimes feel like I lack range of motion or strength to continue to articulate in this manner. Skied a 92mm on medium density snow this weekend and felt like I ran out of edging ability before I wanted to. Recommendations?

post #2 of 9

pdxammo,  This is a good topic and something I see skiers having difficulty with in their skiing.  I have worked with some of our instructors who have very limited range of motion in the hip joint(s) which limits the range of counter they are able to create.  If your issues are physiological then you must determine if these limitations stem from boney blockages or inflexibility.  If it is inflexibility a stretching regiment would be in order.  If you have boney blockages inhibiting your range of motion you will just have to adapt as best as possible.


Many times the issue is simple technique but without seeing your skiing I can only guess!  One important basic element to check is your stance.  Try this... standing on the floor simply point your feet at a 45 degree angle to one side with your hips and shoulders still facing forward.  Now reach over straight ahead, maintaining your balance, and touch your feet with minimal bend of your knees.  You should be able to create lot's of hip angulation in this manner?


Hope this helps?!

post #3 of 9

pdxammo, bud gave some great things to think about. I have some flexibility problems especially in the ankle joints, some bone on bone others just lack of flexibilty. Not certain how active you are but sports like soccer, tennis (mainly singles), basketball are good for movement of the joints especially ankles and knees.While sitting in the recliner watching tv you can try drawing the alphabet with your feet, that gets the ankles moving at least, stretching your feet/ankles with a old bicycle tire tube or other large rubber bands can be done fairly easily. Other thing is 92 mm ski is not really going to feel like an aggressive edging ski as compared with sub 75mm skis that used to be the more common ski. 

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Betsy Bold-Baker from Olympic Physical Therapy looked at me once and said I was stiff in the hips and I did get some exercises from them but want to broaden my routine especially on range of motion. I'll try your advice Bud.  SB, I am very active and don't even have TV, have pretty good range in the ankle, Hip and abductor strength not so much. I know a 92 not going to turn like a more narrow but, I felt it highlighted the problem being that it needed more strength and range to tip it. I can prolly come up with some ways to use some old tubes too, thanks :)


post #5 of 9

I also feel that I need to improve balance and ankle flexion. I seem to have a band of tension( tightness)  on the bottom of my foot that extends from the little toe( 2 and 1/2 toes worth)  side diagonally under the arch to the begining of heel . When I tied to stretch this band ( tension ?? lack of mobility) I feel it very , very taunt. It is also very to hard to hold my heel even with heel lifts. I also feel tightness and some little pain on the outside ankle joint where it joins the tibia, also tightness  on the outside shin   extending up the shin. There does not seem to be as much tightness on the inside shin or the whole shin. The problem is greatess on the right foot, less on the left. And yes I have orthotics and saw a bootfitter. But I'm thinking I need exercises to loosen up these areas. I have been making slow progress and can feel some improvement. Any ideas to specifically target these areas?

post #6 of 9

WildBillD,  Has your boot fitter checked your cuff alignment?

post #7 of 9



It would help if you listed the exercises from the PT that you are still doing. I also have to recommend that you review any new exercises with a pro before you do them. If you don't consult a pro, be especially aware of testing exercises with light weights and low range of motion and stopping any exercise that has any hint of pain as you increase.


Crunches - hold arms crossed over chest, touch elbow to opposite knee

Roman chair - do knees to chest straight and rotated 45 degrees

notsurewhatthey're called - lay flat on your back with your legs together, raise feet off the floor, keep butt on the floor, angle feet as far to the side as they will go without lifting up

medicine ball step and turn - in a standing position hold a medicine ball to your chest, step one foot laterally to outside of shoulder width then shift laterally over that leg and turn your upper body as a unit (keep the ball in front of the belly button, no shoulder pinch cheating)


As you get better, incorporate fitness balls to strengthen core and back muscles,  foam roller drills and balance board drills to improve ankle strength and range of motion. You may also find that exercises that help to develop shoulder muscles (e.g. cable crosses) also help the hips.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks Rusty, They are big on this thing they call "airchair" and this exercise where you lay down propped up on your elbow and lift and/or rotate the hips, was given to me specifically . I skied quite a bit yesterday and am really starting to involve the foot/lower leg which of course is good but, I'm sore as hell in my abductors and lateral/posterior butt muscles(?) today. Got some good comments from my trainer, yay! Dave Lyons was there yesterday too and although I wasn't one of the chosen ones to train with him, some of it allready filtered down so trying to incorporate more extension of the hip joint now too.

post #9 of 9
If you have access to a competent voga instructor you might inquire about a class targeted at core strength and flexibility. It,s a valuable preparation for the ski season.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Off-snow exercises,drills, stretches to encourage foot and lower leg articulation?