Alpine Tip by Russ Peterson
When: Turning movements originating in upper body or whole body, or when upper body turns across the hill or up hill at end of turn. What: Develop turning movements in feet and legs. Turn legs more than the body to develop counter and illustrate the importance of turning the legs more than the body. If you start gliding straight down the hill and want to turn to the left, do you turn your body, or turn your feet and legs? It is much more efficient and effective to turn your feet and legs. I prefer this activity to describe counter rotation instead of the age-old “point your body down the hill” causing most students to turn their upper body, instead of their feet and legs.
How/Do: While riding the chair lift, imagine the direction you are traveling is down hill. Now turn your feet and legs to point skis as far to the left as possible. Note the tension in the muscles while continuing to hold the point of the skis while keeping the body facing forward. Now relax. Your skis will naturally turn back aligning with the direction you are facing. By originating turning movements in the feet and legs and turning the legs more than the body will create a cleaner start to the new turn.
Now try whole body rotation (use caution as we don’t want anyone falling out of the chair). Turn the whole body, pointing their skis and body to the left about 45 degrees. Feel the lack of tension in the muscles? Now relax. Nothing happens! The skis remain facing the same direction. Point out that by originating turning movements in the whole body and/or allowing the body to completely follow the skis will not help you to start the next turn. Be sure to repeat the first task, to reinforce the correct application and development of counter-rotation.
Why: To understand and feel the movement of turning the feet and legs independently of the rest of the body. Feel muscular tension in the legs as well as the abdomen and torso as the legs turn against the body and develop a counter-rotated relationship. This will promote better rotary/leg steering, turning movements that originate in the feet and legs, and stronger “inside half” It will also help develop easier turn entry. Explore: Once the students have practiced the activity statically, explore using the same movements while skiing a variety of turn sizes and on different terrain, etc.[connection_list id=36 template_name=”div_staff_bio”]