Whatever your point of view, consider

these anatomically-based facts. First, there’s a large extension of the femur (or thighbone) near the top on the outside of your leg that acts as a point of attachment for several big muscles important for skiing. In neutral posture, this bony projection doesn’t restrict movement of the leg to the side, but it gets in the way when you tilt the pelvis to tuck the tailbone under. Here are some ways you can feel this for

yourself – and provide cues for students: Q AT HOME: Stand tall in neutral posture with your pelvis positioned directly underneath you. Raise one leg out to the side as high as you can and feel how the thighbone moves under your pelvis. Now repeat the movement with your hips thrust forward. Right away, you’ll see that you can’t raise your leg as far. To feel the restriction imposed by anterior pelvic tilt, stick your butt out and over- arch your low back (be careful as this is a risky position and can lead to injury). If you try to raise your knee in front of you, you’ll find you have less mobility than you do in a neutral posture.

Q TAKE IT TO THE SNOW: To translate this to skiing, use your poles for support and drop your hips to the side as you would

when carving a turn. Note how far you can move with your hips thrust forward, then switch to a neutral pelvis and see how much lower you can get. Now try it with your low back over-arched. You’ll find it harder to control your hip posi- tion; it’ll want to rotate around and swing forward.

Q WITH STUDENTS: To help students get a sense of this, first ask them to stand with their skis flat on the snow and their hands on their knees. Have them draw their belly up, tuck their head in, push their hips forward, and arch their back. Then have them raise their head, stick their butt out, and flatten their back. Switching back and forth a few times will help them become aware of how hinging at the hip moves their pelvis to find a midpoint – a neutral position.

Second, a neutral pelvis aids skiing perfor- mance by enabling the large muscles of your butt and legs to control the skis and absorb external forces when moving through vary- ing terrain. When your hips shift forward or backward, the angle of pull changes and the force generated by these large muscles of the hip and leg are reduced.

Q AT HOME: Stand with your weight equally distributed on both feet and place a marker on the floor at your start- ing point. Push your tailbone forward (pelvic-thrust position), bend your knees, and spring forward as far as you can. Mark your landing point, then return to your start line and try it with your butt sticking out and your back over-arched (again, be careful as this can stress the lumbar spine). Finally, follow the postural exercise sequence in this article’s “Back Up Your Back” section (page 50) to place your pelvis in neutral position and activate your core. Bend your knees and spring forward again. You’ll see how much more power- ful the jump is by how much farther you can jump with just this one simple adjustment of posture.

Q TAKE IT TO THE SNOW: To demonstrate how large an effect pelvic posture has on your skiing performance, try the follow- ing exercise on skis. In a safe spot on level ground, tuck your tailbone under in your hips’ forward posture, then try to jump up off the ground. Your glutes can’t contract properly and the power they produce is reduced. Again, carefully try it with your low back over-arched.

Anterior pelvic tilt is another position that puts the skier in the back seat and restricts range of movement.

3RVWHULRU SHOYLF WLOW SXWV WKH VNLHU LQ WKH EDFN VHDW ZKLFK GLPLQLVKHV KLV RU KHU DELOLW\ WR XVH HffHFWLYH movement patterns and timing. It can also put undue stress on tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.

Maintaining a neutral pelvis promotes a EDODQFHG SRVLWLRQ DQG PRUH SRZHUIXO HɝFLHQF\ of movement.





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