Learning the correct action and understanding how to activate the outside leg whilst moving laterally to achieve edge grip and pressure during your turns is essential. As well as working on exercises and drills on the mountain, and/or heightening awareness whilst skiing, you can also achieve a certain amount of success for development at home.
Leg Extension is something that a little extra practice at home can only aid or assist. Quite often watching skiers and coaching them, we find that they have the following areas to work on with leg extension:
- Range of movement
- Timing of movement
1. It’s common in skiing that when you watch yourself on video you are often surprised how little you move your limbs. We often find this in our video analysis sessions. A classic issue for many developing skiers is a lack of leg extension during the turn. When there are so many aspects to think of whilst skiing (terrain, other people, speed control, direction, your friends in the group, etc.) often skiers don’t get time to isolate a specific area of the body they are trying to move and clearly assess it. It happens all too quickly and at once.
Practicing a specific movement range that your coach might be telling you that you’re lacking will help make changes quicker and give better results. Taking the movement out of a mountain environment and rehearsing it several hundred times will give you a better feel and the ability to assess what is a mid range of movement and a full range of movement. You might also find it challenging from a physiological point of view, whether in your joints or muscles, so training it off snow can also help you feel for any issues before you even clip your skis on.
To practice and develop this outside of a mountain environment simply get a grippy surface and a solid wall and work through your limits of range from your full flex to your full extension. Identify the limits and assess how they feel. With repetition you’ll build up awareness, strength and agility and reduce the risk of injury on the mountain.
2. Timing of movement is something you’d normally work on with your coach on the mountain. Watch the video below to see how you can work with your coach or friends to develop timing of the movement.
Click here to watch the video explanation of leg extension.