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Hips over knees? Intermediate question from the flatlands [a Beginner Zone question]

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
How do you keep hips above knees? Is there a photo that shows this?

Mod note: moved from Tips for Beginners over 40
post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post

How do you keep hips above knees? Is there a photo that shows this?

Good question.  Perhaps @LiquidFeet or @L&AirC can offer some suggestions.  Have you read many threads in the Ski Instruction section?  As I remember, you are an intermediate from the flatlands headed out west with for a family ski trip, correct?

 

Please note this is in the Beginner Zone, which is carefully moderated.

post #3 of 13
For basic stance positions and ski activity illustrations, look at post #131 here: http://www.epicski.com/t/7969/those-turns-illustrated/120
post #4 of 13

Well, a photo isn't going to do you much good unless you can get someone to photo YOU so you can see if the two photos match.  

What you actually need is to feel as you ski what "hips above knees," or as I usually hear it "butt over boots," is supposed to communicate.

 

These are phrases used to help people understand how to get out of the back seat.  Your hips will not be over your knees, nor will they stay in any position as you ski.  Things move.  The ultimate goal is to get your body's weight centered over the arch of your outside foot (and therefore over that spot on your ski), and sometimes over the ball of your outside foot (arguments will ensue over skiing forward).  No one argues about getting your body's weight off the back of your heel.  So there's the goal.

 

1.  Stand up and ski straight down with your body pretty uprightish, not bent over, without turning on VERY easy beginner terrain so you won't gain too much speed.  Go a ways down the hill, and then stop.

 

2.  Do it again, still standing pretty uprightish, but this time bending forward only at the ankles, with your arms forwardish, elbows in front of your jacket's side-seams.  This way you will be "forward" on your skis.  If you are doing it right, you will feel your lower legs leaning forward against the front of your boot cuffs. Pay attention to the pressure you feel upward on the bottoms of your feet.  It should be focused on the balls of your feet.  (You may feel like your hips are over your knees)

 

3.  Now do it again, still standing pretty uprightish, but this time lean your whole body backwards by opening up your ankles.  This is the opposite of what you just did above.  You can even move your arms down or back to accomplish this, if you like to experiment.  You will feel your lower legs leaning back against the backs of your boot cuffs.  Pay attention to the pressure pushing upward on the bottoms of your feet.  It should be under the center or back of your heels.  You are "aft,"  in the back seat. 

 

1.  Now do #1 again.  Stand pretty uprightish, but this time pay attention to the pressure under your feet and the pressure of your lower legs against your boot cuffs.  Your goal is to be inbetween #2 and #3.  Underfoot, pressure will either be felt on your arch, and equal pressure on the balls of your feet and your heels.  Your lower legs should not be leaning on either the front nor the back of the boot cuffs. This is "centered."

 

 

Now you know how to feel centered, fore, and aft, on beginner terrain standing uprightish.  Try skiing on that bunny slope in your usual stance, and see what's going on with the pressures.  If you are aft, you should be able to tell now.  You probably are if someone has told you to keep your hips over your knees.  

 

Then take these drills to regular green terrain.  Adjust your stance in different ways so that you can ski forward the whole way down.  Then adjust your stance so that you can ski centered the whole way down.  I'm not going to tell you how to adjust; just use trial and error.  More upright is better than crouched on non-steep terrain.  Elbows forward or at jacket seams is good.

 

You should be able to tell the difference from forward//centered skiing compared to your previous aft skiing.  Find a combination of forward and centered skiing that works the best for you.  Enjoy!


Edited by LiquidFeet - 9/11/14 at 8:58am
post #5 of 13

Here's another thought-------

 

Ski boots are generic---human beings are not.

 

definition: ski boots are generic---in general, all the boots in a given model size run, by any manufacturer. will have the same amount of forward lean.

 

     Take two experienced skiers, who wear the same size boots, put them  in the same model / brand of boots and if they have different size calf muscles the guy with the bigger ones will have his knees pushed further forward---this will cause him to sit back a little more (to center up) than the other guy with the slimmer calves.

 

      If one of the skiers has 13 inch circumference calves (measured at the top of the liner) and the other has 15 inch lunkers, the larger calf  guy will be pushed forward an extra 16.2 mm at the knee and he will have to move rearward at the hips (bend more at the knees) to center up and accommodate this issue.  If you took a pic of the two skiers at the same point of any turn transition, the slimmer calf guy would appear to be more centered over the skis (not sitting back as much).

 

 Ski boots, they are a changing---I recently compared several brands / year / models of boots and have found the forward lean in this years boots has become more upright by quite a large amount.  so much s,o that anyone with a slimmer calf will find they are standing on their heels at transition and usually will think their boots are too stiff---you can get in the back seat if you are standing behind boot sole center (held too upright by the boot)

 

      I will accept that a person can learn to over come (with extra effort) this issue (if the boot forward lean is too much for their legs) by developing skills to counter the problem----but all that extra effort is not for me, I prefer to fix the problem by adjusting the boot to allow for a centered position with my hips over my knees as this post started out asking about.

 

mike

post #6 of 13

Mike, is this boot change because Americans are gaining weight in their calves, more so than in the past?

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

Mike, is this boot change because Americans are gaining weight in their calves, more so than in the past?

     I think the manufacturers trying to move toward a more extended and relaxed stance to skiing in.  Even in racing we are seeing a more extended downhill leg, instead of the low tuck so prevalent just a couple of years ago.

 

     By having the boot more upright, it will be much easier to move a skiers "center of mass position" (COMP) forward over the boot sole center by adding an appropriate thickness spoiler between the shell and liner.  This thickness of spoiler will be different for each size calf circumference---If the skier is off by even a couple of mm they will get in the back seat to compensate.

 

mike

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post

How do you keep hips above knees? Is there a photo that shows this?

Mod note: moved from Tips for Beginners over 40"

 

Hitman,

Is it possible you are taking the words too literal?  Unless your legs are straight, it is hard to have your hips over your knees.  Here's a pic from Dartfish:

 

Her hips are above her knees but them being over/above her knees or not could be interpretation.  This is a strong stance.  Consider that you want your ankles, knee and hip flexed.  To confuse things even more, skiing is a dynamic sport with the skier traveling fore and aft as well as side to side and even a little up and down.  The term above or over generally is moving around as the base of support and the forces at work, keep redefining which way is up/down.

 

I'm not sure I'm on the right path or not with your thoughts so I wont go on if I've gone astray.

 

Have fun,

Ken


Edited by L&AirC - 9/11/14 at 4:50pm
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Yes, I took it too literal.  Now it makes sense.  Thanks.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post

How do you keep hips above knees?


You can't do this because you can't measure it, can't see it, can't feel it.

 

What you can do is to pull both feet behind you so you are on the balls of your feet.  If you are balanced on the balls of your feet (just like every other physical activity I can think of except water skiing and clog dancing), your shins will be lightly against the tongues of your ski boots, and everyone will tell you how well you're doing.  You will know that you're doing well.  Your center of mass will be over the sweet spot of your skis (just forward of the toe bindings), and the skis will perform for you just like the factory taught them.

post #11 of 13
The picture in post 8:
She is to far forward. Standing on a flat slope, this is a very unnatural position.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post

The picture in post 8:
She is to far forward. Standing on a flat slope, this is a very unnatural position.

USSA would disagree with that. They categorized it as "excellent" hip position.
post #13 of 13

I agree with Rod9301,

 

     This gals knees are way out ahead of the boot toes and her hips and most of her torso are ahead of the boot sole center, which is just below the front bottom edge of the second buckle from the front of this boot. I also think the top of her boot is loose and allowing her to push the tongue of the boot forward and the boot to gap open behind her leg.  Just my opinion:rolleyes!

 

mike

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