Heel thrust shows real source of turning power in shortswing. Stand with feet together, knees slightly flexed. In one quick motion, squat down no more than six inches and thrust heels to left or right. Let the shoulders lag, then square them off and straighten up and you will find you have turned about 45�. Since balance is tricky in this exercise, beginners should stand next to wall or chair. Fifteen times.
Ankle touch shows why downhill shoulder must be held back to allow skier to keep flexible comma position. Standing with knees slightly flexed, shoulders-squared, try to touch right ankle with right hand. It's almost impossible. Now pull back right shoulder, and body easily bends so that hand can reach ankle. Ten times right and left.
Comma bend strengthens and stretches body muscles used in basic traverse position as well as in long traverse when skier propels himself by thrusting with the downhill ski, as shown at left. Start with feet spread, arms over head. Shift weight to left leg and slowly bend left knee with right knee straight, at same time bending upper body to right. Hold for count of three. Five times, right and left.
Stork stretch is one-legged balancing exercise that reflects comma position, prepares skier for turns and traverses in which weight will be concentrated on downhill ski. For this exercise, stand with feet together, left hand over head, and slowly bend to right until left leg is parallel with floor. Hold position for a count of five. Three times each side.
Buddha Squat toughens stomach muscles for body control in rough terrain, also stretches thigh, hip muscles to give them looseness needed in shortswing's rhythmic turns. Begin exercise by sitting on floor with soles of feet together, knees spread out to sides, hands gripping toes to hold them together. Slowly roll over onto one leg, and keep rolling down onto your shoulder until you are lying on your back. Then roll back up the same way you came down. If you don't make it, keep fighting awhile. The first week you probably won't be able to roll back. When you make it, you are ready to try the exercise twice. Until then, once is plenty.
Rock and roll stretches virtually all muscles in front part of body, arms and legs. Lie down on stomach, bend knees until you can reach back and grab each instep with hand. Once you have hold of your feet, pull with arms, arch back and raise head. Rock forward and back three times, rest for a moment, then rock three more times.
Phantom Chair is toughener for thigh muscles, which act as shock absorbers on bumpy runs, give initial force to heel thrust in turns. Stand with back to wall, feet 18 inches out from base of wall. Sink down to a sitting position, hold for 15 seconds, then rest and try again. When you get so you can count to 30, try it on one leg.
Jackknife jump strengthens thighs, stomach, Achilles' tendons, helps coordination and timing vital to rhythmic shortswing. Stand erect, jump up and touch toes with knees as straight as possible, land on the toes. Five times.
Stooper's Strut stretches the Achilles' tendons, back muscles, also helps with balance. Bend and grasp toes; keep the knees straight, then start walking. Women, more supple in lower body than men, take 20 steps, men take 10.
Slow roll is falling exercise, teaches skier to relax in unfamiliar position, also strengthens stomach, leg muscles. Skier in correct comma position tends to fall out over slope—scarier but safer than falling into slope—and then rolls backward. To condition body for such falls, lie on back, arms out, and raise legs, with knees stiff, until toes touch floor behind head. Do slow side split, return to original position. Three times.