When performed well, accurate flexion and extension movements will help symmetry, stabilising the knee joint helping reduce the chance of injury and how we create and manage force and how the ski edges grip and release. Correctly timed flexion and extension patterns are essential for performance skiing. Most skiers lack correct timing and range in their flexion and extension movements. Additionally, this range is often misdirected and used ineffectively.
Dynamic Flexion & extension
the reasons for this are
Stability Step test
By checking how people step up and back down on one leg we can identify limitations to their flexion/extension range and stability. Many people will lack the stability and range necessary to do this off-skis highlighting the necessity to develop this to stand a chance using this range on snow. You will also identify differences between your left and right leg.
In addition to checking the range and stability of how you flex and extend we are also looking to keep control of our alignment so we can maintain symmetry whilst skiing. Taking the movement out of a mountain environment and rehearsing it will give you a better feel and the ability to assess what is a mid range of movement and a full range of movement are.
With repetition you’ll build up awareness, stability and range which will help reduce the risk of injury on the mountain.
Please watch the following video to see how to perform the test.
Dynamic Flexion & Extension exercises on skis
There are lots of on snow flexion and extension exercises to improve your timing, range and direction with regard to these movements.
Check out the following video for a great exercise to help develop your range, timing and direction of flexion and extension movements.
Dynamic Flexion & Extension off snow exercises
There are lots of off-snow exercises to help develop your stability and range in this very important aspect of skiing. Please have a watch of the following video from our resident strength and conditioning expert Dougie for some great advice on where to get started.
Professional ski boot fitting with boot/leg alignment check
As already touched upon in the skier symmetry section; having your ski boots fitted by a professional is an absolute necessity.
Not only should your boot fit well and be comfortable but you should have footbeds that support your foot and your boot alignment should be checked and adjusted so it works with your body.
Poorly set up ski boots will affect your ability to move in this range.