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How do you teach femur rotation? - Page 3

post #61 of 85

Maybe LF is onto something. The problem that she is addressing is something that with kids you'd differentiate as "just the same" and "different." The skier who turns the body as a whole is doing "just the same." The one whose legs turn underneath a stable upper body is doing "different" because the upper body is doing one thing and the lower body is doing something else. The ability to do "different" is developmental -- the brain and body need to develop to the point where they can multitask. I'm sure habit plays a role in this as well. (I notice that sedentary older people tend to lose the ability to differentiate between left/right and upper/lower movements: when the left foot moves forward, the whole body moves with it, rather than the left leg swinging forward from the hip while the right arm swings forward from the shoulder...) So perhaps the answer to the riddle of how to teach the legs to turn under a stable upper body is to develop that skier's ability to (ahem) chew gum and walk at the same time. 

 

Here's a great (dryland) exercise to promote what you're after: jump rope while turning your legs right and left. You can't swing the rope and turn the upper body with the legs. 

 

Speed skate: taking a low position, lunge from side to side like a speed skater, driving the opposite arm forward. This trains an active lower body and a stable upper body, as well as cross lateral movements. 

 

One I love from race camp is to do jumping jacks with the legs while punching out with the arms left and right (just the same below and different on top); this trains L/R and upper/lower multitasking. 

 

I'm sure you can come up with many such ways of training your body's ability to juggle while riding a unicycle, or ski. 

post #62 of 85
My only issue would be if the pelvis turns with the legs. Which would mean L1 is where the upper / lower body separation is occurring.
post #63 of 85
Quote:
My only issue would be if the pelvis turns with the legs

The pelvis is the mechanical junction between the upper and lower body, not part of the upper body. It has to "articulate" between the two halves which is going to require turning somewhat when the legs turn. When you do the jump rope exercise where you turn your feet, try going to extremes as far as limiting and exaggerating the amount of turn. There's definitely a value where the articulation between upper and lower halves is smooth and right.  


Edited by nolo - 5/26/13 at 8:15am
post #64 of 85
I really loved the Whistler trainer's take on pelvic rotary. Even at his level he is working on eliminating that twist since it affects balance.
post #65 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

I really loved the Whistler trainer's take on pelvic rotary. Even at his level he is working on eliminating that twist since it affects balance.

 

Speaking of pelvic rotary... The pelvis can rotate in two directions around a vertical axis.  One puts the outside hip forward; the other puts it back.

 

Last season I spent a lot of time focusing my mind on the alignment of my hips relative to my feet during the turn.  Someone here on Epic used the phrase "hinge the hip" at some point in the past; it caught my attention and stuck.  So last season I kept thinking of the hips/pelvis as something that can hinge around an axis.  I imagined the axis running vertically up through the acetabulum on one side; I "hinged" the other side forward (inside half) (keeping the torso above squared up over the hips).  I also worked on this hinge movement while imagining the axis as running through the middle of the pelvis, trying to be attentive to the differences from one axis vs the other.  I also thought about rotating the outside hip back instead of focusing on the inside hip.  Results were inconclusive.  Needs more work.  

 

Moving the inside hip forward through the turn certainly was a good thing to do, whichever axis I was rotating it around.  For me.  I have taught students to project the new inside hip forward through the turn.  Good things happen.  

post #66 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

There are all kinds of ideas here for introducing the concept and feel of rotating the femurs in the hip sockets, effectively separating the lower body from a stable upper body.  

BUT what do you do when you run your students through these non-skiing maneuvers ...... then get them moving down the hill and they ski square anyway?  So many skiers ski square.  So many.  There must be something very powerful in the human body that doesn't want to rotate them there femurs at the hip.  Even Chubby Checker twisted at the waist, not the hip sockets. 

 

When skiers ski square, other not-so-good things tend to follow -- banking, sequential turn entries, stemming, delayed edge engagement, and so on.  I'm thinking that the primary key to opening the door to higher level skiing is to get people to uncouple the upper body from the lower body.  

 

What else do you seasoned instructors do with people who persist in skiing square despite your showing them what femur rotation/uppper-lower-body-separation should look like and you having them try this movement while walking around on the flats or swiveling skis on ski poles?  When you teach it but they don't learn it, what other measures/drills do you employ as you ramp up your teacherly efforts?

 

 


Along with the "mobility" side of the equation, I try to address the "Stability" side of the equation. Stability comes from the core and torso, but stability is also enhanced by having a functional stance/posture over the skis, so we can work the ski from the middle, as we provide the stability that anchors the movements in the lower body. What I typically see in students that are struggling to separate between upper and lower body is that their stance is off, either laterally, fore/aft, or both, and they are using movements in their upper body to help them turn and/or control their skis. Hard to be mobile in both ends of the body at the same time and be effective and balanced. So I find it is not enough to help them discover new foot up movements, but to also help them discover a centered stance and how a quite and stable upper body allows them to use those foot up movements. Skiing with their belly button pulled towards their spin, or tucking their tail bone under and pointing it down between their feet as they ski, or a modified tummy crunch as they ski on easy terrain are all ways I have found success in helping students stabilize their upper body. Doing this often times allows them to find that mobility in their lower body that has been missing. There are many other ways this can be approached, but helping them understand and feel this "harmony of opposites" is crucial to advancing in my experience. Typically I will address these stance/posture and stability needs before addressing the new movement. Quite often the new mobility movements automatically happen when the stance and stability problems are improved.

post #67 of 85

Thanks, Ric. You said what I was trying to articulate myself. 

 

LF, I try to connect the line of force from my inside hip to the inside edge of my outside foot. That connection feels like hitting the golf ball right at the hemisphere -- a feeling of butter-easy power.


Edited by nolo - 5/26/13 at 8:31am
post #68 of 85
It occurs to me that we all tend to view and describe core stability differently but the outcome seems to be the same. The outside hip doesn't swing to the outside of the turn, or pivot the pelvis so the inside hip drops aft.
post #69 of 85

It is interseting no?  Just as a lot of these threads seem to demonstrate the frame of reference is critical.  We can be saying the same thing depending on what your reference point is, every movement requires stability and instability to be balanced. The motor control group even has their divisions, is it s problem of motor redunancy or a blessing of motor abundance?

 

The pelvis/acetabulaum can be oriented in all 3 planes and dynamic movement requires variations of all 3 to be succussful in reducing the strain at the hip or maximizing the strength of the hip musculature. As LF has felt, this whole organization is relative to each side. Our abundance can overcome issues from side to side.  How it does this though sets up Ric's revelations. The spine is the foundation, I would say it is the mechanical junction, not the pelvis. How we release and control the 24 mobile pieces sets up the performance of the hip.

 

Getting people to feel hip mobility is great.  Getting them to feel how their hip control effects their spinal control adn vice versa is even greater.

post #70 of 85
Quote:
I would say it is the mechanical junction, not the pelvis

Where would you draw the line between the upper and lower body in describing upper-lower separation, Chad?

 

To me, not a biomechanics expert by any means, it seems like the pelvis is the enabler of lower body movements and that while the pelvis moves in all three planes quite dynamically through a series of turns, in skiing the focus is mostly on the lateral movement. If I had to use an analogy I say the movement of the pelvis in two turns would make one bowtie pasta as the pelvis tips to accommodate the slope elevation changes.  

post #71 of 85

I realize this will sound vague and a bit dodgy, but it would depend on the context of the person and goal of the movement. It is to reductionistic to label one piece. From a static reference though I would consider the pelvis the bottom or base of the "core" and the respitory diaphragm/under the ribs, the top of the "core", the spine would be the back, the deep layers of the abdomen the front. Anything above and below this would be the upper or lower body. This region, at this point, is what I would call the junction of the two.

 

I wouldn't disagree with the idea of the skiing pelvic movement analysis.  I do think the analysis would change with an appreciation for the 3 planes though. The issues in the lower body and upper body are largely created by the function of the pelvis in its 3 planes.  Its funny, the pelvis has a rotaional mobility but it is a predominately fused piece of 3 bones. The sidebending and flexion and extension movements of the spine that give it that ability to "rotate". Thus, any consideration that it rotates already encompasses the flexion, extension, and sidebending planes of motion.

post #72 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Walk in a ten foot circle. Now walk in a three foot circle. Notice how much more active you have to be with leg steering to do the later? Now that we have discovered how we turn our legs to go where we want to go, let's try shuffling while making the three foot circle. Now do a figure eight. Now that we understand what it feels like to turn our legs, let's do it with a ski on our inside foot. Now with both skis on. Done.


and this is how I start my first time lessons! Maybe not circles but at least arcs in each direction. Quite often it's while we are traveling from the meeting area to an area to start the lesson but walking while making turns I find is a very subtle and effective way teach steering of the feet using femur rotation.

post #73 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

How do you do that if you're an instructor?

If not an instructor, how do/did you teach it to yourself?

I assume the question is similar to how to do a gainer [diving] so  that the desired rotation is spontaneous or automatic.   To rotate the legs in the hip sockets while yhe pelvis  and upper body remain quiet you would start a turn by pushing the skis a few inches diagonally forward  the opposite [counter] direction. If you let nature take its course you will turn automatically. The legs rotate in the hip sockets and crossunder the body's CM.  It is extremely difficult for experienced skiers   to do this. They typically abort the forthcoming turn. I call this turn the Automatic Turn and published a paper online. The is also a thread called The Iconaclastic Automatic Turn! Most of the contributors to this  thread also wrote  the Automatic Turn thread  and nnone of them reported that they had acciomplished the Automatic Turn. So there you have it!

post #74 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

I don't teach femur rotation. I teach "finishing turns". If one finishes a turn with their lower body turning more than their upper body, then they are rotating their femur.

 

The pivot slip is the ultimate femur rotation drill, but not everyone is ready for that punishment. For intermediate zone skiers I will often use a static drill I call "Tug of War". When a skier is in a side slip position holding 2 poles together at the grips and you are downhill from that skier tugging on the other end of the two poles trying to pull them down the hill, the uphill skier will discover that they have more power to resist when they are countered. It's the movement of the uphill skiers' shoulders from pointed at the downhill person to square to the downhill person that mimics the femur rotation in a ski turn. There are lots of other drills. The picture frame drill works well also.

You can not be serious. Only the first sentence is correct

post #75 of 85

If I wasn't serious I'd say that after 20 years of teaching I've discovered that everything I know to be true is wrong and that therefore I will quit skiing and take up lawn bowling. I appreciate your role as an iconoclast, but please pardon me while I continue worshiping established beliefs.

post #76 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

If I wasn't serious I'd say that after 20 years of teaching I've discovered that everything I know to be true is wrong and that therefore I will quit skiing and take up lawn bowling. I appreciate your role as an iconoclast, but please pardon me while I continue worshiping established beliefs.

RUSTY, Your drills are for practicing hip or pelvic rotation where the pelvis rotates with the legs. ie te separation mbetween the upper and lower body is at the waist.  In femur rotation the pelvis rotates with the upper body. I doubt  if you have ever done femur rotation in the hip sockets such as in the Automatic Turn. If you have seen it you would not  know what it was but you would recognize  it is something different. The Automatic Turn is an unknown unknown to almost all skiers and instructors. We need motivated and curious instructors such as you to learn the Automatic Turn. REGARDS, Bruce

post #77 of 85

Funny how spring seems to bring out the trolls. Hell, some of them don't even realize they are trolls.

 

fom

post #78 of 85
Actually femoral rotation is a skill we learn as toddlers. We may not focus on it much until we do a sport where it becomes a stronger focus but it is hardly a new skill.
post #79 of 85

Just for clarity,

 

Hip joint = Ball and socket (synovial). Movements possible = flexion and extension, Ab/adduction, circumduction, and last but not least, internal and external rotation. These joint movements take place within the hip joint, meaning that the ball is moving within the socket, and does not include the pelvis. Femur rotation as we speak of it in skiing is internal and external rotation of the femur head in the hip socket. When skiing we typically have some blend of all three happening at the same time. In psia speak, we refer to this as skill blending.

 

For further reference, rotary movements, which include femur rotation, happen parallel to the horizontal plane. Edging movements happen parallel to the frontal plane, and pressure control movements typically happen parallel to the sagital plane.

 

 

Rusty's drill of pulling the student from down the hill while in a static position is good way to show the student that they do have the range of movement to get into this position and how this position feels when we are in it. While the pivot slip is a good way of teaching the movements required to move into and out of this position with upper level students.

post #80 of 85

 

Click on image to enlarge.

post #81 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

Where would you draw the line between the upper and lower body in describing upper-lower separation, Chad?

To me, not a biomechanics expert by any means, it seems like the pelvis is the enabler of lower body movements and that while the pelvis moves in all three planes quite dynamically through a series of turns, in skiing the focus is mostly on the lateral movement. If I had to use an analogy I say the movement of the pelvis in two turns would make one bowtie pasta as the pelvis tips to accommodate the slope elevation changes.  

Femur socket... Femur is lower body, pelvis is upper.
post #82 of 85

So in teaching a student to turn their legs without turning their shoulders and pelvis first it becomes important to tap into their past experiences. Why? Well as I mentioned before they have been turning their legs since early childhood. So the move is hardly new. But it may be different if they rotate their shoulders, chest to create rotary (angular momentum) force to turn the skis. So a compare and contrast segment is often necessary when you introduce the idea of isolating the rotary to the legs. An easy version is to start with asking them to turn their head left and right without allowing their shoulders to turn with the head. Then move the shoulders left and right without moving the head. Then have them move the pelvis left and right without moving the chest, and finally have them turn their legs left and right without moving the pelvis. It takes less than half a minute to do this activity. By doing this the student has isolated rotation in multiple parts of the body and gained a cognitive awareness of how each movement feels. Thus making it easier to understand isolated movement of the legs.  

post #83 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbharstad View Post

RUSTY, Your drills are for practicing hip or pelvic rotation where the pelvis rotates with the legs. ie te separation mbetween the upper and lower body is at the waist.  In femur rotation the pelvis rotates with the upper body. I doubt  if you have ever done femur rotation in the hip sockets such as in the Automatic Turn. If you have seen it you would not  know what it was but you would recognize  it is something different. The Automatic Turn is an unknown unknown to almost all skiers and instructors. We need motivated and curious instructors such as you to learn the Automatic Turn. REGARDS, Bruce

Bruce,

 

Thanks for being more specific with your feedback. I am painfully aware about femur rotation (Thanks Ric for explaining this) and about the difference between upper/lower body separation at the waist versus the hips. BTW golf is a wonderfully effective negative feedback mechanism for those who don't understand the difference. Doubt is an important behavior for an iconoclast. Belief is antithetical, no? I wonder how you can believe that I teach the tug of war drill without femur rotation? One really can not offer much resistance without it. Just because I did not mention turning the hips with the shoulders does not mean I don't teach it. In fact I teach both versions of the movement in the drill precisely to highlight the difference in effectiveness.

 

I have tried to make sense of your concept of the automatic turn as something new and groundbreaking. I've been unable to do so. The portions of your concept that I've found to have technical merit match up well with efficient skiing as defined by PSIA (and other teaching systems) and induce a sense of "effortlessness" that I can understand how one could describe as "automatic". However, my personal experience is that such skiing requires continuous movements that only become automatic through muscle memory. If I understand your automatic turn concept correctly, these are two fundamentally different concepts.

post #84 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

So in teaching a student to turn their legs without turning their shoulders and pelvis first it becomes important to tap into their past experiences. Why? Well as I mentioned before they have been turning their legs since early childhood. So the move is hardly new. But it may be different if they rotate their shoulders, chest to create rotary (angular momentum) force to turn the skis. So a compare and contrast segment is often necessary when you introduce the idea of isolating the rotary to the legs. An easy version is to start with asking them to turn their head left and right without allowing their shoulders to turn with the head. Then move the shoulders left and right without moving the head. Then have them move the pelvis left and right without moving the chest, and finally have them turn their legs left and right without moving the pelvis. It takes less than half a minute to do this activity. By doing this the student has isolated rotation in multiple parts of the body and gained a cognitive awareness of how each movement feels. Thus making it easier to understand isolated movement of the legs.  

 

Love this way of starting people thinking about independent body movements. 

post #85 of 85

There is a paper on this subject " Help  Your  Legs Assert Their Independence" --32Degrees Winter 2011 by Rbin Barnes

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