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Thread: Thigh burn

  1. #1
    Just passing through
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    Thigh burn

    Hello

    My first post here. I am hoping you can help me figure out my problem.

    I only started skiing last year so very much a noob. I skied on 3 different types/lengths of skis at first. Rentals were probably about 155s, then I tried friend's older 187s and 177s. Things were going fine (at least in my unprofessional opinion) and I was having fun even though those skis were too long for my ability level.
    This year I decided to buy shorter, shaped skis and ended up with Salomon XKart Sport in 162.

    First time I got out there I started experiencing thigh burn. I have never felt anything like it before. I stay mostly on greens with an occasional easier blue here or there. Towards the end of the run the burn would be so bad I couldn't wait till I got to the lift line and at times felt as I may lose control. Once I stop it all goes away.
    I read up on the subject and there is a very strong possibility that I am too much in the backseat and I will be making more effort to keep the proper stance going forward. I don't believe however that the first few times I skied in proper stance and now all of a sudden I am not, unless there is something wrong with the ski/binding set up that is forcing me to do it.
    Another thing I noticed is that I seem to be going a bit faster now (possibly due to the skis being new and tuned??) and maybe that's whats pushing me back without me even realizing.

    Sorry for the long post.

    Please let me know what you think.

    Mike

  2. #2
    Moderator Snow Sport InstructorSkier Village Coach LiquidFeet's Avatar
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    Mike, have you taken a lesson yet? If not, do so. Thigh burn is the classic symptom of doing wall-sits on skis. You are probably aft (in the back seat).
    Most beginners start skiing from the "back seat." It's pretty much human nature. Even high-level racers work to stay forward.

    To diagnose if you are skiing in the back seat, try a straight run down the easiest part of the easiest beginner trail.
    Do this where there is a flat run-out at the end, so you'll coast to a stop when gravity gives out.

    --Go straight. Keep skis parallel, not in a wedge.
    --Lift the tail of one ski and continue going straight. Keep its tip pressing down into the snow as you do this.
    --Put its tail down, then lift the tail of the other ski. Same thing, keep its tip pressing down into the snow.
    --Repeat at a leisurely pace till you get to the bottom and coast to a stop.

    You can't do this tail-lifting from the back seat. You have to have your weight somewhat forward to lift a ski's tail.
    Be sure to try it first while standing static on flat terrain, just to get a feel for it when you aren't moving.

    If you can't lift a tail with the tip down while moving downhill on very very easy terrain, you are definitely in the back seat.
    Keep working on it till you can do it.

    --Then add this tail-lifting to actual turns.
    --Do it this way: lift and set-back-down, lift and set-back-down, the uphill tail between your turns.
    --This exercise is called "thumpers." You are lifting and thumping the uphill ski's tail down onto the snow.
    Doing this between turns will help return your body to a somewhat forward position between turns.

    --Then work on keeping that forwardness throughout the entire turn.
    --You don't have to keep lifting the tail once you can feel yourself positioned in a way that you could if you wanted to.
    --You can always just check and see by lifting the tail a little. It's the uphill tail during the second half of your turns.

    There are other exercises you can do to get out of the back seat. That's just one. Instructors deal with back seat issues every day.
    Others may chime in with their favorite exercises for eliminating aft skiing.
    Last edited by LiquidFeet; March 17th, 2015 at 05:00 PM.

  3. #3
    I have my own seat in the pub Skier Village Coach Coach Rick's Avatar
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    Hi, Smyke, welcome to Skier Village.

    Liquidfeet (LF) is right, burning thighs is a classic indication of having your weight too far back (aft). I too find it curious you didn't experience thigh burn the first few times out, but did immediately upon purchasing new skis. Introduces the possibility equipment may be playing at least somewhat of a role in the issue. Did you purchase new boots too? What boots were you wearing last year, when you we're noticing the burn, and what boots did you have this year when you did feel the burn?
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  4. #4
    Just passing through
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    I knew I missed something.

    Boots have been the Nordica Beast 12 from the beginning (except the very first time on rentals).

    Thank you LF. I will give it a try next time out.
    Last edited by smyke; March 17th, 2015 at 06:16 PM.

  5. #5
    Furnished the apartment Skier Village Coach
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    Another contributing factor is if you have weight on both legs all the time. Then the muscles don't get new blood because the tensed muscles restrict it. Kind of like sitting 90 degrees against a wall.

  6. #6
    Looking for a house Snow Sport Instructor
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    Tension by itself also is tiring. Stand up, move one knee to the side and back and notice the range of motion you have. Then tension that leg's muscles, press the foot into the floor some and try to move the knee. You have to "let go" before you can move the knee. You have to learn to "let go" while skiing too.

  7. #7
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    l know that my weight is not on both legs all the time but at times it very well could be.
    So I have to work on my technique.

    It still baffles me that it started happening with new skis with everything else being the same.

  8. #8
    Moderator Snow Sport InstructorSkier Village Coach LiquidFeet's Avatar
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    Skiing is baffling. What works one day doesn't the next, or even later the same day. It can be from changing snow conditions, attitude changes in your head, gear changes, pitch changes, or changing technical skills. Or all of the above.

    Building skill takes time, and part of that process is discovering what will work well in most conditions and on most terrain, and realizing how much one snow/pitch situation differs from another. You just started skiing last year. There's so much to learn. Embrace bafflement and enjoy the journey! With time and mileage and exposure to good models, the fog will clear.

  9. #9
    Home Sweet Home Skier Village Coach mastersracer's Avatar
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    Things that have changed in your set-up include delta angle (the difference in the height of the toe vs the heel of the binding), ski turn radius (your current skis are very turny at 12m) and ski length. Conditions and terrain will affect how you ski as well. Any of these changes could affect your balance and your comfort level.

    Remember that sitting back and leaning into the hill, whether conscious or not, are natural protection mechanisms for skiers. Knowing that might help you succeed at the excellent exercises that have been presented. It is generally best to be centered over your skis both front and back as well as side to side. Sometimes this feels like you are leaning DOWN the hill, which can be disconcerting.

    Good skiing generally involves feeling more pressure on the front (tongue) of the boot than on the back. You can use the feeling of your leg in your boot for feedback as to whether you are forward (feeling stronger pressure on the tongue with your shin, good) or sitting back (feeling stronger pressure on the cuff of the boot with your calf, not so good). Even pressure fore and aft is OK, too, but as you improve, you'll find yourself needing more pressure on the tongue.

    Additionally, balancing between left and right legs is important. As with fore/aft balance, you start fairly even but will work to more pressure on the outside ski versus the inside ski. You'll feel this mostly through the bottoms of your feet.

    When you do the exercises, try to notice where you feel pressure in your lower leg and on your feet. This may be difficult to do as you focus on the exercise, but if you do notice it is good information for you and us to help you.

    If you could post some video, or still shots we might be able to give you more detailed feedback.

    Welcome to skiing. It is a sport that always challenges which is why many of us do it. Even the best of us are still learning.

  10. #10
    Just passing through
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    Thank you all once again.

    Lots to learn for sure. Hopefully this weekend or next I will be able to practice.
    Any good youtube videos you can share that would help me? Your explanations are very detailed and I will try to follow it best I can but as they say picture/video is worth a thousand words.

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