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Help with getting hips forward

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
I attached a link to a YouTube video of me learning the bumps. I'm just a beginner in the moguls and I was wondering if anyone could give some tips. My main issue is that I feel like I'm in the backseat a bit too much on the bumps.

Thanks!

Alvinhttp://youtu.be/j4fdXoXJbtg
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 
And happy new year guys!
post #3 of 18

Here you go, embedded.  Happy New Year!

post #4 of 18

...and some screen shots to slow things down.

 

post #5 of 18

You're achieving a nice smooth flow down the run, with solid pole use.  Congrats!  

You've got the backpedalling thing going on (good!), but only half way.  You push your feet forward, but you don't pull them back far enough (the other half of backpedalling).

Because the feet don't ever go back behind the knees, this keeps your feet always waaay in front of you.  For that reason your initiations are messy.  
You have difficulty clearing the new inside foot/ski out of the way to start the new turn, so there's stemming of the new outside ski and/or lifting of the new inside ski going on.

You can see these in the stills above.

 

Here's Bob Barnes' backpedalling thingy.  Look at the angle between the shin and the skis.

Look als at how the feet appear to move forward then back of the CM, which is your center of mass:

 

My advice is twofold, but others will chime in with other ideas too I'm sure.  

 

1.  Pull your feet waaaaay back in between your turns.  This will require closing your ankles more the whole time, so that the angle between the top of your skis and your shins is less than 90 degrees.  This may be easier if you stand up taller, but that may not be necessary.  Do what feels natural with your upper body stance and just pay attention to what you are doing with your ankles.  Pulling the feet back should help with eliminating the stem and lifting, so your initiations will feel less forced.

 

2.  Turn your skis across the fall line more to complete your turns.  Part of sitting back (which is what the non-pulling of the feet back really is) comes from a natural desire for speed control.  Completing your turns with your skis pointing more across the fall line will allow you to slow down with turn shape to a snail's pace in those bumps.  Try turning them enough to slow to an almost-stop with each turn.  If this is difficult to accomplish, focus only on turning the inside ski so its tip points as far uphill as you can get it.  The outside ski will follow without you needing to thing about it.  Think of the inside ski as your guide ski (the brains of the operation), and the outside ski as your ride ski (the braun). 

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

You're achieving a nice smooth flow down the run, with solid pole use.  Congrats!  
You've got the backpedalling thing going on (good!), but only half way.  You push your feet forward, but you don't pull them back far enough (the other half of backpedalling).
Because the feet don't ever go back behind the knees, this keeps your feet always waaay in front of you.  For that reason your initiations are messy.  

You have difficulty clearing the new inside foot/ski out of the way to start the new turn, so there's stemming of the new outside ski and/or lifting of the new inside ski going on.
You can see these in the stills above.

Here's Bob Barnes' backpedalling thingy.  Look at the angle between the shin and the skis.
Look als at how the feet appear to move forward then back of the CM, which is your center of mass:



My advice is twofold, but others will chime in with other ideas too I'm sure.  

1.  Pull your feet waaaaay back in between your turns.  This will require closing your ankles more the whole time, so that the angle between the top of your skis and your shins is less than 90 degrees.  This may be easier if you stand up taller, but that may not be necessary.  Do what feels natural with your upper body stance and just pay attention to what you are doing with your ankles.  Pulling the feet back should help with eliminating the stem and lifting, so your initiations will feel less forced.

2.  Turn your skis across the fall line more to complete your turns.  Part of sitting back (which is what the non-pulling of the feet back really is) comes from a natural desire for speed control.  Completing your turns with your skis pointing more across the fall line will allow you to slow down with turn shape to a snail's pace in those bumps.  Try turning them enough to slow to an almost-stop with each turn.  If this is difficult to accomplish, focus only on turning the inside ski so its tip points as far uphill as you can get it.  The outside ski will follow without you needing to thing about it.  Think of the inside ski as your guide ski (the brains of the operation), and the outside ski as your ride ski (the braun). 

Thanks for all the good advice and time in writing that! I will definitely try it out on the slopes. smile.gif
post #7 of 18

It should be noted that some people cannot extend their hips due to physical limitations. I had this issue and until I was diagnosed with FAI and had 1.3cm's of added movement to my hips; 8mm's shaved off the off the top of the socket (Acetabulum) and 5mm's off the femoral neck.  I can now finally "stand up".  


Edited by Finndog - 1/1/15 at 9:48am
post #8 of 18

Hi A98Alvin--Happy New Year, and welcome to EpicSki!

 

You are not a beginner, by any stretch of the imagination, even if you are just starting to work on bumps. You've got all the tools you need--well-timed pole plant, and the ability to make quick turns. To your specific question, though, you are NOT chronically skiing in the back seat, and the aft position of your hips is not an indication otherwise. LiquidFeet gave you some great ideas to work on, and I'll just reiterate: your basic fore-aft "stance" is not a problem, but you will need to add some vigorous and accurate fore-aft movements of your feet, as well as up-down movements (flexion-extension) of your legs, to enhance your ability to absorb the bumps--as shown in the "StickMan" "backpedal" animation.

 

It all happens quickly, especially at the speed you're going in those bumps, so you don't have time to think about it much. But if you can simply visualize your feet moving in more-or-less circles beneath your body--as the animation shows--it should help smooth out your bump absorption. That will keep your feet in smoother contact with the snow, and enable you to better manage your turn shape and speed. Add the enhanced steering movements that LiquidFeet described, and you'll be able to take your technique to bigger and bigger bumps on ever steeper terrain.

 

You can work on these movements by traversing across a big bump field, if you can find one at your area (this won't work on the narrow artificial bump run in your video). Ski across the bumps, focusing on following the terrain with your feet while minimizing any up-down movement of your body (center of mass). Visualize the "backpedaling" motion. Find "center" to start--press firmly forward on your boot tongues, then move your body (hips, shoulders, etc) slowly back until you lose all pressure on, but not contact with, the tongues. Try to maintain this contact-but-not-pressure on the tongues as you traverse the bumps--which will require very accurate fore-aft movements of your feet beneath your body. Keep practicing, increasing speed as your comfort and confidence improves.

 

Combine these absorption movements with turns in the bumps, without changing the timing of the flexion-extension movements (in other words, stay "low" and compressed on top of the bump, then extend your legs down into the trough). All of this may take some practice. The natural motion that most people have at first is just the opposite--they extend on top of the bump, and compress in the trough between the bumps, especially when they start adding in a turn. It's not always an easy pattern to break. If you have trouble with it, I strongly encourage you to find a good instructor and take a lesson or two. 

 

---

 

Finally, regarding your original question and the title of your thread, it's worth looking again at those hips. Note that as your hips move aft, you stretch your upper body and arms forward (easily seen in LiquidFeet's stills pulled from your video). This compensating forward movement of your upper body keeps your center of mass over your feet, even though the hip position may make it look like you're "in the back seat." You are not as aft as you think you are. 

 

But there may be a problem with your boot setup. Notice how upright (vertical) your shins tend to be, and how little flex you have in your ankles. How stiff or soft are your boots? How snug are they around your lower legs? If they are loose and/or soft, then the problem is one of movements that you should be able to change (and you may want to consider snugger, stiffer boots). If they are already snug and stiff, such that they hold your leg rigidly in that upright and open-ankle position, they may need some attention to dial in the forward lean. When your lower legs (shins) are too upright (for whatever reason), they move your hips back, requiring you to compensate just as you do by bending your upper body forward.

 

Here's an illustration that shows how fore-aft boot setup can affect your basic stance:

 

 

Notice that all three skiers in the first column are similarly centered over their feet, but they need to adopt different postures to accomplish that. The first skier (A1) is optimally aligned fore-and-aft (one sign is that the shins and spine are pretty much parallel in this "neutral," slightly flexed position). Your posture resembles skier B1, whose ankles are extended and shins are very upright. The problem with this setup is not that it necessarily puts you in the proverbial "back seat" (you're still balanced in B1), but that it interferes with your range of motion, preventing you from flexing deeply without losing your balance--see figure B3.

 

So, whether it's the effort to flex your ankles a bit more (and bring your upper body more upright), or a boot adjustment to dial in more forward lean, one way or another you would probably benefit by looking more like A1 when standing in your neutral, "ready" athletic stance. Look at the "backpedal guy" again, and notice that he uses a full range of motion, from deeply flexed to fully extended, as he absorbs those bumps. Any equipment issues that hinder that range only add challenge to bumps.

 

At your skiing level--which is, again, far beyond beginner!--if you have not had a good alignment specialist set up your boots, I would very much encourage you to do so. As you advance, the fit and setup become increasingly critical. You need all of your movements and range of motion to manage your skis--you can't afford to use any of them just to compensate for sub-optimal equipment setup. It will help with much more than just moguls!

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

Hi A98Alvin--Happy New Year, and welcome to EpicSki!

You are not a beginner, by any stretch of the imagination, even if you are just starting to work on bumps. You've got all the tools you need--well-timed pole plant, and the ability to make quick turns. To your specific question, though, you are NOT chronically skiing in the back seat, and the aft position of your hips is not an indication otherwise. LiquidFeet gave you some great ideas to work on, and I'll just reiterate: your basic fore-aft "stance" is not a problem, but you will need to add some vigorous and accurate fore-aft movements of your feet, as well as up-down movements (flexion-extension) of your legs, to enhance your ability to absorb the bumps--as shown in the "StickMan" "backpedal" animation.

It all happens quickly, especially at the speed you're going in those bumps, so you don't have time to think about it much. But if you can simply visualize your feet moving in more-or-less circles beneath your body--as the animation shows--it should help smooth out your bump absorption. That will keep your feet in smoother contact with the snow, and enable you to better manage your turn shape and speed. Add the enhanced steering movements that LiquidFeet described, and you'll be able to take your technique to bigger and bigger bumps on ever steeper terrain.

You can work on these movements by traversing across a big bump field, if you can find one at your area (this won't work on the narrow artificial bump run in your video). Ski across the bumps, focusing on following the terrain with your feet while minimizing any up-down movement of your body (center of mass). Visualize the "backpedaling" motion. Find "center" to start--press firmly forward on your boot tongues, then move your body (hips, shoulders, etc) slowly back until you lose all pressure on, but not contact with, the tongues. Try to maintain this contact-but-not-pressure on the tongues as you traverse the bumps--which will require very accurate fore-aft movements of your feet beneath your body. Keep practicing, increasing speed as your comfort and confidence improves.

Combine these absorption movements with turns in the bumps, without changing the timing of the flexion-extension movements (in other words, stay "low" and compressed on top of the bump, then extend your legs down into the trough). All of this may take some practice. The natural motion that most people have at first is just the opposite--they extend on top of the bump, and compress in the trough between the bumps, especially when they start adding in a turn. It's not always an easy pattern to break. If you have trouble with it, I strongly encourage you to find a good instructor and take a lesson or two. 

---

Finally, regarding your original question and the title of your thread, it's worth looking again at those hips. Note that as your hips move aft, you stretch your upper body and arms forward (easily seen in LiquidFeet's stills pulled from your video). This compensating forward movement of your upper body keeps your center of mass over your feet, even though the hip position may make it look like you're "in the back seat." You are not as aft as you think you are. 

But there may be a problem with your boot setup. Notice how upright (vertical) your shins tend to be, and how little flex you have in your ankles. How stiff or soft are your boots? How snug are they around your lower legs? If they are loose and/or soft, then the problem is one of movements that you should be able to change (and you may want to consider snugger, stiffer boots). If they are already snug and stiff, such that they hold your leg rigidly in that upright and open-ankle position, they may need some attention to dial in the forward lean. When your lower legs (shins) are too upright (for whatever reason), they move your hips back, requiring you to compensate just as you do by bending your upper body forward.

Here's an illustration that shows how fore-aft boot setup can affect your basic stance:




Notice that all three skiers in the first column are similarly centered over their feet, but they need to adopt different postures to accomplish that. The first skier (A1) is optimally aligned fore-and-aft (one sign is that the shins and spine are pretty much parallel in this "neutral," slightly flexed position). Your posture resembles skier B1, whose ankles are extended and shins are very upright. The problem with this setup is not that it necessarily puts you in the proverbial "back seat" (you're still balanced in B1), but that it interferes with your range of motion, preventing you from flexing deeply without losing your balance--see figure B3.

So, whether it's the effort to flex your ankles a bit more (and bring your upper body more upright), or a boot adjustment to dial in more forward lean, one way or another you would probably benefit by looking more like A1 when standing in your neutral, "ready" athletic stance. Look at the "backpedal guy" again, and notice that he uses a full range of motion, from deeply flexed to fully extended, as he absorbs those bumps. Any equipment issues that hinder that range only add challenge to bumps.

At your skiing level--which is, again, far beyond beginner!--if you have not had a good alignment specialist set up your boots, I would very much encourage you to do so. As you advance, the fit and setup become increasingly critical. You need all of your movements and range of motion to manage your skis--you can't afford to use any of them just to compensate for sub-optimal equipment setup. It will help with much more than just moguls!

Best regards,
Bob

My boots do have a higher flex setting and I mainly use them for racing. The skis I am on are actually slalom skis but still trying to have some fun on the bumps. Thanks for the diagram, I have looked into some alignments for my boots but I'm having trouble finding a technician which will offer a financially possible price. My boots were around $250 but just improving it could be even more costly. I think you're right about my boots cause I'm working on standing up straight a bit more but I'm really struggling to do it without losing balance.

Thanks

Alvin
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by a98alvin View Post


My boots do have a higher flex setting and I mainly use them for racing. The skis I am on are actually slalom skis but still trying to have some fun on the bumps. Thanks for the diagram, I have looked into some alignments for my boots but I'm having trouble finding a technician which will offer a financially possible price. My boots were around $250 but just improving it could be even more costly. I think you're right about my boots cause I'm working on standing up straight a bit more but I'm really struggling to do it without losing balance.

Thanks

Alvin

 

it's not about the flex only. some boots have a shim to adjust the forward lean. in addition, the ramp angle of the binding comes into play in terms of the overall forward lean of the setup. for me, a good reference point is how deep of a squat i can perform without losing balance.

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack97 View Post

it's not about the flex only. some boots have a shim to adjust the forward lean. in addition, the ramp angle of the binding comes into play in terms of the overall forward lean of the setup. for me, a good reference point is how deep of a squat i can perform without losing balance.

I'll see how far I can squat next time I'm on the slopes.
post #12 of 18

I've watched the video a few times to make sure I'm seeing what I think I'm seeing and read some of the comments on the video.  And though I cannot disagree with anything anyone else has said, the one thing that I *think* I see, based on the video and LF's screen shots is that the CoM isn't tracking perfectly with the outside ski and  I think I see the rebalancing being late as a result.  I believe that this is giving the apppearance of being "back", but I don't think it is as much a fore/aft issue as a side to side issue. The fact that the turn shapes are very narrow S type turns make it hard to see, but I'm seeing the CoM getting too far away from where it should be. In these types of turns the CoM transition is much more subtle and much faster. I think the look is complicated because in these types of turns front to back and side to side issues are so difficult to differentiate.  JMO. 

post #13 of 18

So true; the video does not show the lateral movement.  

@a98alvin, how are your very short turns on groomers?  

Can you get the skis pretty far around in super short turns without turning your upper body too? 

Are you comfortable doing "knee" angulation?

(I know, I know, the knees don't bend sideways.... but the term describes how it feels).

post #14 of 18

lemaster squat test. imo, some to most modern ski boots do not have the forward lean. the emphasis is lateral support, pressuring the front of the ski is not in vogue. however it is needed to ski a direct line in the bumps.

 

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by a98alvin View Post


My boots do have a higher flex setting and I mainly use them for racing. The skis I am on are actually slalom skis but still trying to have some fun on the bumps. Thanks for the diagram, I have looked into some alignments for my boots but I'm having trouble finding a technician which will offer a financially possible price. My boots were around $250 but just improving it could be even more costly. I think you're right about my boots cause I'm working on standing up straight a bit more but I'm really struggling to do it without losing balance.

Thanks

Alvin

Yes, a PROPER professional boot setup can be costly, but the difference is night and day. As a high performance skier you cannot afford not to have your boots done.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by jack97 View Post
 

lemaster squat test. imo, some to most modern ski boots do not have the forward lean. the emphasis is lateral support, pressuring the front of the ski is not in vogue. however it is needed to ski a direct line in the bumps.

 

I have to agree with your statement about the boots. Focus has been on lateral movements and reliance on broadened sweet spots of our modern skis.  I have put off buying new boots specifically because they have backed off the ramp angles in many boots and straightend them up. more than I find optimal for my personal physique and stance (also my current boots are highly customized). When I think about forward pressure, I'm mostly thinking about balancing on a spot a bit ahead of my bindings. If a boot pushes me back off that balance spot then I have to look to how my fore/aft stance is before buckling up, then determine how the cuff supports that stance or pushes me off my balance point. I want to be pressing on the boot when I WANT to be pressing on it- not because the boot makes me press on it to get into my stance. 

 

Anyone remember Cindy Nelson?  She skied Caber boots and had several identical pairs of boots in her attic anticipating that they would no longer be available in the future. 

post #16 of 18

Based on everything that has been covered by all, is a perfect example of why there is sometimes so much frustration by the consumer when trying to get certain issues remedied. Finding a technician/boot fitter/equipment specialist/expert in human foot bio-mechanics/expert in the physics of a ski turn in relationship to all aforementioned is an art in upon itself. I find truth in just about all reviews here yet all presented needs to be considered. When examining an athlete the balance protocol and review needs to be directed and systematic. As the protocol is being followed just like a doctor trying to discern why their patient is sick things get ruled in and ruled out until the source or sources of the sickness are discovered. As these issues are taken care of they are eliminated from the mix. Once this is done the equipment is no longer in the way and one can then look in the mirror and concentrate 100% improving their skill set on their skis....all excuses are removed...directed practice makes perfect.

Skixtremedude

post #17 of 18
even with an upright boot you can pressure the front of the ski a lot by pulling your feet back.

The boots with a lot of suggested lean will make you stick your butt back, and tire your quads.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by a98alvin View Post

My boots do have a higher flex setting and I mainly use them for racing. The skis I am on are actually slalom skis but still trying to have some fun on the bumps.
Thanks

Alvin
open your top two buckles for each boot and try again. This should be part of your regular balance training....
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