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SAFETY NET


Skiing with neutral pelvis posture – with neither the back arched nor the pelvis tucked underneath – promotes better overall skiing performance and reduces the risk of injury.


LINDA GUERRETTE


AT THE CORE OF ALL MOVEMENT: HOW TO INCREASE YOUR SKIING PERFORMANCE IN 30 SECONDS OR LESS


By Dr. Delia Roberts W


e all have strong opinions about skiing, but when it comes to posture it’s crucial to be neutral. In a neutral posture, the alignment of the spine and pelvis is such


that the major muscle groups pull more directly along the axis of


force. This maximizes efficiency and reduces detrimental shear forces by load- ing joints like the knee, ankle, and shoulder in the directions they’re designed to work. Unfortunately, our sense of where neutral


is gets lost because daily activities like driv- ing, carrying a load, or working at a desk cause us to spend a lot of time in awkward postures. Previous injuries can also hinder the reflexes that let us know where neutral is; we subconsciously guard the area that’s been problematic.


48 | 32 DEGREES • SPRING 2019


Losing our sense of neutral disrupts movement patterns. In addition, the wrong muscles can be activated, timing is altered, and there is increased stress on tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. The good news is that with just a bit of work, it’s possible to reset your posture, restore your protective reflexes, and increase the effective force generated by your muscles. This article explains how posture affects muscle action during skiing, and offers some simple recom- mendations on how to maintain a neutral


pelvis and activated core to lower your risk of injury and simultaneously improve strength and power.


PELVIC POSITION IS THE KEY TO YOUR CARVE


Pelvic position can be a controversial topic for instructors. Some believe it’s necessary to tuck the tailbone under (known as posterior pelvic tilt) to move the center of gravity forward, while others promote a more neutral tilt to allow for hinging at the hips. Note that, in describing the elements of an athletic stance, PSIA-AASI’s Alpine Technical Manual states, “The pelvis is neutral (with the lower back neither arched nor the tailbone tucked).”


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