Absorption & Extension
Movement in the lower body is necessary in all skiing (groom, wave, mogul or off-piste) to maintain balance as well as ski to snow contact when desired. This movement comes from using all lower body joints together. Shin pressure (ankle flexion) is maintained at all times throughout all range of motion. The upper body from top of head to pelvis must travel the same plane throughout absorption and extension; it should not rise and fall with the terrain changes nor should the upper body bend at the waist.
Ski flex is the primary source of speed control used in competitive mogul skiing. This flex can only be attained with proper body position, ski line and correct timing & movement through absorption and extension.
Absorption is the flexion of the lower body joints working together to maintain balance and control flex in the skis. It can be and active motion of using the quadriceps and hip flexor muscles to pull the feet up or a passive motion where the terrain pushes on the feet. At all times the feet must remain under the hip eliminating the need for the “backwards bike pedal”. Throughout absorption the hip must be remain level & square and stay on top of the feet.
Extension is the opening of the three lower body joints together. It is limited to the point of neutral position, never to full extension where loss of shin pressure or lower body angles occurs. Extension can be either passive or active. Through extension the upper body must remain perpendicular to the slope, there should be no uphill movement of the upper body. The skis must not rotate or move through fall line during extension or the ski’s natural properties cannot be utilized.
Correct timing of absorption & extension is crucial to maintain position of the body over the feet. As a general rule if the skier is unbalanced then their timing of absorption & extension will be incorrect. A skier who is back on the ski or inside the turn will want to extend early. Absorption should start as soon as the ski tips contact the face of the mogul and continue until the feet reach the crest. Extension begins as the feet move over the crest onto the backside. Extension should be complete by the time the new turn is initiated. Correct body position will aid in correct timing.
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