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SKIING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS. PART 1

May 22, 2020

Snowsports are one of the most difficult types of physical activities there is. But it would be a mistake to overlook not only the physical but emotional benefits of, for example, skiing. That first glance at a mountain you are about to conquer, that speed that stops all the mind chatter and focuses you in the present moment, that sharp turn that allows you to brush fresh snow with your fingertips as you glide, and a body of an athletic god or goddess. And these are only a few advantages worth mentioning to pick your interest. But how do you get to the level of a confident skier if you’ve never tried it before? Well, thanks to the skiing simulator by SkyTechSport training off-season and/or indoors has become a piece of cake. Not the physical effort part of course, but the availability of realism of skiing. You can either get a skiing simulator for yourself to exercise your technique or visit a place that has one and set up routine visits. For more info check out SkyTechSport.com. 


Either way you choose, make sure you understand some basic lingo, and can adapt your instructor’s comments while practicing. So, if this is your first time skiing or even putting on a skiing gear, bear no fear, we’ll hook you up with the basics in no time. 

  1. First thing’s first. Skiing involves a great variety of joint rotation, some flexibility, and strong body motion. Stamina and strength will build up in time if you’re consistent with your practices, so don’t worry about that part. But understand that this is a full physical workout. Make sure you are ready for it. If you have any preexisting conditions get a greenlight from your physician first. Otherwise, get your sweat suit on, we’re about to start the downhill dive.

  2. Choose skiing gear appropriately. Since you are just a beginner and need to establish a proper technique first, we’ll skip the part of picking your skies and instead focus on the skiing boots and basic body motion exercises. When getting your first pair of skiing boots to make sure that it fits, and boots are buckled properly. Boots should fit snug and make contact with the entire foot and ankle. Ski boots and equipment are foreign to those who have never skied. A person’s first experience wearing ski boots will feel awkward, as the boots will limit the range of motion in the ankle joint.

  3. The following exercises will aid in developing mobility and comfort in ski boots:

  • Walking in ski boots to develop range of motion in the ankle joint

  • Gentle ankle flexes

  • Deep knee bends (squats)

  • Rocking fore/aft

  • Hops

4. The importance of balance and athletic stance. By adopting these elements of a basic athletic stance with weight evenly distributed laterally and fore/aft on both feet will help you gain an understanding of body control:

 

 

  • Shin and spine to be at similar angles

  • Elbows forward of the torso

  • Eyes focused ahead

 

5. Direct pressure from foot to foot will enable you to transfer weight side to side from one foot to the other. It’s a pretty straight-forward exercise that looks like this:

  • Step from one foot to the other (with minimal movement    

    in the torso)

  • Flex ankle (dorsi flexion), of the weighted foot

  • Lift inside foot/knee up toward skier’s torso

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  • Explore varying rates

6. Adjust the edge angles of the skis by tipping the legs while maintaining the upper body stable and moving only the lower body. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Symmetrically tip boot cuffs side to side keeping the lower legs parallel.

  • Use a wall or doorway to demonstrate feet, knee, hip inclination and angulation

  • Emphasize that tipping movements should originate  in  the  feet  and  lower  legs.

  • Develop muscular awareness inside the boot by highlighting the sensations the skier should be feeling in the feet and lower legs

  • Explore varying rates of tipping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you have familiarized yourself with step one, we can introduce you to a series of exercises you can try on the Ski Simulator. If you have any questions understanding certain terms here’s a quick vocab to make you speak fluent Skiing.    

 

Skiing tips for beginners

 

VOCABULARY

Aft: Toward the tail of the skis.

Athletic stance: A body position in which the skier is in balance without excessive leaning (laterally, fore, or aft) and is aligned over the feet. Defined by the ability of the athlete to move in any direction at any time.

Balance: A state of equilibrium that provides both a source of and an outcome for effective movement; when the center of mass is aligned through a skier's base of support with the forces generated from the snow.

Balancing movements: Muscular actions to maintain equilibrium, or the desired alignment. These movements are usually divided into two categories: 1) actions that affect fore/aft balance and 2) actions that affect lateral balance.

Dorsiflexion: Ankle flexion of the foot upward, toward the shin.

Edge angle: The amount of ski tilt relative to the surface of the snow and to the hill. A ski placed flat on the snow has zero degrees of edge angle. The greater the edge angle and equipment sidecut, the shorter the turn radius.

Fore: Toward the tip of the skis.

Hop: To move by leaping or springing from both feet at once; or the movement thus created.

Lateral: Directed or proceeding toward the side, away from the midline of an object. A person who is standing and steps sideways is moving laterally.

Range of motion: The distance a joint can articulate along its planes of motion.

Stance: How a skier stands on skis. One of the basic indicators of performance at all levels of skiing, stance affects the application and blending of skills. The “stacking” of body segments is often best observed from the side.

 

 

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*The materials reflect training of the U.S. Ski Team on the SkyTechSport simulator and not individual athletes