Last time, we talked about mobility. And, as we’re talking more about skiing performance, balance is a key factor, especially in skiing. In skiing, you’re in dynamic activity, there are always things you have to react and respond to, and a lot of people try to train extreme balance. While that is great, you have to have a foundation of balance before you can train more advanced balance.
So the first thing we’re gonna do is to stand on one leg. Not something people do very often, but just stand on one leg.
Can you maintain your posture?
Can you maintain your breathing and do this? A great way to practice this is in the morning when you’re brushing your teeth. Just press your thief to stand on one leg while you’re doing the bottom stand on the other leg while you’re doing the top and practice it.
The goal for doing this is to use the ankle joint to do the stabilizing. If I’m like this, but my ankle is not moving, it means my brain is not connected to the ankle. And so I want the ankle doing those little adjustments. Very little is happening anywhere else in the body. Once you can do that and you’ve got a minute pretty consistently, then what we’re going to do is practice the hop and land.
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So just a jump and stick landing.
Straight up stick planning if you’re feeling that that’s pretty good, try the same leg and pop to the side. Pop to the side and hold it. If that popping to the side and the same leg is a little more or is too challenging for you, stand here, step to the other leg, and hold. Now we’re transitioning from one leg to the other, very much like skiing or skating.
Okay! As we get more comfortable with it we can go a little further and hold again soft landing making the ankle do the adjustments. We shouldn’t see all kinds of this happening. If it is, dial it back a little bit so you can get the correct joints doing the stabilizing. Once we have that, it’s time to take it up another notch.
That’s where things like balance boards come into play.
Awesome tools, but a lot of people start these too soon before they can even stand on one leg and then flailing all over the place trying to stand on the balance board. Once you have the ability to stand on one leg for a minute or two – great. You can do the same thing on a balance board.
What I’ll do is put the center of my foot right over the center dot and can I stand up here. The idea is not to be completely stationary, the idea is to adjust and continue moving but make the adjustments from the ankle and swap it to one side saying hey I’m there. Try and keep it off the ground. If it taps that’s fine. Just readjust. The goal is not to be completely stationary.
If that’s a little too challenging I’m going to grab the bigger one so I can go in a wider stance. Okay, from here the same thing standing up, making the adjustments from the ankles again tap that’s fine but you notice how posture stays the same. Okay? If you want to add a squat into it, great. There we go. See, that’s part of the balance. Adjust and respond as we’re going. Okay? In order to train balance, you have to be out of balance. Really important! Practice it. It will improve your skiing and every other activity you do.
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