Skiing is a notoriously challenging sport to progress in. As one of the few winter sports that cannot be practiced outside of the winter season, and one of the most expensive sports out there, skiing is not an easy sport to simply “practice.” In order to improve as a skier, individuals need to meet certain goals both on and off the slopes. Whether you’re still on the bunny slopes or hoping to go down your first black diamond, George Seryogin believes he can help. As a lifelong skier, George “Georgiy” Seryogin, can empathize with skiers at every stage of their skiing journey and believes his tips are applicable to all skill levels.
Now that COVID-19 winter spikes have returned, many Americans are looking for safe, outdoor excursions to break up their day-to-day pandemic boredom. Many of these individuals have their eyes on the slopes as a way to enjoy the winter air while adhering to social distancing protocols. If you are one of the many skiers looking to improve their form or confidence this winter, keep reading to learn George Seryogin’s skiing tips.
Go Back to Basics
Wherever you are in your skiing journey, it’s never a bad idea to review form. A proper ski stance will help ensure optimal balance and help to prevent undue stress on the knees and hips. The best ski stance is also often called “athletic stance” and involves a wide stance, with ankles, knees, and hips slightly bent with arms out to the side and slightly forward. Good form will also engage a skier’s core and keep their hips at a slight hinge. Shoulders should be over the toes, with the bum over the heel pieces. Skiers should feel contact with the tongue of their boot and have their ankle at a slight bend inside of their boot. A skier’s balance will depend almost entirely on the distance between their legs and their heel, meaning skiers must maintain a slight bend in their knee to put constant pressure on the heel. The mark of a good skier is confidence, and nothing will provide better peace of mind than excellent form and maintaining a good balance on the snow.
See If Your Knee Caving
One of the most common mistakes skiing instructors see students make in regards to form is knee caving. Knee caving can be seen in people of all ability levels and is often the result of muscular weakness. Knee caving often happens when skiers turn, and their knees fold inward, weakening a skier’s stance. George Seryogin suggests that all readers check to see if they themselves show any signs of knee caving. You can either ask a friend to watch your form during a turn on the slopes or use a camera at home and videotape yourself practicing the following moves.
After you have cleared a large space and set up your camera, close your eyes and do a small hop forward. Your knees should be lined up over your feet and should not move following your landing. Next, do the same hop to the right and left as well as a backward hop. If your knees collapse inward during any of these three hops, it is a sign that you have weakness in either gluteus or abductor muscles.
If you have shown signs of knee caving during your at-home test or on the slopes, you can fix it with a relatively easy exercise called banded crab walk. After purchasing a workout band, individuals can strengthen their abductor and gluteus muscles by placing the strength band above their knees and lowering into a squatted position. Next, their knees should length apart, moving their right foot 12 inches, with the left foot following after the right has been placed.
Practice Upper and Lower Body Separation
Upper and lower body separation is essential in improving balance and maintaining alignment through sharp turns. One of the most difficult aspects of skiing for many skiers is balance, and one of the best ways to improve balance is to get rid of unnecessary movement. Upper body and lower body separation is the best technique for getting rid of unnecessary movement. Although most skiers believe they are already practicing good separation, this is rarely the case.
Most skiers think they’re doing this, and even the most advanced skiers probably aren’t doing it enough. This tip gets to the heart of efficient skiing; it’s all about eliminating unnecessary movement. On your next run, take a moment to take stock of what body parts move first when you are beginning a turn. Many experienced skiers will notice that their shoulders lead their turns during this exercise. However, nobody part above the hip needs to move in order to successfully perform a turn. Instead, on your next slope, keep your head and upper torso always facing downhill while bringing attention to your upper thighs. Try to keep movement in your upper torso as minimal as possible while focusing energy on your lower body during turns. This will help build up the habit of separation and minimize imbalance during turns.