Video – Before making changes then After…

Clip 1 shows there is no use of dynamics and the ski tails are being pushed out to the side, unstable, weight back and twisting actions being employed.

Clip 2 shows all of the above eliminated and replaced with effective actions. Dynamics range will be built up from this base…

Douglas was initially skiing with limitations derived from classic ski instruction – not at all representative of his capabilities. In fact he is an exceptionally capable student – very quick in grasping difficult and counter intuitive ideas and very effective in adapting physically.We followed a logical program focused mainly on dynamics…  Dynamics – Feet – Skating Timing – Angulation/Hip – Pole Use – Pivoting

The menu at the top of the blog leads to specific pages dedicated to the main topics…
Dynamics other menu links – “Beginners” and “Chi Skiing” explain some of the skating timing, feet  and hip use.


We used the standard exercises for dynamics and due to Douglas’s bike experiences this was easily understood and applied. Immediately he could feel the difference – moving the centre of mass instead of pushing the feet away and twisting. The goal was to eliminate all twisting actions. at this stage – but also to introduce the “toppling” into the turns to begin to develop the correct timing – down/up.Due to poor use of the feet we soon stopped and removed a ski boot to work on the stance and feet. Initially it’s best to learn to stand on the heel – which allows the foot to be rocked on the subtaler joint (beneath the ankle) onto its inside edge. When bending – remaining on the heel – the anterior tibialis muscle (outside front of the lower leg ) tenses for stability and support and the ankle goes strong – placing the shin neatly against the front of the boot. With the foot rocked on the edge the upper leg adductor muscles are active pulling inwards and the knee is stabilised and made safe. Actual “edging” is achieved not by this action inside the boot – but by the centre of mass falling into the turn – the use of the feet just accurate body mechanics to make it strong and effective. The forefoot actually turns away from the turn – not twisting into it. The shaft of the ski boot keeps the foot on its inside edge.

Perpendicularity was discussed regarding the actual slope and the need to use the ski to come up at the end of the turn. This completion of the turn provides stability for the turn transition – where the body goes through a “neutral” phase – skis momentarily flat when going across the hill – body passing over them but perpendicular to the momentary traverse.

Skating Timing

Timing was being developed just with the natural pendulum of toppling over and coming back up. Now we used skating directly downhill – bringing in the dynamics when speed was built up – converting the skating into skiing but with the legs still skating. Douglas struggled a little with this due to not being a skater – the fault being allowing the foot to twist at the beginning of each stride instead of rocking it. The ski tries to flatten foot quite aggressively – which is what forces the twisting on the unsuspecting skier. The purpose of this exercise is to get the leg actions in sync with the toppling to amplify forces.


Douglas was shown the difference between facing the shoulders downhill and facing the pelvis downhill. Using a loading test with a ski pole held out across the front of the body the back was felt with the shoulders involved and the abdomen contracted reflexively when the hip led the movement. In each case the spine is twisted in opposite directions – and only one version protects the back. Douglas picked this up straight away and felt the difference. Generating angulation this way at the hip is also the key to eliminating unwanted rotation of the body. (Remember how I said to apply this in cycling!)

Pole Touch

When using dynamics skiing the (downhill) pole touch is when the body is standing up and goes through the “neutral” phase in the turn transition.


Pivoting was worked on a little just to complete the picture of the main elements in skiing. The fixed page from the menu goes into full detail on the subject. The “take away” from this regarding dynamics is that the focus is universally “pulling inwards” – not pushing anything outwards. There is no centrifugal force to combat – the ski pushes us inwards – away from a straight line – and we need to help it to do that.


Feedback that came from Douglas was that it was far less tiring on the legs, less energy needed, felt more natural and right. Exactly what I’d have expected!
Foot – Leg – Hip – Centre of Mass !!!  Dynamic short turns focused on deliberately moving the centre of mass earlier.
Engage the uphill ski / leg strongly to push the body downhill at the start of each turn.
Work on extending the Dynamic Range – like we did for the video clip.

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