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S&C for Skiing – Flexibility

It’s an area of performance that can be overlooked and used as a bit of a token gesture by some, but flexibility has a massive effect on how you ski. When an athlete understands how something effects their performance they attach value to it, I’ll try to raise the stock of flexibility a little bit here.

Flexibility or lack of it will effect the ability of a skier to maintain correct knee alignment, the importance of which for injury prevention I’ve talked about. A common issue, is a lack of mobility through the hips. When this is coupled with a lack of strength in certain movements a dominance of hip internal rotation and poor knee alignment can occur. From a technical perspective this means A-framing and difficulty controlling edges, from an injury perspective, this means ACL.

Another common issue is a tightness in the calfs, this will mean an inability to flex forward in the ski boot causing pressure on the calf, a levering of the foot to the front of the boot causing bruised toes and or heel lift in the boot when trying to flex forward.

These 2 issues can also alter the position of your centre of mass on the ski shifting it backwards making it harder to get your weight to the front of the ski. It can be easy to blame the equipment by saying the boots are too stiff or the skis aren’t right but most skiers will benefit massively by incorporating some form of stretching into their training.

Neil Welch

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