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Thigh burn question..

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
After a few years of skiing I've tentatively come to the conclusion that my thigh "burn" (as opposed to just weariness) is always an issue with my balance. I think it happens when my legs get ever so slightly in front of my centre of gravity and I need to kind of pull my torso up after them. Hence the burn!

Diverskify taught me to suck my legs back under my centre of gravity instead....but I need to have a sense of balance and to be moving up and down well to do that.

So ironically I do find that thigh burn comes from lack of fitness...but not because my thighs aren't strong.... rather because I stop moving up and down sufficiently and lose my sense of balance when I am tired. So I really need to be fit to ski well......but when I am it's easy wink
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@Dmitri, exactly.

Actually, you raise a good point. Someone, e.g. OP, might well have perfectly acceptable stance in snow dome which isnít very steep, long, or exposed. But find their stance out by a few degrees in the ďrealĒ world of on mountain skiing with exposure, etc.
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The best way to get ski fit is to ski.
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JoyZipper wrote:
The best way to get ski fit is to ski. That is the top and bottom of your problem.
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under a new name wrote:
@Dmitri, exactly.

Actually, you raise a good point. Someone, e.g. OP, might well have perfectly acceptable stance in snow dome which isnít very steep, long, or exposed. But find their stance out by a few degrees in the ďrealĒ world of on mountain skiing with exposure, etc.


Yes, that's right. Indeed doesn't everyone get in the back seat sometimes? Variable conditions, poor visibility and, to be totally honest, just misjudging even the gentle slope of the snowdome. Happy

I was on an inside out skiing course the other day and Rob reiterated the point that even experts are constantly readjusting to try to get back to the perfect position. I.e. it's not that experts are not ever in the back seat, they are just better at spotting and dealing with it to get back to where they should be....so good that perhaps some might think they never get off balance at all.

That cheered me up no end Cool
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So when I watch Graham Bell doing the test runs on Ski Sunday, and he's puffing and panting and saying how much his legs and muscles are screaming - is that his boots, technique, fitness or..? Puzzled
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Pretty sure the top hill climbers in cycling have massive thigh burn in an event only lasting 2 minutes ish. That is lactate. A mortal would be there after 30 seconds. Their lactate clearance is superb. In skiing the downhill bits don't actually last as long as we think. Much of that in a skilled trained athlete is not really working the muscles too hard ( sub lactate) When we start pushing ( racing, mogul zip lines, lots of short turns) that level of lactate increases. Very few of us will actually ski 2 minutes flat out. We have a breather, even a few seconds traverse is enough, the lactate is cleared and we are good to go. It's the basis of interval training. Of course the above assumes correct equipment stance etc. Without that the onset can be much sooner.
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Grizzler wrote:
So when I watch Graham Bell doing the test runs on Ski Sunday, and he's puffing and panting and saying how much his legs and muscles are screaming - is that his boots, technique, fitness or..? Puzzled


Personally I don't go that fast, so I can't really say from experience. I imagine that on steeper slopes at speed everything is multiplied so if he skied the way I ski when I get thigh burn he'd not make it past the first couple of turns....but because he has great technique he can dial up the speed and steepness and do a world class run in the same time and effort I do the Hemelkahn Happy
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Grizzler wrote:
So when I watch Graham Bell doing the test runs on Ski Sunday, and he's puffing and panting and saying how much his legs and muscles are screaming - is that his boots, technique, fitness or..? Puzzled


It's possibly because most recreational skiers aren't required to stay in full tuck for 2 minutes at a time. Plus of course he'll be on a pair of skis that require slightly more work than your average 'silver' rental Wink
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Well I started the old leg blasters again on Sunday. Just a set of 5 of the minis. I am now able to get in the car in less than 30 seconds again! I've had zero doms from cycling or skiing in the fridges. 2 months of cycling 6 hours plus a week, yet these things reduce you to a cripple. Back on them again today, I know it will get better and be worth it. Took the dog out yesterday and had to jump a stream about 5 feet wide, almost gave up without trying,
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@endoman, 5 full leg blasters 3 times a week all year round works for me. I'm actually thinking of increasing this as the season approaches. Suffer in the gym not on the slopes principle.
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@Awdbugga, skiing indoor is slightly less stressful on the thighs in my experience. I guess this is due to the length of the slope, indoor youíll ski a run in under a minute but out on the mountain youíll be in ski position for much longer so itís more likely to creep in. Also youíll have 6 days straight of skiing all day (or at least I do).

Itís possible that youíll feel a bit of burn on the mountain but as tubaski says you can use it to think about your stance and adjust. I tend to find that any tiredness I have in my muscles is gone by the Wednesday.
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, I think there are quite a few more variables that you could have included that would contribute to thigh burn, although no doubt some of them will have already been mentioned.
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Quote:

Grizzler wrote:


So when I watch Graham Bell doing the test runs on Ski Sunday, and he's puffing and panting and saying how much his legs and muscles are screaming - is that his boots, technique, fitness or..?






It's possibly because most recreational skiers aren't required to stay in full tuck for 2 minutes at a time. Plus of course he'll be on a pair of skis that require slightly more work than your average 'silver' rental


@SnoodlesMcFlude,

and because he's carrying that hand held camera rather than a POV that most people would use - i'd think a second pole might help him - always makes me laugh......mind you the whole programme does, like a flash-back to the 1990's, keep expecting David Vine to reappear! Laughing
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Grandma Sunshine wrote:
@endoman, 5 full leg blasters 3 times a week all year round works for me. I'm actually thinking of increasing this as the season approaches. Suffer in the gym not on the slopes principle.


Yep, I should never have stopped at Easter!
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Grandma Sunshine, yes, lots of different things can contribute, I don't think it's always as simple as someone being back seat. Would've gone into a bit more detail but was posting on my phone and I've got fat hands Very Happy
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, Understood, it's quite a long list to be fair Very Happy
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[quote="endoman"]Well I started the old leg blasters again on Sunday. Just a set of 5 of the minis. /quote]

And for the uninitiated... Puzzled
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[quote="Grizzler"]
endoman wrote:
Well I started the old leg blasters again on Sunday. Just a set of 5 of the minis. /quote]

And for the uninitiated... Puzzled


The link to the video is on first page of this thread.

Second lot done yesterday and I can walk fine today. Encouraging.
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@endoman, definitely not to be done on a full or irritated stomach! Rather fast version of ACL rehab, then Laughing (without the hamstring half)
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I've now done 3 sessions of minis this week and the DOMS has all but gone. Time to add more reps then move onto full blasters.
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does anyone look forward to doing blasters? I hate having to start the autumn leg blaster workouts. I just think of all the good times I gain from them
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They are tolerable now, at least I can walk afterwards. It will be worth it is exactly how I get through them. Up to 2 lots of full ones and some minis now.
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Hi Rusco
Sorry just seen this post. I used to have the same problem and put it down to the fact that I traverse too much and for too long. Once I started to be a little more aggressive with my turns and take a better line it got a lot better.

Conditioning is also great. Any exercise that builds stamina will help enormously as will staying well hydrated on the slopes. The less hydrated you are, the harder your body has to work and thus the more lactic acid you'll build up. Lactic acid is water soluble and this being better hydrated will help.

Have a look here too:
http://youtube.com/v/SfekYZS00-Y

Cheers
KB
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I am 46 and have just started wearing compression leggings. Thought they were a gimmick but was amazed at how well they worked! Would normally have a good stretch in the sauna to get rid of the lactic acid but would still feel it midly the following morning.

I wore the leggings whilst skiing and also around the apartment in the evening for a couple of hours and had no aches at all. Can't recommend them enough.

Whatever the reason for the thigh burn, they help. I bought a cheap pair from Trespass not being convinced they would work. Didn't fancy lashing out on an expensive set like Skins.
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Well, something worked for me. I did cycle in advance, but not loads, and wouldn't describe myself as fit. I did some blasters, but not loads. I bought new boots.

Day one and I had zero thigh burn chasing the lad around at high speeds. Popping through moguls etc. It felt ace. No problem walking on day 2 or 3 either. Skiing in resort got easier, to the extent I could descend a 1500m vertical drop with no stopping at decent speed by the end of the week. This would have been unheard of last year. The catskiing day was a bit different, technique clearly, but I still got down with usually only one stop. A revelation. I think it was the better position with the boots, technique after some dome practice, and the bit of fitness stuff I did in advance. I'm still 20kg heavier than I should be though.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Yup, I used to be overly aggressive in the way I skied, fighting the snow too much and using leg strength instead of delicacy. Kooky suggested I try long top to bottom runs but really letting the ski do the work, trying to keep the legs relaxed and using terrain to turn and reduce speed.

Worked a treat. Although I still got totally shot legs doing 4 days consecutive off piste last week and needed two days off to recover.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Mon 29-01-18 19:15; edited 1 time in total
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I had awful thigh burn one year and decided to do something about it for the next year. I spent several months, 3+ times a week in the gym doing squats. Really improved the strength in my core and thighs, I went from barely being able to squat the bar to being able to do my own weight.

First run of the first morning skiing after all this effort and I again had terrible thigh burn. It made no difference whatsoever.

The only thing that made a difference was I made a conscious effort to stand up more. I wouldn't say I never feel a burn now but it's mostly on very steep slopes when I'm trying to kill some speed. Technique, it seems, is everything.
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SkiTsar wrote:
I had awful thigh burn one year and decided to do something about it for the next year. I spent several months, 3+ times a week in the gym doing squats. Really improved the strength in my core and thighs, I went from barely being able to squat the bar to being able to do my own weight.

First run of the first morning skiing after all this effort and I again had terrible thigh burn. It made no difference whatsoever.

The only thing that made a difference was I made a conscious effort to stand up more. I wouldn't say I never feel a burn now but it's mostly on very steep slopes when I'm trying to kill some speed. Technique, it seems, is everything.
I was the same, but one thing that has really helped was some advice I got in Are, this season. A friend told me to keep my weight balanced across the whole of the foot, not on the balls, or the heels, just concentrate on that balance whether its steep or gentle. It really worked for me, reduced thigh burn considerably.
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Iím reminded of the man in pink pants thread as an example of when equipment can cause thigh burn.

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=116804
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Was taught a few years ago to work hard at my turns, lots of flex and extension, lots of effort. Later, was taught minimal extension, just a little pop at the transition between turns.
Both approaches worked in the conditions I was skiing at the time. Hard work - I went faster, got knackered faster. A little pop - ski all day like that, but doesn't work on steeper slopes unless I feel REALLY brave.
Moral of the story - the more effort you put in,
Errr. You choose, do what fits your ability, your desire and the conditions.
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@Dmitri, funny you mention people may get thigh burn in bad viz. today is a white out freezing fog in grand massif and itís the only day of this week I havenít suffered thigh burn at all.
My guess is I have had better form and slower speed due to poor visibility rather than relying on my normal power typical style.
I defo get greater burn off piste and mogul piste and Iím aware this is defo a back seat issue. Plus Iím a bit of lazy git pre season and have done no prep for skiing this year
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I invested in a second hand Skiers Edge S4 before last season's trip and it worked wonders for leg fatigue... Going again late march so i'm currently using it each night for short intense bursts... stop rinse & repeat... I found I could ski longer without stopping and blowing out of my @rse for sure...

Detest this gym so used this membership money to invest in one of these instead Very Happy
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What @@Markymark29, says. First time on skis for me for 12 months. First couple of runs, couldn't work out why my turns to the right were rubbish, and my left thigh was complaining - til I realised I wasn't getting any flex in my left boot. I focussed on that for a few minutes, and the problem went away. Until I got knackered, then everything started hurting!
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I realised last season that a huge proportion of my thigh burn was down to fighting the mountain. I realised there was a correlation between a time I went skiing with my daughter and kept having to rush to catch her up and more concerned about that (so not fighting gravity) and my thighs felt fine, versus without her where I'm desperate to stay in control.

I also tried (and then immediately bought!) stiffer skis, which I had never considered before as I assumed it would mean more effort to "drive" them. In my case it seems as my body is well used to putting in that extra effort, I had no problem driving the stiffer skis which in my mind appear to give me more control for less effort.

I think cardio fitness helps too, but for me changing my mindset helped the most. "Just relax" seemingly.
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