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Secrets of effective skiing: Basic Stance 1. Up and Down Movements

The stance is essential in any sport, but in skiing, there is no sense in writing a detailed how-to description of the basic posture. The basic stance is the posture that a good skier uses only at the start of a run, never again. The first mistake that a skier can make is getting stuck in the basic stance after the first turn.

The basic stance is instead a starting position than an active movement. On the slope, we must adapt to the changing circumstances continuously. We get from one turn to the other; one leg bends more than the other; sometimes, we are parallel to the fall line, and sometimes, we ski across it. There is no time and no reason to stay in a posture.

There is no point in copying a static picture only because it "looks like an ideal skier". Better to understand the main movement elements and functions that we use in connection with the basic stance. In the first part, we are going to deal with the up and down movements.

Getting into a deeper position seems as simple as a squat in a gym or sitting on a chair. First, we must consider that three joints participate in the squat: the ankle, knee, and hip. All three must operate synchronized.

The codes in brackets (e.g., HS2, PCH10) are the corresponding drills from OzoneSki Fit Exercise Library to work out the actual movement element. You can read more about the OzoneSki Fit Workout Program here.

Lowering the stance (flexion phase)

1. Lower your center rather than your head
  • Start the movement from bottom to top. Flex your ankle first, then bend your knee and the hip joint. (HS2, PCH2, PCH10, PT5, SQ10, SQ2, SQ4, SQ5, SQ6)

  • Keep your eyes on a distant target to avoid leaning forward.

Knee Flex and Forward Lean in Skiing
Knee Flex and Forward Lean in Skiing

We identify ourselves with the position of the head. That's why lowering the stance often only lowers the head and upper body. Lowering the stance must lower the center of the body mass, not only the head. Leaning forward has nothing to do with the flex of the knee. On the contrary, sometimes, it goes together with the extension of the knees.

2. Use your muscles rather than your weight

Without active extension muscle work, the body will collapse. It is like how we flop down on a chair lazily. Of course, it is easier to get into a squat by releasing the extensor muscles. But a simple release does not result in an active stance. A better way is a controlled release by engaging the antagonist flexor muscles.

Helpful feedback is how the ski boot supports you. You use your body weight when you lean on the very top of the tongue, and your heels slide back. You use your muscles when you touch the tongue in the middle and the top of the shell with your instep.

Knee over Toes vs Backseat in Skiing
Knee over Toes vs. Backseat in Skiing

The extended support of the ski equipment allows the center of the body mass let down too much aft. Keeping the ankle flexed can avoid a back-seat position.

In skiing, we must learn as a habit to always keep on the flexion of the ankle.

A flex of the ankle stabilizes the joint. The ankle has more freedom of movement in an open state.

Keeping a precise connection between the ski and body requires more muscle work if the ankle joint is open. Keeping the ankle flexed permanently is a powerful help for a stable stance.

Raising the stance (extension phase)

3. Extend your hip joints first, after your knees; but never extend your ankle joints (ACH4, ACH5, HS10, HS2, HS3, PCH2, PCH3, PCH4, PCH5, PCH6, PCH7, PCH8, PCH9, PT1, PT2, PT5, SQ1, SQ2, SQ5)

Raising the stance in Skiing
Raising the stance in Skiing

Engaging the hip area first can stabilize the pelvis. The stable pelvis is the core element of a solid stance. Up movement with the predominance of the knee often results in an unwanted (anterior) pelvic tilt (APT).

Developing the fundamental movements with dryland workouts

Working out those movements with dryland training is more effective than on the ski slope. One of the primary purposes of our workouts is to learn the necessary movement elements.


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