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Stance is without doubt the most discussed topic in skiing and the first skill that is critiqued when watching a skier. Bend the knees, press on the shins, hips over feet and hands forward are all phrases that I am sure you have heard through your skiing life. I am also certain that at some point you have heard contradictory advice on what the correct stance is. In this preview of the “Truth about Stance” article found on the PaulLorenzClinics.com website, I want to share some secrets about the skiing stance that will hopefully give you food for thought next time you’re on the slopes.
It is very important to understand the purpose of a good skiing stance. A skier should be trying to achieve the following goals:
- Strength through skeletal alignment
- A position that allows the body to perform the movements required when skiing
Unfortunately the most efficient skeletal alignment and the position that facilitates the required skiing mechanics do not always go hand in hand. There will always be a compromise between the two. This compromise is what some call an athletic stance.
Essentially there are 2 planes of balance that affect this athletic stance: The “fore/aft” plane and the “vertical” plane. With this in mind, manipulating these two planes of balance will allow you to find the above mentioned compromise between skeletal alignment and the ability to move efficiently. (For a detailed breakdown of these goals along with the planes of balance, please check out the full article at www.PaulLorenzClinics.com).
Ideally a skier is trying to balance or align their Centre of Mass and their Bass of Support (or feet) against the main force/s acting on them. In other words a skier is trying to be centred, not forward and as we all know, not backwards in relation to the alignment against this force. However there are times when a skier has less force acting on them and can afford to “unbalance” this alignment to allow more efficient movement which will ultimately result in increased ski performance. These situations include certain phases of the turn, changing snow conditions and moguls to name a few.
A lot of high level skiers and instructors are following rules with their stance without understanding or thinking about what these rules achieve. The 3 common “rules” which do not always set skiers up for success are:
“Hips over Feet”
“Press on the shins”
Let’s be honest, we have all heard these statements and have this in the back of our mind when skiing.
Generally all of the above statements help to correct a skier that is too far back, yet most of the skiing population take this to mean that one must be doing the above to ski well. Back to the above point – a skier is trying to be centred, balanced or aligned against the forces that are acting on them. This being the case, how does being forward instead of centred help you to ski? Being forward in relation to the direction the force is acting on the skier is not balanced…
At the end of the day it’s important to consider the objective of your stance in different parts of the turn. Is it serving a purpose with regards to certain movements that affect ski performance? Could it change to result in less strain on the muscles through skeletal alignment? Try different positions standing still and think about the outcome before trying them whilst moving. Lastly, if someone gives you feedback regarding your stance, make sure the benefits are justified either by the person giving it, or in your own mind.
For the full article “The Truth About Stance” including:
- detailed diagrams
- in depth explanations of the points made in this preview
- and the truth about a good skiing stance
Please visit the “Articles” section of the www.PaulLorenzClinics.com website or go to (http://www.paullorenzclinics.com/#!the-truth-about-stance/c977). You will also find regularly updated articles on other topics of interest, technical videos and ski course information. I look forward to seeing you there!
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