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Thigh burn question..

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,

Sorry another thigh burn question but stick with me..

I suffered from quite bad thigh burn on my last week away even on modest blue runs. I’ve attended a number of development coaching sessions both at the MK fridge and Gloucester dry slope and I’m assured it’s not a ‘back seat’ problem and my technique is broadly ok (in the context of my level). I’m a reasonably fit and mobile early intermediate level 40 something.


I’m planning on attending more coaching before next year’s trip but wondered what other things could cause this, technique or otherwise ?. One coach at MK suggested I try a raised foot bed heel (have my own boots fitted by James at Outdoor Traders).

Many thanks
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Don't know if it'll help in your case, but I tend to do quite a lot of wall squats which I find helps especially on long mogul runs..

I commute about 40 mins on the train, so I do them every day each way.. tend to average around 5-6 mins, took me a while to get beyond 2-3 mins though
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@Rusco, lots of squats and lunges, especially jump lunges, will replicate the lactic build up. Do them regularly and time your recovery period from burn to recovery, see if you can improve on it.

@QRZBuddha, Wall squats are not advisable because they're static (no-one skis static), they replicate back seat skiing (very bad thing), and they don't activate the core, certainly nowhere near as much as free standing squats and lunges.
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@Rusco, if you are sure (sounds like it) that it's not technique, maybe the heel lifts will help?

In a good active stance, you really shouldn't be working your thighs very hard.
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@Dr John, oops Embarassed
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I haven't started them again yet but these are great if you can do it!! Cycling has helped me a lot in the last few weeks and I've had zero thigh burn in my fridge sessions or afterwards. The blasters shall commence in a week or two.
http://youtube.com/v/1YM3OC4-Z1o
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@endoman, I wish my knees would allow me to do that!
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@QRZBuddha, ha, they're better than nothing but combining legs with core with movement is the way to go. Dead lifts are fantastic for the core, but you need good form to prevent doing your back in.

Jump lunges (for added gnar points hold dumbbells as well)

http://youtube.com/v/1ExU8445rbU

Dead lift

http://youtube.com/v/op9kVnSso6Q

Box jumps (add a squat when you jump down, straight into next jump, guaranteed lactic burn)

http://youtube.com/v/52r_Ul5k03g


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Wed 18-10-17 15:22; edited 1 time in total
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@endoman, I do that 3 times a week, almost never get thigh burn


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Wed 18-10-17 15:50; edited 1 time in total
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In the past I got some seriously painful thigh burn from rental boots which were always too roomy around my shin and calf. Might be a possibility.
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@endoman, I do all that except the jumps....but much,much more slowly due to duff knee. It does work
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Grandma Sunshine wrote:
@endoman, I that 3 times a week, almost never get thigh burn

We'll have to sort another day out Cool
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Do you get thigh burn at MK? Could be that your technique is fine on a nice smooth indoor piste but you might be getting thrown backwards by the small bumps you encounter in the real world. I thought my posture was fine until a lesson last year when I finally got my ankles bent enough to get my weight properly forward. Thigh burn is now only an issue for me on moguls/off-piste, where I can still struggle to keep my weight centred. This also shows up as an issue for me when I'm skiing anything other than smooth corduroy in poor visibility.

Another thought - are your boots maybe too stiff for you? Boots stiffen up in the cold so this could be a factor on a skiing holiday in cold weather and not when you're training here.
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@Rusco, Internal boot heel lifts do little to address burning thighs but having your alignment checked on your equipment will do. Specifically your "Delta Angle" that the base of your boots forms to the base of your ski could have a major impact. Most bindings are designed to have your heel higher than the front of your boot by 6mm or more and this could be one reason for thigh burn. If your boots are heel high it can cause you to be out of balance and can create thigh burn.. Google ski boot delta angles for more information..

Of course fitness plays a role and any body weight work out such as the leg blaster set above can only help.

If you have some video of yourself skiing that would be help..
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@Rusco, Walking lunges, squats, mountain climbers, burpees and plank at that's all you need - mostly covered above, oh and lean forward in your boots, the front of your shin not your thighs sore I suggest.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Is this something I have to look forward to when I ski for six days on MyashBash? It seems to be a common complaint. Touch wood, I've not suffered from it at all yet. Not even after several all day sessions at the Chillfactore. Maybe I'll experience it when my technique improves and I learn to carve properly. Then again maybe I'll be one of the lucky ones. Time alone will tell. Puzzled
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@Scarlet, bring it on, another good lunch to boot Very Happy
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skimottaret wrote:
@Rusco, Internal boot heel lifts do little to address burning thighs but having your alignment checked on your equipment will do. Specifically your "Delta Angle" that the base of your boots forms to the base of your ski could have a major impact. Most bindings are designed to have your heel higher than the front of your boot by 6mm or more and this could be one reason for thigh burn. If your boots are heel high it can cause you to be out of balance and can create thigh burn.. Google ski boot delta angles for more information..


Totally agree, I used to suffer terribly from thigh burn until I changed my boots to a more modern design with a more upright, "freeride" style, this is how the newer skis are designed to be ridden, i.e. stand on the middle of the ski and let it do the work..... With a more forward leaning boot the ankle has to flex, therefore the knee and hip also, with bent knees, the thighs have to work harder and hence the thigh burn
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Well you're in good company - most people can't ride top-to-bottom. They'll claim it's for other reasons, but I suspect they probably can't. If they had the technique then it's no effort; they're lacking that, so they burn what fitness they have from their sedentary lives. It's perhaps not surprising if you switch from an office job to a ski slope that some transition is needed.

My body, at least, needs a few days to get used to the new regime. If I start a season, by day three I can snowboard but would not want to walk much. A week later it's all good and I'm frustrated at people who keep wanting to stop.

If you're only going skiing for the odd week here and there, perhaps that's all there is to it... by the time you're getting into it, you stop.

At the moment I'm learning to surf and it's the same thing - I get completely and utterly pounded, because I don't have the technique. I'm fit so I can take it, but the only way to fix it isn't more gym, it's more water-time, in my opinion. Of course after a week I'm ready for a rest... perhaps I should just surf for a month and break through it...

Summary: ski more.
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@KenX, I don’t think so. Really.

Afaik...

Modern skis are not designed for anything new re stance. Other than a wider gait. But still the same athletic ready position.
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KenX wrote:
I used to suffer terribly from thigh burn until I changed my boots to a more modern design with a more upright, "freeride" style,


Me too. My old boots (Salomon Falcon Gun I think) had waaaay too much forward lean. Now in X-max's I can pootle around all day with no thigh burn
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Awdbugga wrote:
Is this something I have to look forward to when I ski for six days on MyashBash? It seems to be a common complaint. Touch wood, I've not suffered from it at all yet. Not even after several all day sessions at the Chillfactore. Maybe I'll experience it when my technique improves and I learn to carve properly. Then again maybe I'll be one of the lucky ones. Time alone will tell. Puzzled

It tends to be eliminated by improved technique, not brought on by it @Awdbugga. You might find when you get on something a bit steeper than CF and unfamiliar in Livigno that you subconsciously back off and a bit of thigh burn creeps in, if you can notice it early you can use it as a signal that you're in the back seat and adjust.
Or as a sign not to wear a rucksack wink
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@Tubaski, thanks for the advanced warning.
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@Rusco, All of the above suggestions merit thought. For my 2p worth, a reasonably fit, reasonably competent skier (e.g. me, before buggering up knees) can go all day at a short dry or indoor slope and never suffer more than a minor warming of the muscles. Put them on a real long slope, even an 'easy' one, and give them space to move and deal with proper conditions and pretty quickly their muscles realise that they're not used to that kind of use and duration and burn. I can walk up and down hills for miles but still get thigh burn skiing until fully 'acclimatised', several weeks into a season (if I'm lucky enough to get that much in).
Exercise, exercise and exercise. Sad Suggestions above are all good. If you get your thighs burning doing it, it's probably the right exercise! Then do lots more. From my experience, choose ones which replicate the ski experience - i.e. moving up and down or leg to leg, holding for a few seconds rather than a long time (though they have use too) - but repeat many times, and do multiple sets. Aim for stamina, not just strength. So try short-hold lunges, squatting to standing to squatting, holding a ski stance and swapping weight foot to foot, etc. Oh, and single legged squats on the stairs, like pistol squats.
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As others have said it's probably equipment related (boots, ramp / delta angle etc).

Might be muscle imbalance (e.g. much stronger quads than hamstrings). Could also be tight muscles (e.g. tight calves / hamstrings)
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Many thanks for all the replies, tips and advice.. very helpful.

Some Interesting points about angles and deltas etc, stuff I was blissfully unaware of. My boots are my own Lange XC100, which I had fitted last year and so are hopefully ok, but I hire skis.

I did suffer a little at MK which led me to believe it was probably me or possibly but less likely equipment. I’d planned to work on fitness but I’ll continue with some more coaching to improve technique before I go away next year and will also look into the equipment side.

Cheers.
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@Rusco Have a look at the link below and the pictures of the squat test. It will give you a rough idea of whether your thigh burn is primarily a gear issue or whether it is a fitness/technique issue. You can simulate ski binding delta - typically 2-5mm or heel raise with beer mats or similar under the heel of the ski boot. Let us know how you get on. If it is a gear thing then there may be some obvious next steps.

It goes without saying that sorting gear issues out won't make you ski like a god, it will just put you in the same starting place as those without alignment problems.

http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/help-another-side-of-calf-boot-pain-issue.11906/page-2
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It's not my thighs that burn but my calf muscles, usually reaching peak pain about 2 days into a weeks skiing. Any ideas on exercises or anything else to mitigate this?

Nick
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@big_ben, Sounds like Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, which never used to have a name but now it does. Ibuprofen works for me, taken prophylacticly. Or just ignore it of course.
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big_ben wrote:
It's not my thighs that burn but my calf muscles, usually reaching peak pain about 2 days into a weeks skiing. Any ideas on exercises or anything else to mitigate this?

Nick

Strengthening:
- Heel Raises (can be done on a step as well):

http://youtube.com/v/2wDwvNNLikU

- Reverse Calf Raises (works the shin):

http://youtube.com/v/BxvJ6Uk0eOM

Stretching:
- Achilles and Calf

http://youtube.com/v/wDLjcTTei6k

- Shin Stretch

http://youtube.com/v/IQKnxyyFmPg
Foam Rolling

http://youtube.com/v/TwcJKZFTqJw

EDIT. More good info here, especially with regard to flexibility/range of movement
http://www.warrensmith-skiacademy.com/tutorial/ski-biomechanics-range-tests/


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Fri 20-10-17 12:10; edited 4 times in total
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philwig wrote:
@big_ben, Sounds like Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, which never used to have a name but now it does. Ibuprofen works for me, taken prophylacticly. Or just ignore it of course.
Never had DOMS from skiing (although plenty of times when my legs ache from tiredness), but had it on a couple of occasions when jetskiing. Twenty four hours after spending 90 minutes on a jetski (mostly with legs flexed to 70+ degrees and taking lots of hits from waves) and the pain was intense, especially anything which involved even a slight bending of my legs like walking upstairs or downstairs, or just walking along on the flat. Took lots of ibuprofen but that didn't touch the pain, not sure that morphine would have been much help. I tried to explain to my girlfriend that DOMS is no laughing matter, but that didn't stop her. Pain eventually subsided after 48 hours, and in no way could be confused with a bit of leg tiredness. Google told me it was caused by extensive micro-tears in the muscles rather than the usual buildup of lactic acid.
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worst DOMS I ever had was from riding a beach cruiser type cycle in San Diego. I was at that time a racing cyclist, training 10 hours plus a week at home and reasonably competitive as a time trialist. A day on the beach cruiser with mrs endo at the lightest intensity you could ever get , flat as it comes, zero effort. Next day I could hardly walk, trying to walk from hotel room to lecture hall was like watching someone half paralysed, continued for another day then was better. Purely down to a different position on the bike and using different muscles. Exactly as Rob describes above. Thank goodness the resort was flat with no steps! Mrs endo was perfectly ok and just laughed.
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Interesting. Perhaps it's a question of terminology. I've never ridden/ skiied with anyone who doesn't get DOMS at the start of a season, and are fit and athletic people or various ages. It's because the movements are different from other stuff. Gym work (after skiing) or swimming both help reduce it. It's not "a bit of leg tiredness" in that sense. Any significant sport change (from surf to snow, from climbs to caves) will cause that for me. Perhaps I'm just getting old.
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@philwig, I agree - I don’t think I’ve had a seasonal change of activity - including going from indoors treadmill running to outdoors longer runs - and definitely skiing and skate-skiing without some element of "DOMS".

But it’s not something that “comes on after a few minutes”. It’s immediate and movement based.

Also never something that has got in the way of skiing. First time I had a personal trainer tho’ I could hardly walk down stairs for 3 days.

So I don’t think the OP is describing it. Doesn’t sound like my own experience.

Also back to my earlier point, assuming - stance is good, - reasonable fitness and - no musculo-skeletal issues... skiing should not be particularly hard work, especially not on thighs. Especially not in fridges!


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Fri 20-10-17 13:18; edited 1 time in total
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Agreed, on those terms - it's not remotely hard work; you shouldn't be getting out of breath, for example. However I repeat that most people at resorts *can't* apparently ride top to bottom, so perhaps that is a technique/ fitness issue.
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@big_ben, Most of this discussion is well above my pay grade, but I'd query the diagnosis of DOMS as it sounds, from what you describe, as more like a build-up of lactic acid. By definition, DOMS is delayed and although you say it reached its peak a few days into the holiday I also get the impression that it kicks in during the ski run and eases off seconds/minutes after you stop.

Exercise and building fitness is a good cure for most things, but from personal experience, I can't help feeling it's more likely to be related to technique. I'm certainly less fit and less strong than I was 20 years ago and yet my thigh burn has almost completely disappeared. Maybe my technique is better and/or maybe I'm more relaxed and therefore not fighting the skis so much but, either way, it's certainly not fitness that eliminated/reduced my thigh burn. If it weren't for the abuse I would attract then I might have prescribed a longer lunch with more wine to see if that helps. Very Happy
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@philwig, I would submit it’s almost certainly technique based.
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under a new name wrote:
@philwig, I would submit it’s almost certainly technique based.


I can ski top to bottom and do the other things not because I'm hard but because I'm lazy so compensate with technique.
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@davidof, that!
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Quote:

I'm certainly less fit and less strong than I was 20 years ago and yet my thigh burn has almost completely disappeared. Maybe my technique is better and/or maybe I'm more relaxed and therefore not fighting the skis so much but, either way, it's certainly not fitness that eliminated/reduced my thigh burn.
+1
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