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Pulling back the inside ski.

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

A while back I remember seeing a thread where someone mentioned the idea of pulling back the inside ski.  While I thought I understood the concept at the time, I think it didn't really sink in until a few days ago when I was doing some shuffle drills.  It was one of those Eureka moments.  

 

All of a sudden I made the connection between pulling that inside foot back and moving to the next turn.   By bringing that foot back, it dramatically shortens the distance you would need to move your CoM forward (down the hill) as you move into the next turn where the old inside ski being pulled back becomes the new outside ski.  So I gained a whole new understanding of shuffle turns, and how they emphasize balance.  

 

Then I came across this video.  It was Josh Foster, and he was talking about how turning your legs will create lead change rather than a deliberate shuffle.  I understand what he is saying here, and it makes sense, but when I watch him make a few turns, I think I'm seeing the lead change happen just before he reaches the fall line, which is where I would expect to feel the sensation of pulling that foot back.  In other words, it looks like he is in fact shuffling to establish lead change.  

 

Here is a shot where, to me, it looks like he has already pulled back the old inside ski, which at this point is the new outside ski and started the new turn.  He hasn't quite reached the fall line, but the new inside ski is already starting to lead.  Since he is before the fall line, there shouldn't be any rotational separation  in the direction that would cause the lead change.  If anything, there is still a small amount of separation in the opposite direction during the top of the turn.    

 

 

This shot was captured at 1:06 in the video below.  

 

So is he saying one thing and doing another, or am I missing something?

 

post #2 of 27

You get lead change from two major source, counter and inside knee/hip bent more than outside. (a third reason is more plantar flexion).

 

In the picture you showed I think he already has some counter, and also he is more flexed on the inside. That's why you need to pull the inside back for alignment.

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamt View Post
 

You get lead change from two major source, counter and inside knee/hip bent more than outside. (a third reason is more plantar flexion).

 

In the picture you showed I think he already has some counter, and also he is more flexed on the inside. That's why you need to pull the inside back for alignment.

I think I see the counter you are referring to, but since his emphasis in the video was on turning the feet and legs, shouldn't he have his torso facing a little bit more to the right of the screen as opposed to slightly to the left.  It looks like he is creating separation by rotating his upper body rather than waiting for his feet and legs to create it as they turn under him.  

post #4 of 27

Total B.S. x 2.  He sounds like a good guy, but nothing he says makes any sense.

 

Yes, stand on your heels and twist your feet, the boots want to align as he shows.  But in skiing, who wants to stand on their heels?  And, the tired old trope about the toes, knees, hips, and shoulders aligning is totally without any biomechanical foundation.  It's form, not function.

 

Strongly pulling the inside foot back all the time during every turn makes two things happen.  (1) it aligns the sweet spots of the skis side by side as much as possible.  We don't exactly know where the sweet spots are, somewhere ahead of the toe bindings, we feel it when we find it, and having both side by side works best.  (2) the muscular effort to pull the inside foot back impels the body forward so our center of mass is more easily above the skis' sweet spots.  The skis work their best for us.  We don't have much musculature to get the body forward.  We have the strong hamstring muscles to pull the feet back.  So, pull the feet back to "get forward," and pull the inside foot strongly back all the time in every turn to easily get over the skis' sweet spots.  It's like turning on power steering.

 

We can't exactly get the ski tips or our toes even due to retracting the inside leg and the stiff ski boot.  We want the effort to get them as even as possible.  Then, we want to rotate the hips & shoulders to the outside of the turn.  This facilitates angulation and also removes any rotational room out of the hip joints to help keep the ski tails from skidding out.  Is rotation/steering a good thing?  Set that question aside.  Rotate/steer as much as you want (none for me), then counter fully for better skiing.  Hold the full counter all the way to the release point.  Pulling the inside foot back while pushing the inside hip & shoulder forward sounds goofy, but it works great.

 

Here's Ted showing us how it's done.  His skis are pointing to our left while his hips and shoulders are turned to our right, along with his right hip & shoulder as high as they'll go at these angles.  Yes, he has gates to contend with, but that's not the only reason he's in this position.  None of us can ski like Ted, but we can all ski with the same fundamental movements.  Kind of hard to see from this angle, but his inside boot is pulled back very near his outside knee, not allowed to go forward, pulled back so far that the inside ski tail is off the snow.

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

 

 

Strongly pulling the inside foot back all the time during every turn makes two things happen.  (1) it aligns the sweet spots of the skis side by side as much as possible.  We don't exactly know where the sweet spots are, somewhere ahead of the toe bindings, we feel it when we find it, and having both side by side works best.  (2) the muscular effort to pull the inside foot back impels the body forward so our center of mass is more easily above the skis' sweet spots.  The skis work their best for us.  We don't have much musculature to get the body forward.  We have the strong hamstring muscles to pull the feet back.  So, pull the feet back to "get forward," and pull the inside foot strongly back all the time in every turn to easily get over the skis' sweet spots.  It's like turning on power steering.

 

 

OK, maybe my Eureka moment wasn't quite what I thought it was.  My thinking was that pulling the inside foot back at the end of the turn would put your CoM downhill of your feet.  What you are describing would be through the entire turn?  I'm having trouble imagining what that would feel like.  Would this pull back come from flexing the knee, or by pulling back with the glutes?

post #6 of 27

As I have said at least a couple times in this forum, "one half of what you learn in medical school is wrong, the problem is, you don't know which half."  Choose your coaches wisely.  Unfortunately for the vast majority of skiers, beginners and up, they have little opportunity to find a truly skilled  instructor/coach/mentor.  The other problem  is if skiers/instructors/coaches are only exposed to one line of thinking about ski technique, they will not know what they don't know.    YM 

post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeFiter View Post
 

OK, maybe my Eureka moment wasn't quite what I thought it was.  My thinking was that pulling the inside foot back at the end of the turn would put your CoM downhill of your feet.  What you are describing would be through the entire turn?  I'm having trouble imagining what that would feel like.  Would this pull back come from flexing the knee, or by pulling back with the glutes?

Another benefit of inside leg pull back/ inside leg hold back is that it increases the inside leg tipping range of motion.   IT's an easy   idea to test.   Stand with your feet together, skis and boots on, and tip your inside leg.   Now push the inside ski forward as far as it will go and try tipping the leg again.   You can try this statically or in motion and make up your mind for yourself.   YM

post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by yogaman View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeFiter View Post
 

OK, maybe my Eureka moment wasn't quite what I thought it was.  My thinking was that pulling the inside foot back at the end of the turn would put your CoM downhill of your feet.  What you are describing would be through the entire turn?  I'm having trouble imagining what that would feel like.  Would this pull back come from flexing the knee, or by pulling back with the glutes?

Another benefit of inside leg pull back/ inside leg hold back is that it increases the inside leg tipping range of motion.   IT's an easy   idea to test.   Stand with your feet together, skis and boots on, and tip your inside leg.   Now push the inside ski forward as far as it will go and try tipping the leg again.   You can try this statically or in motion and make up your mind for yourself.   YM


I think TreeFiter is talking about pulling the old inside foot (aka new outside foot) back at initiation.   This indeed will result in the CoM being ahead/downhill of that foot.

Yogaman, I think you are talking about pulling the new inside foot back at initiation, and continuing to pull/hold it back throughout the turn, which increases that new inside foot's tipping effect on the turn. 

 

Did I get your meanings right?

 

It's always best to put the word new or old in front of "inside foot" or "outside foot" so this confusion doesn't arise.

post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 


I think TreeFiter is talking about pulling the old inside foot (aka new outside foot) back at initiation.   This indeed will result in the CoM being ahead/downhill of that foot.

Yogaman, I think you are talking about pulling the new inside foot back at initiation, and continuing to pull/hold it back throughout the turn, which increases that new inside foot's tipping effect on the turn. 

 

Did I get your meanings right?

 

It's always best to put the word new or old in front of "inside foot" or "outside foot" so this confusion doesn't arise.

you are correct that the words old and new help clarify the discussion.   Pulling the new outside foot back without also holding back the new inside foot may move your balance inside to the new inside ski more than you want also resulting in your balance being split between your feet  .  You can pull/hold both feet back  and get early balance over the new outside ski  on the sweet spot. Having clarity of intension helps determine your actions.   I am now not sure  exactly what TreeFiter was trying to describe and accomplish.   If you hold back the new outside without also holding back the new inside you also end up with more tip lead than is appropriate given the amount of inside leg shortening  and hip counter rotation occurring early in the turn.    YM

post #10 of 27


in the bottom of the (old) turn, inside (uphill) foot pullback can "tighten the turn", taking a path more across the hill, which may or may not be desired

 

at the top of the (new) turn, inside (downhill) foot pullback can also "tighten the turn", taking a path more down the hill, which may or may not be desired

 

I don't think Josh Foster was aiming to speak to this, i think his main point was that lead change is a result of turning feet/femurs, not a result of advancing one leg or pulling one leg back.

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 


I think TreeFiter is talking about pulling the old inside foot (aka new outside foot) back at initiation.   This indeed will result in the CoM being ahead/downhill of that foot.

Yogaman, I think you are talking about pulling the new inside foot back at initiation, and continuing to pull/hold it back throughout the turn, which increases that new inside foot's tipping effect on the turn. 

 

Did I get your meanings right?

 

It's always best to put the word new or old in front of "inside foot" or "outside foot" so this confusion doesn't arise.

I think you got it right, but I believe when I originally read about pulling back the inside foot it was in the context Yogaman is talking about.  I thought I had misunderstood it at that time, and then I remembered hearing something about it when I made the connection to pulling back at initiation.  It seems I got my signals crossed somewhere along the line.  Now I'll have to revisit holding the inside foot back through the turn.  

post #12 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

 

Here's Ted showing us how it's done.  His skis are pointing to our left while his hips and shoulders are turned to our right, along with his right hip & shoulder as high as they'll go at these angles.  Yes, he has gates to contend with, but that's not the only reason he's in this position.  None of us can ski like Ted, but we can all ski with the same fundamental movements.  Kind of hard to see from this angle, but his inside boot is pulled back very near his outside knee, not allowed to go forward, pulled back so far that the inside ski tail is off the snow.

 

 

I disagree.

 

This comment depends on the perspective from what you are looking at him.  From a coaching standpoint you should  refer the perspective to the direction he is going at the moment.  If I am behind him and down hill I could have the visual prospective described, or uphill and infant of him.  Besides this picture with regard of his inside ski, boot, foot, leg bouncing from chop changing the angles constantly.  With his right knee bent and high to the point that the femur or his right leg is 90 degrees in front of his body in relation to his left leg, his right foot/boot is the length of his femur in front of his left leg.  If the tail of his right ski would have stayed on the snow, the skis would remain parallel, his alignment would have been stacked, and the little bit of what people call hip dump would have been avoided.

 

He is at this point getting ready to apply little toe pressure and plantar flexion.  Yes Ted utilizes little toe pressure to help transition turns and increase power through the transition.  The drag from this pressure, and the result in less pressure on the left foot slows the right ski and reduces friction on the left further helping the transition in the turn.

 

Because this is not a great turn for Ted, his right ski jumping he is slightly out of a stacked alignment and his right hip is a little to the inside.  His shoulders are in line with the hips, to the outside knee, and boot, and foot.  As the right ski comes forward keeping everything else in the stacked alignment turns his hips and shoulders to the outside of the turn or his left.  Everything starts at the skis and works it's way up.

 

This is my opinion anyway for whatever it's worth.


Edited by msprace - 2/9/16 at 4:45am
post #13 of 27

Lots of skiers are fussing over pulling back the inside ski. But we have to ask ourselves: why is the inside ski getting so far forward, and what's the actual problem we're trying to treat? The cause depends on the skill (and movements) of the skier, so the intervention we need is actually very different in each case. 

 

Many skiers are completely out of balance on snow. As they fall themselves into their new turn, or otherwise push away from the outside ski, their weight moves over the new inside ski. The outside ski tracks slower through the turn as it makes a larger arc and has minimal pressure on it. Yes, you can pull the inside leg back to try to move into a more balance position... it's like putting a band aid on a broken arm. Instead we've got to work with these people on turning with the lower joints, creating separation that leads to natural angulation, and avoiding any pushing movements. 

 

Other skiers who are in balance find that the outside ski, which takes a longer arc and has to deal with more pressure and resistance from the snow surface, falls behind relative to the inside ski. Biomechanically, the outside ski has crept backwards underneath your body. Once the heel is at or behind the hip, you can no longer engage the posterior chain for steering. Pulling back the inside ski doesn't move the body so that the posterior chain can engage again; it merely puts your whole upper body too far forward over the lower body. Instead, skiers should focus on keeping the outside ski moving forward enough to overcome the resistance. There's no single pushing or pulling movement; rather, the skier focuses on preventing the ski from gradually falling behind. How far is enough: you should feel the rear of the arch through the end of the turn. If you feel the pressure farther forward in the outside leg arch, you're not yet overcoming that resistance. 

post #14 of 27

I spent a good deal of last season making a conscious effort to try to pull my inside ski or in other words the coming new outside ski back in order to transition into a new turn or create lead change.  This year, I'm a product of Rick's tutelage, and understand the movement for a cross-over transition completely differently.  Rather than focus on pulling back the new coming outside ski, I gently start to apply pressure to extend that leg (or in other words, stand up) while tipping and flexing my new inside leg.  I don't always use that type of transition.  When skiing at higher speeds, I tend to use anticipation turns by skiing into a more countered position to create more hip angulation and more torsion.  When I release to start my new turn, the skis will slingshot around putting me in a strong lateral balance state.  The occasional problem here is not creating enough fore-agonal movement and remaining in the backseat and ending up with a bad turn.

 

Anyhow, I guess the point I wanted to stress was to extend that leg rather than pull it back.  It's the whole ILE discussion.  Try it...see what happens.     

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

 

 Instead, skiers should focus on keeping the outside ski moving forward enough to overcome the resistance. There's no single pushing or pulling movement; rather, the skier focuses on preventing the ski from gradually falling behind. How far is enough: you should feel the rear of the arch through the end of the turn. If you feel the pressure farther forward in the outside leg arch, you're not yet overcoming that resistance. 

Is this what is referred to as steering? 

 

I have tried so many times to understand the concept of pulling the inside foot back because it is a topic that continues to creep into many discussions.  I tried pulling the inside foot back in the past and I just can't get it (maybe it is already back??).  I can see doing it once I begin to release my edges, and that actually makes a lot of sense to me; I just don't get how the heck you do it while you have all those forces working on you in the turn.  

 

One more thought.........Wouldn't a straighter, or extended outside leg, effectively result in the ski tips of both skis being more in line with one another (assuming you angulated and have some separation)?  

 

Pete 

post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 

It appears that the idea of pulling back the inside ski has sent people off in two different directions.  I believe this is a result of my own confusion when I brought up the topic.  There is the idea of lead change at initiation, which is what I thought it was all about.  However, at this point I'm pretty sure that I misunderstood the context of pulling back the inside ski when I originally read about it.  

 

The other concept might be better described as holding back the inside ski for the duration of the turn.  This is the idea I would like to explore further.  

 

I'm still not sure I understand why holding back the inside ski will make a difference.  Can we try to relate the concept back to things like how it impacts balance, edging, rotary, and pressure?  

 

It also crossed my mind that maybe I don't understand because I haven't experienced the issue.  Maybe I'm already holding that foot back without thinking about it.  

 

For those of you that understand the concept, do you see it in my skiing?  Am I holding back the inside foot of do I need to spend some time playing with it?

 

post #17 of 27
So I will start my transition by flexing/contracting the old outside ski and then pulling it back and tipping that ski to the lte. While I'm doing that I'm raising that hip to help with that movement. I actually feel like I'm pulling back both feet as I make the turn. My weight is balanced on the new outside ski as I arc the turn. I've been working on this all season and its really helped my skiing.
post #18 of 27

Shuffling the inside ski forward as a form of making turns was taught for a long time... and one advantage of keeping the inside ski back is to disable hip dumping and excessive counter throughout the turn... you'll hear race coaches often yelling "keep tips even".

 

You're motoring pretty quickly through those first few turns... it is more obvious in longer carved turns on reasonable terrain.  You're starting the turns well, but then seem to allow the inside ski to get forward and slightly move the hips down... If you look down mid and end or turn, the inside should not shuffle ahead say more than half a boot or so, depending on steepness and your angles... and for practice, on the flats, you could try to even keep teh tips even and feel the results.

 

You can play with the relationship between keeping the inside ski back and counter while practicing braquage...

 

Relative to pressure, the effort of keeping the inside ski back will keep you more forward on the skis than otherwise.

 

Relative to edging, closing the ankle to keep the heel back will allow better range of tipping.

 

Relative to balance, the effort will keep balance in the middle of the skis more - shuffling and relying on hips often puts you well back and out of balance.

 

There are some forms of shuffle: pushing it forward or passively letting it get ahead. Which you need to contrast with a muscle tension to keep it back.

 

cheers


Edited by razie - 2/9/16 at 6:33am
post #19 of 27
Rhombus. Haha. Keep 'em in the box.
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by razie View Post
 

Shuffling the inside ski forward as a form of making turns was taught for a long time... and one advantage of keeping the inside ski back is to disable hip dumping and excessive counter throughout the turn... you'll hear race coaches often yelling "keep tips even".

 

You're motoring pretty quickly through those first few turns... it is more obvious in longer carved turns on reasonable terrain.  You're starting the turns well, but then seem to allow the inside ski to get forward and slightly move the hips down... If you look down mid and end or turn, the inside should not shuffle ahead say more than half a boot or so, depending on steepness and your angles... and for practice, on the flats, you could try to even keep teh tips even and feel the results.

 

You can play with the relationship between keeping the inside ski back and counter while practicing braquage...

 

Relative to pressure, the effort of keeping the inside ski back will keep you more forward on the skis than otherwise.

 

Relative to edging, closing the ankle to keep the heel back will allow better range of tipping.

 

Relative to balance, the effort will keep balance in the middle of the skis more - shuffling and relying on hips often puts you well back and out of balance.

 

There are some forms of shuffle: pushing it forward or passively letting it get ahead. Which you need to contrast with a muscle tension to keep it back.

 

cheers

Would I get the same result as pulling back the inside foot if I focused on pressing my shin into the cuff of the inside boot?  I'm just trying to find a familiar sensation to work with.  Just thinking about pulling back the inside foot could mean a few different things depending on my interpretation of pulling back.  Am I pulling back by bending my knee with my hamstrings, or is it more like the pull back we talk about in moguls where we pull back with our glutes?

post #21 of 27
Quote:

Originally Posted by TreeFiter View Post

 

Would I get the same result as pulling back the inside foot if I focused on pressing my shin into the cuff of the inside boot?  I'm just trying to find a familiar sensation to work with.  Just thinking about pulling back the inside foot could mean a few different things depending on my interpretation of pulling back.  Am I pulling back by bending my knee with my hamstrings, or is it more like the pull back we talk about in moguls where we pull back with our glutes?

 

No, I don't think it would be the same. Try to focus on pulling the heel back and keeping it there - that would best align everything. Of course the shin will contact the cuff and that's one of the limitations (one that free heelers don't have). In fact, when playing with this is is useful to think of trying to free-heel.

 

You have to be careful how you do this: do not do it from the hips! Using the glutes would encourage that, resulting in rotation into the turn, without any of the benefits. Bending the knee will decouple this from the hips and is also part of shortening the inside leg, which will allow you to create a better turn anyhow - you can see how these are related. You can study those relationships at low speed and braquage and see which sequence and which muscles allows you to better keep it back without unwinding the counter: so you're basically pulling the heel back while keeping the hips countered (i.e. forward, I guess).

 

This is common coaching advice, to prevent hip dumps and excessive/weak counter. If you look at high levels skiing, say JoshF's tips videos, you will see the skis are quite narrow and tips mostly even... 

 

cheers


Edited by razie - 2/9/16 at 7:27am
post #22 of 27

Like Razie said (in a clean and refined way), my (humble) understanding is that getting the inside ski forward creates this differential/scissors type of movement between the two legs than causes 1. improper waist alignment in relation to the direction of travel (counter rotation of the waist instead of the body up) 2. hip dumping 3. problems with the progression of the inside ski loading through the turn. Trying to keep it back actually helps remain in control of the skis instead of letting them interact crazy with the snow.

 

:o

post #23 of 27
When I pull my inside foot back, I feel the hamstrings working, and quite strongly. And in order to pull it back enough, you often end up with the tail of the ski in the air, up.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaethon View Post
 

Like Razie said (in a clean and refined way), my (humble) understanding is that getting the inside ski forward creates this differential/scissors type of movement between the two legs than causes 1. improper waist alignment in relation to the direction of travel (counter rotation of the waist instead of the body up) 2. hip dumping 3. problems with the progression of the inside ski loading through the turn. Trying to keep it back actually helps remain in control of the skis instead of letting them interact crazy with the snow.

 

:o

 

:beercheer:

 

Sure, that's one way to look at it and a good one. If you let the ski shoot out, it is out of control and you're back and out of balance, the tail could grab when you reach the back of the boot etc...

 

Here's one of my racers - you can see how he's using that inside foot, even lifting it and pulling it back strongly, to control the outside ski:

 

 

of course - this is an extreme - but that's where some of these subtle things become obvious and extremely useful...

post #25 of 27

  I wish I could share some of project kitz as these guys have some wonderful technique.  The original op of this thread actually sounds a lot like what Paul Lorenz talks about as pulling his inside leg up.  The one key element to his movement pattern and practice is also to keep that outside pole dragging on the snow.  This way the body position doesn't have inclination and you have weight on that downhill ski.  Angles without proper upper body position and weight will create more issues than resolve.

 

  The other issue here that is interesting is tip lead.  It would seem a lot of people are probably guilty of forcing tip lead from the hip instead of a turn of the foot or shrinking of the inside leg, I know I am at least when moving slow.  When you think of skiing in terms of walking or running a lot of the action happens from the hips.  So if you translate that to skiing which a lot of people do it means a lot of excess forces on the hips. Also I find when moving slow that is the time I am most guilty of forcing tip lead.  When you have speed and can shrink the inside leg forces are at work that naturally cause the ski to carve and the tip lead.   People who try to force turns to soon without any speed will cause more issues than resolving technique at least on a gs or larger raduis ski.

 

  Here is a video of Paul Lorenz doing some long turns.  You can see how much he shrinks that inside leg:

post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by utahsaint View Post

  I wish I could share some of project kitz as these guys have some wonderful technique. 

It's funny you mention that. The inspiration for my post on keeping the outside ski from getting dragged back (rather than pulling back the inside ski) comes from sessioning i took from one of those awesome skiers. I'm writing this from the airport as i await a flight to get coaching from him tomorrow biggrin.gif
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

It's funny you mention that. The inspiration for my post on keeping the outside ski from getting dragged back (rather than pulling back the inside ski) comes from sessioning i took from one of those awesome skiers. I'm writing this from the airport as i await a flight to get coaching from him tomorrow biggrin.gif


Let us know any new inspirations you get this time? biggrin.gif
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