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Curing the backseat blues

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#21
.... There are many reasons why instructors disagree about these things. Trust that what they like works for them, with their anatomy, their skis, their binding placement, their boots, their conditions, their technique and tactical choices, and the terrain they choose to ski on. There is no One Right Way.
....
 
#23
“keeping the core engaged” ... what does this mean?
You know the feeling around your belly, sides, and lower back when you are about to cough or laugh? Everything kind of tenses up? That is essentially your core engaged, it fires and stabilizes those muscles. Which is also what you want when skiing rough and variable terrain/conditions because it stabilizes your stance as well. Someone else might have a better explanation, but that’s how I think about it. You do the same thing with a lot of exercises and weight training.
 
#24
“keeping the core engaged” ... what does this mean?
Have you ever done any Pilates? Or used a TRX? Both are ways to build core strength. For me, doing exercises to increase and maintain core strength is more important than leg strength. Along with working on balance, flexibility, and cardio.

These exercises based on mat Pilates may help you understand which muscles are involved. You'll probably never guess how old the woman is who is doing the demonstration. She is a long time instructor at Vail.

For ideas of how to use TRX for ski conditioning, I have some info in my fitness blog:
https://over50skifitness.blogspot.com/search/label/TRX
 
#25
You know the feeling around your belly, sides, and lower back when you are about to cough or laugh? Everything kind of tenses up? That is essentially your core engaged, it fires and stabilizes those muscles. Which is also what you want when skiing rough and variable terrain/conditions because it stabilizes your stance as well. Someone else might have a better explanation, but that’s how I think about it. You do the same thing with a lot of exercises and weight training.
I try to ski mainly relaxed but I do use core engagement when I get into crud, in particular. I like to think of it as “functional tension”. More like - I’m just about to tense up! Not that I am actually tense the whole time (which personally, would tire me out).
:smile:
 
#27
Many instructors talk about “keeping the core engaged” but no one really says how to do it.

Think about “pulling your belly button towards your spine”. Pilates gets way more into it but for skiing, the above will work.
As long as it’s not interpreted as sucking in the belly to do that. That’s kind of the opposite of what you want, and I’ve seen it have to be described to people in workout classes because it was interpreted incorrectly in this way.
 
#28
Have you ever done any Pilates? Or used a TRX? Both are ways to build core strength.
Neither. I am the worst at exercising. I do intend to start an off-season regimen to keep my bad knee strong and generally more fit.
Think about “pulling your belly button towards your spine”.
As long as it’s not interpreted as sucking in the belly to do that.
LOL, that’s exactly how I interpreted it, sucking my gut in. Nowadays my belly button is getting farther away from my spine. So tighten, but not tense, oops, and there I go holding my breadth, lol. I think I might need to visit the local gym.
 

Peaheartsmama

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#29
I saw myself ski on video for the first time - it made me see just how back I still was even when I thought I was already forward. I watched it right after the run so I could associate the feeling I had just gone through with what it looked like. It was a good visual cue to see that - and had helped me realize I could still get more forward without worrying about tumbling forward. Still a work in progress though. I hate that the season is ending - just when it’s starting to click! I’m tempted to make it out another day or two but worry about spring conditions and hidden rocks that took out my ACL a few years ago.
 

Abbi

Angel Diva
#30
Neither. I am the worst at exercising. I do intend to start an off-season regimen to keep my bad knee strong and generally more fit.


LOL, that’s exactly how I interpreted it, sucking my gut in. Nowadays my belly button is getting farther away from my spine. So tighten, but not tense, oops, and there I go holding my breadth, lol. I think I might need to visit the local gym.
I suggest to my Pilates clients that they lift IN and UP to 'engage' the core. For my over 50 plus clients I often remind of us lying on our backs sucking in (and up) to zip up those crazy tight jeans we once wore. Crazy us to need a gravity assist to get into a garment!!!

Another favorite visual from back then: You have pulled jeans from the dryer (to make them skin tight) and MUST get them on to go out in public .... how much do you pull away (in and up) from that hot zipper?? Works for a bunch of us with now gray hair. LOL

That engagement has saved me on snow more times than I can count!
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#31
@MissySki I have been experimenting with my top buckle and power strap this season. I have very poor dorsiflexion in my left ankle (bone inhibited) and find it quite hard to flex my left boot when it is cold out. Loosening the top buckle and strap really helps with that- not loose just not cranked tight.
 
#32
I feel it is sort of like sucking your stomach a little, but a long ways from the extreme of holding your breath. Rather, just enough to know there are muscles there, or perhaps just thinking of wearing a corset. Sometimes this might also entail a slight tensing of the glute cheeks. I might think of it on a challenging run, but then the consciousness of that fades into the background as I focus on my line, my turns, etc.

It's too late this year, but next year I'd love to do a ski camp or clinic.
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#33
It's too late this year, but next year I'd love to do a ski camp or clinic.
Bob and I are definitely doing a ski week at Taos next year. You and G should come with us!

As for back seat... my issue is powder over boot high. I get tossed around and end up with my weight on my heels - which, oddly, seems to work. Strangely, this doesn’t happen in crud. I have a lot of practice in crud and pretty much can kill it in that stuff. I know, I know... that’s really sad!
 
#34
It's too late this year, but next year I'd love to do a ski camp or clinic.
Bob and I are definitely doing a ski week at Taos next year. You and G should come with us!
Fair to say that I've had instructors, including the women at Taos Ski Weeks (2018, 2019), give explanations for how to "engage the core." I tend not to remember the exact words. What happens is that based what I hear at the time, I do the correct movement at the time and can sometimes can remember the feeling and the difference it makes. But it takes repetition. The advantage of a Ski Week is that it's likely that the instructor will have multiple opportunities to stress the same topic. That means a higher chance of getting it right often enough to feel the "good" approach in order to be able to replicate the movement and feeling at other times when not in a lesson.
 
#35
Skiing heavy Sierra cement today 12 inches fresh. Still remember Taos instructor emphasizing dorsiflexion and toes and chin up. Worked pretty well once I thought about it. BTW Taos was first instruction in decades.......
 

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