Most skiers ride from turn to turn with an a-frame shape in the legs. This is when the feet are wider apart than the knees. This can happen by either the knees dropping in or the feet splitting out or both. This makes the shape in the legs non symmetrical and the skis usually at different angles between the turns. This can cause inconsistency between turns due to the skis being tilted at different angles. This a-frame in the legs will put stress on the knee joints and tension in the muscles throughout the body. An a-frame is one of the biggest factors behind skiers having problems in powder and variable terrains. A-Frame’s are usually more predominant in one direction.
The reasons for this are
Professional ski boot fitting with boot/leg alignment check
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.
Leg adduction & abduction test
To improve your symmettry you need to activate the muscle groups that control adduction and abduction in your legs. These muscle groups doesn’t get used heavily in sport or everyday life so a specific training routine is needed to first raise awareness of the muscles and then develop your strength and skill at using them.
The skier symmetry test will raise your awareness and develop strength and you can do it in the comfort of your own home or in any area with a polished surface. If done properly you should be recruiting the correct muscles to develop awareness and strength in a very ski specific fashion.
Please watch the following video on how to perform the test. Learning to use these muscles will allow you to ski with a much more powerful framework in your legs, conquering all the terrains you dreamed about skiing with performance and control.
Professional ski coaching (from us if you can!)
Often skiers have been taught badly which results in problems relating to their symmetry. On snow, lots of different elements play a part in maintaining your symmetry. Beyond pure muscle activation, as mentioned above, lateral precision and effective use of flexion and extension whilst skiing will dictate if you can maintain symmetry whilst skiing.
Check out the following video for a small sample of some great exercises and advice for maintaining symmetry whilst skiing.
Leg adduction & abduction exercises off skis
There are lots of off-snow exercises to help develop your stability and strength to increase the control you have when 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.
Video coming soon!!!
Refer to a physiotherapist
If you find the above information still doesn’t manage to help you improve your skier symmetry you should seek expert help from a physiotherapist as the problem may be related to your skeletal alignment or some other underlying physiological issue.