EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Opening and closing the ankle: when?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Opening and closing the ankle: when? - Page 3

post #61 of 71
Quote:

LiquidFeet wrote:

 

 Most people are not doing this, so I think the ankle open stuff is not so applicable in normal skiing, shortish turns.

 

 

Quote:

Snowhawk wrote:

 

Nailbender, I specifically said dynamic medium radius turns and will add - on blue black groomed terrain, of moderate to high speed at a turn radius shorter than the sidecut of the ski with minimal skidding for those into "it depends". I do not want to get into short radius turns and certainly not your QCT's.

 

My bad. 

 

I saw the specification for med radius turns, but mistakenly thought you had previously commented what LiquidFeet wrote. 

 

Hopefully the post will help those looking for insight into skiing any natural terrain more dynamically and confidently, obviously you've got this spectrum of turns dialed in.

 

GL

 

Nail

post #62 of 71

Skidude,

I certainly agree that skiing is continuos progressive movement.  What I find helpful is to take snapshots along the way however.

Then "look" at those snapshots to see what is where, try to figure out why it is there, how did it get there and where it is going.  Kind of like a cartoon made up of individual drawings that when you flip through them quickly you then see the movie in motion.  This is how I am building my mental model of good skiing rightly or wrongly.  To some degree, it is the same thing another thread is doing in trying to describe the perfect parallel turn using the skills and the three phases of a turn.  I am just taking specific points for specific movements and focuing on them.  The max and min points define the spectrum range so I tend to focus on them.  Just my way of trying to understand what should be going on, where and why.

The example here is we have some folks thinking we have maximum closed ankles at transition and others thinking they are maximum open there - more or less.  Each has their rationale for their opinion.  Hearing it helps me understand where they are coming from and why they think that way.  From that, I can begin to furmulate my own opinion and certainly furhter my understanding.

 

So let's get into pressure.

There are several ways I can think of to pressure the front of the skis.

1. Move the CoM over the ball of the foot.  Pull the foot back.  Lift the toes up (dorsiflex, I think, for the medical folks).  Heave your body forward. All come to mind and mean closing the ankle, right?  OK, it could be done by opening the knee or bending at the waist or all three as Metaphor says.  The past few years we have heard advice to keep the femurs more vertical I presujme for this very reason but I was not at a point then where I thought I could challenge this advice (BB's gotten to me since then).  The net is I think that we are balancing over the ball of the foot more.

2. Pressure the tongue of the boot with your shins.  Leverage the boot to do it.  Close the ankles.  Flex more. Pull the foot back.  Lift the toes up.  Dorsiflex.

3. Open the ankle.  Plantar flex?  (I'm sorry, I just am not at the level of being able to use these medical terms comfortably yet - I have to look at my dictionary cheat sheet and hope I am using them correctly)  Press the toes down (more my level, heh?).

Any others?

 

Skidude, your responses are not that far off from the ones that I threw out there and seem to be close to Metaphor, so let's go with that for a second.

 

At 0-1-2 we are opening the ankle.  The only method above to do that is #3.  This is using the foot/leg muscles which frankly don't seem that strong to me.  That means to me that the pressure we can put on the front of the skis at that point is not that great.  At least not if we do not want to throw ourselves into the far back seat at this point.  Nor I suspect does it need to be!?  Maybe it only needs to be enough to engage the the front edges in anticipation of the soon to come developing pressures at the fall line?  This feels like a far cry from other advice or at least the way I preceive and take that advice (and many others as well it seems).  It doesn't feel like "driving" into the top of the turn to bend those tips and have them pull you into the turn kind of stuff I hear.  And in medium radius turns, I just don't think the divergence of the paths of the CoM and feet/skis is great enough to develop alot of front of the ski pressure.

 

What do you think?

We will get into the most "ankle closed" part of the turn later I hope.

post #63 of 71
Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowhawk View Post


Skidude, your responses are not that far off from the ones that I threw out there and seem to be close to Metaphor, so let's go with that for a second.

 

At 0-1-2 we are opening the ankle.  The only method above to do that is #3.  This is using the foot/leg muscles which frankly don't seem that strong to me.  That means to me that the pressure we can put on the front of the skis at that point is not that great.  At least not if we do not want to throw ourselves into the far back seat at this point.  Nor I suspect does it need to be!?  Maybe it only needs to be enough to engage the the front edges in anticipation of the soon to come developing pressures at the fall line?  This feels like a far cry from other advice or at least the way I preceive and take that advice (and many others as well it seems).  It doesn't feel like "driving" into the top of the turn to bend those tips and have them pull you into the turn kind of stuff I hear.  And in medium radius turns, I just don't think the divergence of the paths of the CoM and feet/skis is great enough to develop alot of front of the ski pressure.

 

What do you think?

We will get into the most "ankle closed" part of the turn later I hope.

 

Yes, we are opening from 4-5-6/0-1-2.  Yes we use #3.  That is very strong, as we using our calf muscles.  Go to the gym, and see how much you can calf raise....it will be alot.  But having said that...when we extend, we are "pushing against" our mass...thus we can only exert as much force as that allows, if we push more then that, our mass just moves away from the skis.  Since this happens in the high C part of the turn, we dont have alot of forces to play with here, forces build alot more at the apex and beyond.

 

Divergence - turn radius is not relevant - amount of inclination is.  The more we inclinate, the more our paths have diverged.  In say a wedge turn, where inclincation is minimal, we have very little divergence.  In high speed GS, where inclinate alot, we have lots of divergence...keep in mind we only need to move our COM a few inches here...its not like we need to get several feet forward.

post #64 of 71

Thanks Skidude!smile.gif

This implies a different movement and a degree of subtlety I have not been hearing much of around here.  By that I mean your comment of using #3 and only to the extent that the forces in that part of the turn allow.  Or maybe I just have not received it correctly.  The heat wave has shut our hill down but I will try to do and feel this when I do get out there.

What is not as clear to me is that the diverging paths, increased inclination, allows greater pressure to be put on the tips at this point in the turn.  Maybe at 2 o'clock when we begin the closing of the ankle and turn pressures begin to build but before then? 

 

OK, onto the other end of the spectrum - max closed ankle.  3-4 o'clock wouldn't you say?

First let me say again how surprised I was when I began looking at "good" skiers and racers at just how flexed / closed their outside ankle was in this part of the turn.  I mean, this is where 170 flex boots get worked out!  I keep hearing we should keep pulling that inside foot back and that felt like I had more shin-tongue pressure on the inside ski but clearly these guys are cranking their outside ankle more than the inside one at this point in the turn.

So, once again, my three ways to pressure the front of a ski:

1. Move the CoM over the ball of the foot. Pull the foot back. Lift the toes up (dorsiflex, I think, for the medical folks). Heave your body forward. All come to mind and mean closing the ankle, right? OK, it could be done by opening the knee or bending at the waist or all three as Metaphor says. The past few years we have heard advice to keep the femurs more vertical I presujme for this very reason but I was not at a point then where I thought I could challenge this advice (BB's gotten to me since then). The net is I think that we are balancing over the ball of the foot more.

2. Pressure the tongue of the boot with your shins. Leverage the boot to do it. Close the ankles. Flex more. Pull the foot back. Lift the toes up. Dorsiflex.

3. Open the ankle. Plantar flex? (I'm sorry, I just am not at the level of being able to use these medical terms comfortably yet - I have to look at my dictionary cheat sheet and hope I am using them correctly) Press the toes down (more my level, heh?).

 

Please bear with me as I try to describe my experience.

However, here I found a weird dynamic (at least weird for me).  I could pressure the ball of the foot (#1) and pressure the tongue of the boot (#2) in a weight forward fashion.  This kept me on the "front" of the skis but I found it very difficult to stay there.  I kept wanting to have my foot more neutral over the center of the ski with neutral shin pressure.  The constant feedback to get my leg long (as long as possible without locking it straight) made it even more difficult to stay over the front.  The vertical femur mantra helped but still difficult.

 

This seems to contradict what I am seeing in the good guys.

 

So I threw out the years of advice and just tried to do what I see.

 

What I found is that if you try to lift your toes up at this point, you get increased shin pressure AND your balance point shifts back more towards your heel!  It also felt like my outside foot moved behind me more and that my outside leg was more flexed.  This seems to correspond with what I am seeing in the good guys and what both you and Metaphor are saying you feel.  It feels good!  But, I am now getting the feedback that my foot is too far behind me and my leg isn't long enough.  Before I jump down this hole with both feet, I wanted to get this forums expert opinion on just what is correct.

 

And all this from Kipp's comment of equal ankle flex!

 

Thoughts?

post #65 of 71

Snowhawk, just a few points. Don´t know if you thought about these or not.

 

Ankle movements have an immediate and a delayed effect on fore/aft pressure.

 

If you are neutral and balanced and press down on your ball (plantarflex) you will get more forward pressure on the ski. However this disturbes the balance, the force vector from the skis point forward of the CoM and it will start to move you into the backseat. if you want to avoid this it is necessary to pull the feet back. Often you want to finish more aft than the beginning of the turn, so it is ok with some shift (See the recent why finish aft thread) (This is related to your 3 above)

 

Likewise for dorsiflexion.

 

Another thing you need to consider is that if you flex down toward the ski, the shins will be pressed more, so if you e.g. flex towards the end of the turn the shins will be more pressed, but not because you have moved into a more fore state. 

 

The skis do not care if the forces come from the boot shaft or plantarflex. If you are pressing the shins and plantarflex without changing angles nothing happens. It has a different effect on your balance though.

 

By the way, I view feet moving backwards and upper body moving forward as similar things, which makes your 1 and 2 kind of the same thing.

 

It is my belief that most people has never experienced what it is like to be really forward in stiff race boots.

post #66 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowhawk View Post

Thanks Skidude!smile.gif

This implies a different movement and a degree of subtlety I have not been hearing much of around here.  By that I mean your comment of using #3 and only to the extent that the forces in that part of the turn allow.  Or maybe I just have not received it correctly.  The heat wave has shut our hill down but I will try to do and feel this when I do get out there.

What is not as clear to me is that the diverging paths, increased inclination, allows greater pressure to be put on the tips at this point in the turn.  Maybe at 2 o'clock when we begin the closing of the ankle and turn pressures begin to build but before then? 

 

 

 A few points - this has actually been discussed tons around here, if you do a search you will find lots of threads.  However, keep in mind, this is NOT subtle moves.  At least not to my way of thinking, to me anyway it feels quiet pronounced.  I think it feels pronounced since the moves happen within the confines of a rigid boot, and the forces can range from 1g to 3g, and we are "feeling" that all throught the feet.

 

Diverging Paths - maybe I didnt explain that well - increased inclination will not provide greater pressure at the ski tips, it just allows our COM to get forward relative to our BOS quicker (since the "short cut" is greater)...BUT, the amount of pressure we have is no greater...further, its important to realise that in turns with greater inclination we would likely be coming from a turn with our COM further back realtive to our BOS, so this just allows us to cover the longer distance in the same amount of time...or there abouts. 

 

In reality thou, the only important thing to understand is the diverging and converging paths create a "short cut" for the COM that allows us to finish back in a turn, and still start the next forward.  The degree of convergence/divergence is a function of inclination....beyond that, its rather academic.

 

So as you suggested, there really isnt a whole lot of force to play with until about 2 or so.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowhawk View Post
OK, onto the other end of the spectrum - max closed ankle.  3-4 o'clock wouldn't you say?

First let me say again how surprised I was when I began looking at "good" skiers and racers at just how flexed / closed their outside ankle was in this part of the turn.  I mean, this is where 170 flex boots get worked out!  I keep hearing we should keep pulling that inside foot back and that felt like I had more shin-tongue pressure on the inside ski but clearly these guys are cranking their outside ankle more than the inside one at this point in the turn.

 

Yes they are...the outside ankle will be cranked more, simply because it is carrying the bulk of the skiers mass...meaning there is more force available to flex the boot, alot more!  For a 200lb male this could easily be 380lbs of force on the outside boot, and only 20lbs of force on the inside one....

 

There was another thread on this too, not to long ago.  Post 39 in this thread

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/113506/do-experts-and-racers-flex-their-ankles/30#post_1484049

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowhawk View Post

So, once again, my three ways to pressure the front of a ski:

1. Move the CoM over the ball of the foot. Pull the foot back. Lift the toes up (dorsiflex, I think, for the medical folks). Heave your body forward. All come to mind and mean closing the ankle, right? OK, it could be done by opening the knee or bending at the waist or all three as Metaphor says. The past few years we have heard advice to keep the femurs more vertical I presujme for this very reason but I was not at a point then where I thought I could challenge this advice (BB's gotten to me since then). The net is I think that we are balancing over the ball of the foot more.

2. Pressure the tongue of the boot with your shins. Leverage the boot to do it. Close the ankles. Flex more. Pull the foot back. Lift the toes up. Dorsiflex.

3. Open the ankle. Plantar flex? (I'm sorry, I just am not at the level of being able to use these medical terms comfortably yet - I have to look at my dictionary cheat sheet and hope I am using them correctly) Press the toes down (more my level, heh?).

 

Please bear with me as I try to describe my experience.

However, here I found a weird dynamic (at least weird for me).  I could pressure the ball of the foot (#1) and pressure the tongue of the boot (#2) in a weight forward fashion.  This kept me on the "front" of the skis but I found it very difficult to stay there.  I kept wanting to have my foot more neutral over the center of the ski with neutral shin pressure.  The constant feedback to get my leg long (as long as possible without locking it straight) made it even more difficult to stay over the front.  The vertical femur mantra helped but still difficult.

 

This seems to contradict what I am seeing in the good guys.

 

So I threw out the years of advice and just tried to do what I see.

 

What I found is that if you try to lift your toes up at this point, you get increased shin pressure AND your balance point shifts back more towards your heel!  It also felt like my outside foot moved behind me more and that my outside leg was more flexed.  This seems to correspond with what I am seeing in the good guys and what both you and Metaphor are saying you feel.  It feels good!  But, I am now getting the feedback that my foot is too far behind me and my leg isn't long enough.  Before I jump down this hole with both feet, I wanted to get this forums expert opinion on just what is correct.

 

And all this from Kipp's comment of equal ankle flex!

 

Thoughts?

 

First I agree with Jamt that your #1 and #2 are really the same thing.

 

Second what you describe seems spot on...although you did lose me abit where I "bolded".  I am not sure why it would feel like that, but, its is common for anything new (even if its "right" or "better") to feel akward simply because its "different".  If it doesnt feel akward or weird, it usually means you didnt actually change anything.

 

For clarity, I am not sure exactley what the "years of advice" was, but taking a chance that it was you want to "get forward and stay there"...this is great advice to ensure you never ever reach expert level skiing and get stuck at "advanced".  Expert skiers work the whole ski...tip to start, middle of the ski in the middle of the turn, tail of the ski at the end of the turn.  What it seems you discovered is that you can work the tips without going over the handlebars, and you can work the tails without being in the "back seat". 

 

It seems you are on the cusp of discovering expert skiing.


Edited by Skidude72 - 12/8/12 at 1:03pm
post #67 of 71

Jamt, you have some good points. icon14.gif  Thanks.

Yes, I too think balance can be controlled by moving the upper body or the the feet, basically the relationship of the CoM over the feet is what balance is all about. The difference between #1 and #2 is more about the moves to make it happen I think.  Or perception.  I am a strong advocate of moving the feet to affect balance vs the upper body.  Easier, faster, etc.  I really like your description of using foot pull back to maintain balance as we plantar flex.  Gives the reason behind why pulling the feet back is useful at that point in the turn.

 

Skidude, some good stuff there as well.  icon14.gif

The net is I will try to do more of what you guys are suggesting.

Have to admit however, the diverging paths comments are going to take some more mental processing to get my mind wrapped around it.  The allowing the CoM to get forward part is tough but give me time.  Maybe it is how I am thinking of "forward"?  Maybe I should be thinking "ahead of" in it's downhill path?

Yeah, the advice  "move into the turn", "get forward", "pressure the 10 and 2 at the beginnig of the turn", "get into the turn", "pressure the tips at the top of the turn" I have heard all took me to movements inconsistent with what you and others are describing.  Not saying they are wrong, just that they may have made me do the wrong things.  These all tend to imply a movment of some kind at the beginning of the turn.  This tip pressure by plantar flexation is new for me.  That advice also seems opposite to the "opening" of the ankle you folks are suggesting happens at that part of the turn.  Again, that has been my take on that advice.

 

Thanks guys, good thread!  smile.gif

post #68 of 71

Wow Skidude!

Just got around to starting to read the thread you sent on experts and racers and ankle flex.  Wish I had seen that earlier!

Meanwhile, I read on....and learn.

 

Cheers!

post #69 of 71

Whew, interesting thread for sure.  http://www.epicski.com/t/113506/do-experts-and-racers-flex-their-ankles/30#post_1484049

 

This whole ankle movements thing is pretty complex stuff but understanding it seems to be on the critical path towards expert skiing.

A question came up (surprise!) as I was reading it.  I am certainly not the expert on this level of human anatomy and morphology but it appears I need to understand it better and be accurate.

 

Can someone validate my understanding and/or provide additional insight for me please?

I think:

Dorsiflexion = the lifting of the foot towards the tibia.  It closes the ankle joint.  It is done by the muscles around the ankle.

Plantar flexion = the pressing down of the foot away from the tibia.  It opens the ankle joint.  It is done by the muscles around the ankle.

Using these terms implies to me that these are the muscles (the ones around the ankles) used to open and close the ankle.

 

Flex = closing the joint.  Does not neccessarily mean it was accomplished by using the muscles around the ankles to lift the toes up.  Other movements and/or forces could make it happen.

Extend = opening the joint.  Does not neccessarily mean it was accomplished by using the muscles around the ankles to press the toes down.  Other movements and/or forces could make it happen.

 

Pulling the feet back or moving them out from does not use the muscles around the ankles, it uses muscles around the knees.  (Actually that seems to be more true if the knee is flexed.  If the knee is extended, it feels like the muscles around the hips do the work.  Or bits of both.) 

Does it result in closing / flexing or opening / extending the ankle when the ankle is on a solid surface?  Yes.

 

Now at least that is what it feels like sitting in my chair here.  I can open and close my ankles without moving my knees and I can move my foot back and forth without moving my ankle.  Standing up I can move my whole leg to move my foot back and forth, no ankle move there.  Am I missing something here?

Does all this change when I am in a ski boot and on snow?

 

I am struggling with comments that say dorsiflexion pulls my feet back under me given my understanding of dorsiflexion above.

To me, if I only dorsiflex and close the ankle and no other joint moves, and I am standing on a flat surface (my ski) where the foot cannot deflect anything under it, the only thing that can move is the tibia (and everything above it of course).  Net, it moves the CoM forward.  It is these muscles around the ankle I could use to move the CoM back and forth.  If I want to move the BoS back and forth, I could use the muscles around the knees to push / pull my feet but not those around the ankles.

 

The ah ha for me is this seperation of duties.  I can move my feet back and forth for balance and dorsiflex/plantarflex to affect pressure fore and aft.  Boot cuff pressure then becomes a suspension thing (and can assist fore / aft pressure certainly).  I have been using fore/aft movement and cuff pressure to do it all.  Get forward - right!

Yeah, I know, it is not that simple and everything has to work together and everything is inter-related and situational.  But in general....

 

OK, am I off course?  Lordy knows I need more hammering on to get it all right but this feels really important.

 

(And by the way, I think the PSIA video of moving the hips into the turn is part of the problem.  Nice catch by whoever noticed the ankles did not move.)

post #70 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowhawk View Post

 

I am struggling with comments that say dorsiflexion pulls my feet back under me given my understanding of dorsiflexion above.

To me, if I only dorsiflex and close the ankle and no other joint moves, and I am standing on a flat surface (my ski) where the foot cannot deflect anything under it, the only thing that can move is the tibia (and everything above it of course).  Net, it moves the CoM forward.  It is these muscles around the ankle I could use to move the CoM back and forth.  If I want to move the BoS back and forth, I could use the muscles around the knees to push / pull my feet but not those around the ankles.

 

 

Say for sake of argument that you are on a surface with zero friction. Then you cannot move the CoM. You move the relative position of the feet and CoM. That is why I view pulling the feet back and moving upper body forward more or less the same. One cannot happen without the other on a frictionless surface.

post #71 of 71

Jamt, I agree 100% that pulling the feet back and forth and moving the CoM back and forth accomplish essentially the same thing - they change the relative position of the CoM over the balance axis.  However, moving the feet takes a different set of muscles than moving the CoM.

Also, I think you can move your CoM by dorsiflexing and plantar flexing, as I defined them to be using the muscles around the ankles, while standing on a frictionless surface.  The movement is totally contained within the body.  Granted, you could not move them very far on a frictionless surface before you lost it.  On the other hand, you cannot move your feet back and forth relative to a stationary CoM unless you are on a low friction surface.  This why it is a new way to maintain balance for folks.  They have always been standing on a solid high friction surface and therefore have to use movements to change the CoM's position to affect balance.  It takes awhile to learn to move the feet to affect balance.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Opening and closing the ankle: when?