knee over second toe!

The biomechanics of skiing are simple.   

1.  Get in an athletic position.


2.  Face down the hill.


3.  Turn your skis one way. Come back to centre.


4. Repeat the other way.

That's it.

So why don't we all look like Bode Miller ?

Why does everyone have sore knees, sore backs and feet that cramp?

The truth:

1. We aren't mobile enough to get in an"athletic position" without compensations.

2. We don't have the hip mobility required to carve.

3. We don't have feet that are mobile + strong enough to be loaded on edges.

kinstretch is science based mobility training.

If you are going to train mobility stop using techniques that have temporary feel good effects and start using techniques that maximize biological change.

​Here are some Kinstretch techniques

to get you ready for the slopes and stay injury free. 

My favourites to open shoulders.

D.  Getting into an athletic position. 

This requires foldability = hinging at your hips, knee and ankles.  We should be like a stacked compressed spring in between turns.  Sounds easy but most of us start to compensate here.  Clean up your hinges and make sure your knee knows how to stay upright.

This is important for injury prevention but also essential in rehab post injury.  Fibroblasts (your precursor stem cells for connective tissue) can produce new tissue but if you don't show them what tissue you want them to become you will always have weak, poorly organized tissue.  Force is the language of cells.

E.  Torso Rotation - Our shoulders need to face down the fall line but our legs rotate back and forth.  This requires rotation and you want it to come from the right places - not knees and low backs which are designed more for hinging.  Our primary centres of rotation for skiing are hips and torso.  We're already working on our hip rotation ( see above) but lets deal with torso rotation.  

Most of us know what it feels like after a multi day ski trip.  QUADS are screaming. 

In addition (but less noticeable) are closed in shoulders, tight shins and calves.

My favourites for quads and hip flexors.

C.  Now lets deal with feet. Our modern day feet live in a very 1 dimensional world.  In skiing you enter a very 3 dimensional world.   You have 26 bones under your ankle.  They were designed to be your spring but most of us never use these joints so our feet adapt and become rigid.  In addition modern day feet have very poor control so skiing causes us to overload and hang off of our passive structures.  Hello cramping and deformities.

Keep the hip knee and 2nd toe in line at first and the knee straight. 

Then try:

  • different angles of knee flexion
  • the knee not inline with the hip and foot ( valgus)

No pain.

Time under tension for 2 minutes. 

You need enough mobility to keep forward pressure on your boot tongue. Most boots have a forward lean of 10-20 degrees. If you aren't pressuring your boot it is likely fear but make sure it's not mobility.

"You always regret not training the position you got injured in"

-Dr Andreo Spina

A. Loading the inside of the knee.  Force is the language of cells.  If you are a skiier you want a strong inner knee.  Loading it gradually will cause progressive adaptation and make the passive structures stronger.  This is biological plasticity and the principle of progressive adaptation.   Never loading it and then twisting it one day will equal a season ending injury.

B. Learn to control knee rotation.  Knees have a tendency to rotate in ( tibial internal rotation vs femoral external rotation). Over time this can macerate your meniscus and speed up arthritis.   If you want your knee to last a life time understand and control rotation!

2.  How to unwind what you wind up skiing.

F. I have to mention hip CARs 

CARs ( controlled articular rotations)  are our basic mobility tool for a joint and a great pre ski dynamic warm up.

B. As the inside edge hip is rotating one way your outside edge hip has to rotate the other way - internal rotation.  Internal rotation is a motion that is starting to become extinct in modern humans.  It is also the best indicator of hip health and loosing it is highly predictive of needing a hip replacement.  Get greedy with hip internal rotation!  Here's my favourite technique for that.

Try to bridge the gap from passive to active range or you will have protective muscle tension around your hip

3.  bulletproofing your knee

1.   Mobility - Articular prerequisites  + Body control

My favourites for shins and calves.

 movement 101

A. Hip mobility of the "inside edge" leg = This is how you own your outside edge 

This is every coaches nemesis from junior to elite levels . You need above average "mobility" in your inside edge hip to find your outside edge.    Here are some great ways to get it.

kinstretch skiing