Learning how to lean your legs, move laterally and create angles in the body are key factors in skiing and lateral movement is a range that should be developed.

Many skiers struggle to lean their legs the same amount from left to right. Skiers also struggle with the range they are happy to lean their legs. Lateral angles in the body are best created at the hips so that the back and knees are are in their safest position of alignment, reducing injury chances and enabling the skier to use the body in the most appropriate way to achieve the necessary outcome at the skis.

The reasons for this are

Muscular tightness
Favouring leaning one way
Differences between left and right legs
Lack of awareness of how to lean
Problems with symmetry
Ski boot set up

Our Solutions

Side bend check

Before attempting the leg lean test, it’s very important to check that you have the ability to side bend. If you don’t or have a very limited range in this check, this is highlighting that there are some underlying problems that you need to see a specialist to discuss and get resolved before attempting any of the tests and exercises that follow.

Please have a watch of the following video to see how to perform the side bend check and the range you should be comfortably able to achieve in this check.

Side bend check
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Leg Lean Test

The leg lean test will help raise your awareness of which side of your body you favour leaning toward and any restrictions you may have moving in this range. It’s also a fantastic way to practice moving laterally off snow, allowing you to practice the movement so it’s much easier to access when moving on skis.

Once you have identified the side you feel less confident falling toward you can prioritise this side when practicing the test to help develop some proprioception in this direction.

Knowing which side feels tighter and where you personally feel that tightness in your body will help you target areas and muscles in your body that need specific attention to get your more anatomically balanced and aligned.

Please have a watch of the following video for an example of how to perform this check.

Leg Lean Test
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Leg Leaning and Lateral movement exercises on snow

There are lots of on snow exercises that help you develop your leg leaning and lateral movement on snow.

Check out the following video for a great exercise to help develop your range, timing and direction of flexion and extension movements.

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Leg Leaning and Lateral movement exercises off snow

There are lots of off-snow exercises to help develop your flexibility, mobility, 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.

Leg Leaning and Lateral movement exercises off snow
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Professional ski boot fitting

As already touched upon in other sections; 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.