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Help With Counter ? - Page 4

post #91 of 252

I would totally agree with that.  Since we're trying to help MrGolf, I thought I would share my own problems as it relates to counter.  The short answer is tipping, or more accurately failing to tip my inside ski.  The result is hip dumping, (moving my hip inside to start the turn).  The result of that is unequal edge angles, un-parallel shins, unequal ankle flexion, A-framing and the inability to properly pressure my outside ski.  My outside ski is at a higher edge angle than my inside ski, and the inside ski is acting as a sort of training wheel.  The only way I tended to get the higher edge angle on my outside ski is by having excessive counter.  On a nice groomed run, this didn't present much of a problem.  Introduce some crud or an errant bump, and it all goes off the rails.  When a bump is encountered, I have to uncounter myself to deal with fore/aft balance issues because I'm facing the wrong way.  As soon as I do that, I've left myself in a weak lateral balance position, because of unequal edge angles.  It was/is quite the conundrum.  Towards the end of last season I was working hard to correct this deficiency.  Eventually, I ran out of time and snow.  The most helpful drill I was using to learn to trust my equipment was called "Fall Line Finders."  It's a drill that works on the top of the turn and learning to tip the inside ski into the turn first.  Since this can be intimidating due to the momentary state of imbalance it creates, I was starting the drill at a 30 degree angle to the fall line and trying to work my way up to a 90 degree angle.  I also went back to mostly steering my turns rather than trying to carve.  This allowed me to stay more square to my skis for learning purposes, so I wasn't falling back into the bad habit of hip dumping and excessive counter.  I did try some carving at higher speeds.  Although not all of my turns were great, I did get to experience skiing into counter when I was able to tip first and keep parallel shins.  Once I did that, I was then able to move my hip in and add counter as necessary in order to level my shoulders.  When I did it correctly, I found I was balanced much better overall.  Still a lot more work to do, but I hope the info helps someone else who may be having the same problem.               

post #92 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by checksix68 View Post
 

I would totally agree with that.  Since we're trying to help MrGolf, I thought I would share my own problems as it relates to counter.  The short answer is tipping, or more accurately failing to tip my inside ski.  The result is hip dumping, (moving my hip inside to start the turn).  The result of that is unequal edge angles, un-parallel shins, unequal ankle flexion, A-framing and the inability to properly pressure my outside ski.  My outside ski is at a higher edge angle than my inside ski, and the inside ski is acting as a sort of training wheel.  The only way I tended to get the higher edge angle on my outside ski is by having excessive counter.  On a nice groomed run, this didn't present much of a problem.  Introduce some crud or an errant bump, and it all goes off the rails.  When a bump is encountered, I have to uncounter myself to deal with fore/aft balance issues because I'm facing the wrong way.  As soon as I do that, I've left myself in a weak lateral balance position, because of unequal edge angles.  It was/is quite the conundrum.  Towards the end of last season I was working hard to correct this deficiency.  Eventually, I ran out of time and snow.  The most helpful drill I was using to learn to trust my equipment was called "Fall Line Finders."  It's a drill that works on the top of the turn and learning to tip the inside ski into the turn first.  Since this can be intimidating due to the momentary state of imbalance it creates, I was starting the drill at a 30 degree angle to the fall line and trying to work my way up to a 90 degree angle.  I also went back to mostly steering my turns rather than trying to carve.  This allowed me to stay more square to my skis for learning purposes, so I wasn't falling back into the bad habit of hip dumping and excessive counter.  I did try some carving at higher speeds.  Although not all of my turns were great, I did get to experience skiing into counter when I was able to tip first and keep parallel shins.  Once I did that, I was then able to move my hip in and add counter as necessary in order to level my shoulders.  When I did it correctly, I found I was balanced much better overall.  Still a lot more work to do, but I hope the info helps someone else who may be having the same problem.               

 

The blue-bolded above is a very accurate description of what often happens when the skier's attention at turn initiation is on the new outside ski, or maybe even the hips.  Perfect description!  And yes, countering and angulating all by itself can edge those skis very nicely (causing all that stuff you just listed).

 

As for the solution - that part in red is it.  Tip the new inside ski by ankle-tipping inside the boot, then by flexing that new inside leg (make it shorter, and it only - lengthen the new outside leg at will - it will probably happen without any thought).  Throughout the turn, the more you ankle-tip the inside foot inside the boot, and the more you shorten that leg, the higher edge angles you will get.  Bring that inside knee up to your armpit!

 

Keep that inside foot up under you as you do this.  Avoid "moving your hip."  Leave it alone.  "More knee, less hip."  Just focus on tipping that inside foot, and shortening its leg by bringing its knee up towards your armpit.  You won't feel the hip drop to the snow because it won't be that low, but you'll be doing the right thing instead of the cosmetic "hip dump."  

 

Dropping the hip when it's not called for (as in your description above) is what you'll be purging from your repertoire.  Replacing it with inside foot & leg action is the solution.  Keep your upper body vertical enough to feel most or even all of your weight on the outside ski, and you'll have enough angulation.  Whatever counter is necessary to do that will probably be enough.  You may not even have to think about counter; you may just find yourself in it at the end of the turn. Get video if you can; from your verbal description above, it's obvious you'll be able to see how much success you are having.  

post #93 of 252

Timing and varying the rates of motion of the various body parts.  You can have a lot of counter rotation at the end of the turn, but tip the skis fast enough onto their new edges before unwinding, causing the skis newly tipped front edges to dig down into the snow instead of having the horizontal skis rotate.  Going through the skis flat phase without rotating them is key to good carved arc-2-arc turns.

post #94 of 252
I hate this way of saying it. Trust me counter does happen to some degree or other. It is part of natural body movement. Call it a Zen thing.

It comes down to how much and when for it to be correct.
post #95 of 252

So here we are, four pages into this thread and for all the well meaning and good words written I still see no consistent consensus on "What is counter" and more importantly "What is counterED"

 

As Old School Skier stated, it is a miss-used word and maybe it should not be used at all in the pursuit of ski instruction. 

 

What we are really talking about here is a rotational separation between the upper and lower skeletal structures of our body. That is, from the top of the pelvis down and the bottom of our spine up. This separation is allowed and controlled by the mass of ligaments, tendons and muscles connecting the two... a universal hinge of sorts. 

 

Why do we need to separate?  Because the act of edging  in pursuit of circular travel requires it.  Simple as that. 

 

As JF says  "Edging happens as a RESULT of the inside ski getting shorter" That shortening can happen passively simply by standing perpendicular to the fall line or it can happen actively by lifting your inside foot. But when you actively shorten by lowering  onto the inside ski the alignment of your lower body separates from the alignment of your upper body.   The upper body aligns with direction of travel while the lower aligns with the mechanics of making edge angles. 

 

Try it yourself.  Stand up and shorten your left leg by pressing the knee forward while leaving your right leg long. What happens to your

pelvis?

post #96 of 252

You could also just move your hips to the right or to the left while standing still.  You will compensate with a body position to stay in balance, resulting in edging.

 

It makes sense to me to break counter down to counter rotation -sternum pointing one way legs pointing the other, and counter balance lower part of body lined up at one angle with the surface, upper body lined up at a different angle.   It is true that you can get more counter balance with more counter rotation.  It is also true that you can have too much of a good thing.

post #97 of 252

@Ghost - The issue that I see with an "asymmetrical" approach like winding just at the end, is that the skis turn throughout the turn. For Z-turners that skip the top of the turn, sure, it's all at the end, but for a good round C turn, the skis turn rather equally throughout.

 

If we waited until the end, it would mean creating a larger unwanted upper body angular momentum - and that's the bad part... in general.

 

---

 

Just a word on uhh... words: counter-rotation denotes a specific pivoting mechanism (where you leverage the body to turn the feet). The countering movements are either counteraction or pivoting the femurs... but since we're talking about "countering" something, i.e. countering the rotation of the skis, then counteraction is really the suitable one... just saying ;) 

 

The other term would be coiling but this one is impartial to the upper body or lower body, it's not about countering something but just winding - of course we end up countered.

post #98 of 252

@ Razie, I agree on timing and rate; it's a continuous process. 

I don't interpret the wordings I have used to imply pivoting the skis; to me it just means that the skis are turning (which they can do without pivoting as in a short radius railroad type turn driven by ski-snow pressures on a tipped ski) separately from the upper body.  However since I skipped the traditional ski lessons all those years ago, the words may well be interpreted differently by some one else. 

 

I'm not talking about doing the twist; I'm just describing different kinematics of upper and lower body with more precision in that adding the word "rotation" denotes that I'm referring to rotational aspects of the upper-lower separation.

post #99 of 252
Thread Starter 
Quote

 

What we are really talking about here is a rotational separation between the upper and lower skeletal structures of our body. That is, from the top of the pelvis down and the bottom of our spine up. This separation is allowed and controlled by the mass of ligaments, tendons and muscles connecting the two... a universal hinge of sorts. 

 

 

 

Sorry, this is getting confusing again. At the start of the thread we were told that the rotational separation should come from the top of the femurs rotating in their sockets. This description places the separation at the top of the pelvis/bottom of the spine?

post #100 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post


Sorry, this is getting confusing again. At the start of the thread we were told that the rotational separation should come from the top of the femurs rotating in their sockets. This description places the separation at the top of the pelvis/bottom of the spine?
For me, I think of it this way:

Hips and up is your upper body. This way you keep your spine in alignment with the hips. You don't want your spine twisting out of alignment - that's how people get injured, rupture/herniate their discs, etc. An error of mine for years was faking counteraction by twisting my spine. This isn't sustainable long-term, particularly if you ski variable terrain or at higher speeds where more forces act through your body.
Femur down is your lower body.

Separation does come from femurs turning, combined with engaging the core to resist the spinning forces.
post #101 of 252
Separation prmarily occurs around the acetabulum, but also occurs around the stj (primarily manifested as tibial rotation when the chain is closed) to a degree and also the spine does allow for extra rotation, around each vertebra. This can be seen as "turning the shoulders" ala, when reaching to block a slalom pole. But most usually just mention the hip sockets...k.i.s.s. :-)

The same applies for both countering and angulation, i.e. "separation". Point being that there often IS more than just femoral rotation occuring.

When I think of spinaly (a new word!) created separation, I think of this image on the left:



zenny
Edited by zentune - 8/27/16 at 11:21am
post #102 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post


For me, I think of it this way:

Hips and up is your upper body. This way you keep your spine in alignment with the hips. You don't want your spine twisting out of alignment - that's how people get injured, rupture/herniate their discs, etc. An error of mine for years was faking counteraction by twisting my spine. This isn't sustainable long-term, particularly if you ski variable terrain or at higher speeds where more forces act through your body.
Femur down is your lower body.

Separation does come from femurs turning, combined with engaging the core to resist the spinning forces.

Met,  this is all well and good as long as your intent is to rotate your skis.  Carving is not about rotation.   When your intent is to  skid/steer, you are turning the skis and what you wrote definitely applies.  When your intent is to carve, the skis are turning you and rotation is not on the menu.  I think this is where a lot of confusion abounds. 

post #103 of 252
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

Separation prmarily occurs around the acetabulum, but also occurs around the stj (primarily manifested as tibial rotation when the chain is closed) to a degree and also the spine does allow for extra rotation, around each vertebra. This can be seen as "turning the shoulders" ala, when reaching to block a slalom pole. But most usually just mention the hip sockets...k.i.s.s. :-)

The same applies for both countering and angulation, i.e. "separation". Point being that there often IS more than just femoral rotation occuring.

When I think of spinaly (a new word!) created separation, I think of this image on the left:



zenny

 

It's funny that you should post that image, as I was trying to research the subject last night and Google kept throwing images of Eriksen at me. Why the big change: is it because of the new equipment or a refinement of technique over time?

 

post #104 of 252
It hasn't changed that much. The biggest difference for those photos is they did not pole plant as aggressively (50's), by the late 50's early 60's this already changed and more resembles what we see today.

Again it is more about timing and what is required to make the turn.
post #105 of 252

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post

It's funny that you should post that image, as I was trying to research the subject last night and Google kept throwing images of Eriksen at me. Why the big change: is it because of the new equipment or a refinement of technique over time?

 

  MGA, I would say both would be reason enough, although I didn't start skiing until '77 so, I am not as well versed in the nuances of that older style---but I do feel some of it may have been form over function.The main thing to note in the 2 photos I posted is the relative direction the pelvis is facing in each photo. In the left photo, the pelvis is more or less aligned with the direction the feet/skis are pointing, and in the right we can see a much clearer separation between the feet and pelvis.

 

 Here's a pic of me, preparing to "duck" a gate with my shoulder...a bit of extra spinal counter-rotary. Again, nothing is so cut and dried here to suggest that separation occurs only at the hip socket although that's typically where the preponderance will normally occur:

 

 

 

zenny

post #106 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by JESINSTR View Post
 

Met,  this is all well and good as long as your intent is to rotate your skis.  Carving is not about rotation.   When your intent is to  skid/steer, you are turning the skis and what you wrote definitely applies.  When your intent is to carve, the skis are turning you and rotation is not on the menu.  I think this is where a lot of confusion abounds. 

 

Jes, I'd say it applies when carving as well.

 

Here's an image of Kostelic from 2012 (easiest one I could find).

 

You'll notice that his hips are aligned with his upper body throughout the turn. As those femurs turn in the hip socket (which they will do, because otherwise his chest would point the same direction as his skis), the core resists those spinning forces and "coils". 

 

Femur turning can be active or passive. Anytime you're not skiing square to your skis, your femurs are turning! (The other alternative is to actively counter-rotate, or jackknife your upper-lower body - and nobody wants that.) 

 

Also, to add - the longer the radius of the turn, the less apparent the separation becomes. But I think this was covered way up above.

post #107 of 252

  Yes, I agree. For me personally, I don't like to automatically equate rotary with what many think of as steering, and I think this an important, yet misunderstood point. There are always parts of the body rotating when making a ski turn. However, whether it is active or passive can be an important distinction for discussion. I think Jes was trying to say that there is no steering in the traditional sense in pure carves ie, because we are not manually tuning the skis, and I think that's true to a large degree (never say never!) But, nonetheless there IS rotation present.

 

 Also, I feel that, just like there is active and passive rotation while skiing, that there also exists active and passive steering. We all know that it is possible to turn or twist a ski actively about it's longitudinal axis (classic steering) to effect directional changes, but there are also ways in which we can influence the path the skis take as they self-steer...tip more, fore/aft adjustments, long leg short leg, etc..that could be thought of as being a sort of passive steering in that, we are providing inputs which directly influence self steering (of the skis) and so, things like turn shape, size, speed, etc are affected....

 

 Think outside the box!

 

  zenny

post #108 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

 

Jes, I'd say it applies when carving as well.

 

Here's an image of Kostelic from 2012 (easiest one I could find).

 

You'll notice that his hips are aligned with his upper body throughout the turn. As those femurs turn in the hip socket (which they will do, because otherwise his chest would point the same direction as his skis), the core resists those spinning forces and "coils". 

 

Femur turning can be active or passive. Anytime you're not skiing square to your skis, your femurs are turning! (The other alternative is to actively counter-rotate, or jackknife your upper-lower body - and nobody wants that.) 

 

Also, to add - the longer the radius of the turn, the less apparent the separation becomes. But I think this was covered way up above.

Met,  I don't agree that his pelvis and shoulders are aligned  especially in the third frame.  Having said that.  I don't disagree that the femurs are always rotating be it for the active purpose of twisting the skis  or passive supporting of edge building.

 

As you and Zenny and I (in previous post) use the words passive and active and as Zenny said, this is indeed an important distinction.

 

One "rotation" that is often overlooked and needs to be active is that of the head..... one needs to look where they want to go. :)

post #109 of 252

Now for something completely different.  This has been bugging me ever since I read razie's post #76 in this thread about Mikaela Shiffrin skiing on the inside ski without counter (which video I re-post at the bottom here).  This is a turn technique which is non-counter:

 

 

 
 


Edited by Tim Hodgson - 8/30/16 at 10:25pm
post #110 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by razie View Post
 
 This is GS, slowed down for you - pay attention to countering through the turn, at gate, at transition etc:

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by yogaman View Post


As I focus on the numbers on her bib I see very change in the direction that her chest or back faces.  One of my buddies  in the coaching world uses the words, "put your back on the gate" as an idea or trigger to help teach/coach racers to maintain a strong countered position under the gate.    YM

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by E350 View Post
 

razie's post #76 in this thread about Mikaela Shiffrin skiing on the inside ski without counter (which video I re-post at the bottom here).  This is a turn technique which is non-counter:

 

 

:dunno

 

Mikaela - mucho countered, inside ski barely touching the snow:

 

 

 

P.s. Ted: mucho counteraction: the skis turn more than 90 degrees, the shoulder/hips just a few degrees... he starts and ends the turn very countered / coiled...

 

 

 

 

:popcorn 

post #111 of 252

razie:  I agree and see the hips countered  to ski direction of travel in the Shiffrin photo you posted.

 

In contrast, in the two photos of Ligety I see hips square to the skis' direction of travel.  And in the first photo he is skiing on his inside ski, the outside ski is diverging down the hill, not toward the gate.

 

But here is the deal.  I am not a racer, I shouldn't be commenting on turns in gates.  But I thought the anti-counter, "waist steering" thing/concept could be an interesting juxtaposition to the topic of this thread.  And searching for waist steering I came up with that Ligety video, which, at least to me, shows him, in those two turns, square (i.e., not countered) to his skis direction of travel.

 

For comparison, I guess we could contrast the Ligety turns with the extreme counter of Stein Eriksen in post # 103 above.

post #112 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by E350 View Post
 

 

For comparison, I guess we could contrast the Ligety turns with the extreme counter of Stein Eriksen in post # 103 above.

Totally different intention and application,  shoving the skis over to a new track versus nailing in a clean carve.

post #113 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Totally different intention and application,  shoving the skis over to a new track versus nailing in a clean carve.

There is hip counter rotation as a balancing, edging activity and there is counter rotation as a turning force.  My thought is that Stein may be using counter rotation as a turning force since he is on very unresponsive (by comparison to todays skis)   skis. ( I remember, my first three pair of skis were wooden).  YM

post #114 of 252

Agreed. If you look at the tracks, it's pretty clear what he is doing.

post #115 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by yogaman View Post
 

There is hip counter rotation as a balancing, edging activity and there is counter rotation as a turning force.  YM

 

Simply brilliant!  I actually understand that.

 

Remember, there are no stupid questions.  Only stupid guys asking questions.

 

I am that guy.

post #116 of 252
Thread Starter 

Could we clarify some language usage with reference to the phrase "counter acting". The system that uses this term the most uses it in reference to upper body angulation, ei, keeping the torso upright instead of leaning. In some posts here it is being used to refer to the process of counter rotation. It would be much easier for folks like me to follow along if the we are all on the same terminology page.

post #117 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by E350 View Post
 

razie:  I agree and see the hips countered  to ski direction of travel in the Shiffrin photo you posted.

 

In contrast, in the two photos of Ligety I see hips square to the skis' direction of travel.  And in the first photo he is skiing on his inside ski, the outside ski is diverging down the hill, not toward the gate.

 

 

 

not so sure - I see the torso quite "stable" as the skis turn a lot... so when was he "square" ? and these frames are not the extremes of the range of movement, just two clear enough to use.

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post
 

Could we clarify some language usage with reference to the phrase "counter acting". The system that uses this term the most uses it in reference to upper body angulation, ei, keeping the torso upright instead of leaning. In some posts here it is being used to refer to the process of counter rotation. It would be much easier for folks like me to follow along if the we are all on the same terminology page.

 

 not quite - that would be counterbalancing.

 

counteracting is the action of the torso and hips to rotate opposite to the direction the skis turn. i.e. what Ted is doing above. If he did not do that, he would just rotate with the skis, square throughout the turn.

 

cheers

 

p.s. Ted is not on the inside ski in either frame. I don't think anyone can take that turn pulling 3g on a bent inside leg... it would be like squating on one leg with what... 270kg ? :eek


Edited by razie - 8/31/16 at 6:50pm
post #118 of 252
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by razie View Post

 

 not quite - that would be counterbalancing.

 

counteracting is the action of the torso and hips to rotate opposite to the direction the skis turn. i.e. what Ted is doing above. If he did not do that, he would just rotate with the skis, square throughout the turn.

 

cheers

 

 

 

Thanks, that works. I've been doing a lot of research on the subject and these same terms get used in different ways depending on the source.

post #119 of 252
Here's how I always remember the difference: during a turn, your body, if left to its own devices, would spin around with your skis. You need to counteract that spin using your core. At the same time, you've been tipping on edge to the inside of the turn. If you don't do anything, your balance is way inside. You need a counter balance (i.e. your upper body) to keep from falling inside.
post #120 of 252
Razie,

270 kg is very well with in the limits, especially for a top trained athelete. It depends on the position of the leg for that kind of pressure.

Don't forget these are momentary loads.

This is one of those things that static pictures have a habit of doing is showing the extreme and thereby we assume everything is like that. The good is you see a moment in time, the bad is you don't see the whole picture.
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