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Hand and arm movement

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 

Studying video of skiers and I see many, many situations where the arms are more rotated into the next turn than the hips or skis.

 

The arm position does not appear to track with the hips, but more with the skis direction, usually a bit ahead of them.

 

So looking down at a skier from the air and I'd see the arms rotating towards the new direction first, eventually with the skis catching up.

 

 

 

So much coaching claims that the entire upper body acts as a unit.  If that was the case the arms would follow the direction of the pelvis.

 

How do you think about this in your skiing?  I mean we're not supposed to lead with the shoulders, and certainly at low levels this is a real error, however at the higher levels I do see turns being led with the shoulders.  Not powered by a shoulder movement of course.

post #2 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
 

Studying video of skiers and I see many, many situations where the arms are more rotated into the next turn than the hips or skis.

 

The arm position does not appear to track with the hips, but more with the skis direction, usually a bit ahead of them.

 

So looking down at a skier from the air and I'd see the arms rotating towards the new direction first, eventually with the skis catching up.

 

 

 

So much coaching claims that the entire upper body acts as a unit.  If that was the case the arms would follow the direction of the pelvis.

 

How do you think about this in your skiing?  I mean we're not supposed to lead with the shoulders, and certainly at low levels this is a real error, however at the higher levels I do see turns being led with the shoulders.  Not powered by a shoulder movement of course.

 

For me, I think the direction of my arms stay square to my shoulders and would never use my arms to create rotary inertia such as we see with either elite racers like Ligety or as a form of useless intermediate geek tweak. My arms do move back and forth (remaining faced with the shoulders) along the fore/aft plane to help manage my pressure up and down the ski. When in full retraction, the arms are more stretched out and come back in as I finish the turn with a slight weight shift back. Reaching forward for retraction turns is a big help staying out of the back seat where retraction turns will put you if you are "off". When I think of the arms, to me, they are part of one larger unit that is the shoulder carriage which moves together. A skier who commits to too much lateral movement with the arms or shoulder carriage is creating a quickness deficit in short turns. The further out they rotate, the further they have to go to come back to center. Because ski movement is cyclical, all movement patterns have a "return to center".

 

While I think it is fine for expert powder skiers to do this to manage the unusual circumstances of skiing in deep snow, when I see Jr/high school racers or any advanced rec skier do it, IMO, it is never a good thing. The upper body should never speak unless spoken to. Unnecessary excessive arm movement is a plateau waiting to happen (or not waiting at all).

 

I do not think that this is very related to the concept of movement unification which is more of a conceptual theory that movements come in "packages" of motor patterns for a more streamlined level of control that produces more stability, power and control. This concept is also in line with simplification of the messages we send to the body and related to not over thinking each detail of the process as discussed in that other thread. I present an example of unification theory with three micro motor patterns in the ankle/foot in my anatomy of a ski turn thread. 

post #3 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
 

Studying video of skiers and I see many, many situations where the arms are more rotated into the next turn than the hips or skis.

 

The arm position does not appear to track with the hips, but more with the skis direction, usually a bit ahead of them.

 

So looking down at a skier from the air and I'd see the arms rotating towards the new direction first, eventually with the skis catching up.

 

 

 

So much coaching claims that the entire upper body acts as a unit.  If that was the case the arms would follow the direction of the pelvis.

 

How do you think about this in your skiing?  I mean we're not supposed to lead with the shoulders, and certainly at low levels this is a real error, however at the higher levels I do see turns being led with the shoulders.  Not powered by a shoulder movement of course.

 

SMJ, I'm not sure what you mean.  Are you thinking of something like this turn entry (Hirscher)?

The upper body is facing more downhill than skis at this point.

But he looks solidly "square" from the hips up; hips/shoulders/arms are all square to each other in all dimensions.

Hirscher always looks like a block of iron with legs attached, IMO. 

 

But verbal descriptions of this movement pattern are difficult, because it happens between turns.

If you are conceptually connecting this upper body turning with the old turn, it would be called "counter."

If you are conceptually connecting this upper body turning with the new turn, it would be called "rotating into the turn."

 

Whatever you want to call it, he is certainly doing something with the upper body to help hurry up the edging at turn entry.


Edited by LiquidFeet - 1/12/17 at 3:25pm
post #4 of 56

I think there is a big difference whether the cause is that you are leading the upper body towards the next turn in order to create early inclination of the COM or if the cause is that you are powering a twisting of the skis by first rotating you upper body. 

 

I don't really get what you mean with the sagittal plane in your title. 

post #5 of 56

LF, I think he means arms in relation to the torso and not the torso itself. That said, you bring up an interesting point regarding upperbody anticipation. While I believe it is primarily and originally a race move, I believe it has its place in high performance long radius turn for recreational skiing. For the short turns as demonstrated in your pic, IMO, it is not anticipation but rather the rotary separation required for quick turns. Anticipation is a movement initiative and rotary separation is an absence of rotation of the upper body.

post #6 of 56
Thread Starter 

@Jamt what I mean is rotational.  When I pause and slow-mo videos of all kinds of skiers I see the arms (shoulders) pretty much square to the skis during the shaping phase of the turn.  Pretty universally.  Perhaps the hips are aiming in the same direction, but I don't see that

 

What I do see however is that before the skis "come around" the hands/arms/shoulders are turned in the direction that the skis soon will be.

 

@LiquidFeet it doesn't require just one screen grab to see this.  I see it in almost all of the videos I've been analyzing.  Show me a shaping phase of the turn still where the arms are pointing more down the hill than the skis (countered.)  I only see that in bump skiing.

post #7 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
 

@Jamt what I mean is rotational.  When I pause and slow-mo videos of all kinds of skiers I see the arms (shoulders) pretty much square to the skis during the shaping phase of the turn.  Pretty universally.  Perhaps the hips are aiming in the same direction, but I don't see that

 

What I do see however is that before the skis "come around" the hands/arms/shoulders are turned in the direction that the skis soon will be.

 

@LiquidFeet it doesn't require just one screen grab to see this.  I see it in almost all of the videos I've been analyzing.  Show me a shaping phase of the turn still where the arms are pointing more down the hill than the skis (countered.)  I only see that in bump skiing.

Ok, that is what I thought, but it is not sagittal?

post #8 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamt View Post
 

I think there is a big difference whether the cause is that you are leading the upper body towards the next turn in order to create early inclination of the COM or if the cause is that you are powering a twisting of the skis by first rotating you upper body. 

 

I don't really get what you mean with the sagittal plane in your title. 

 

 

This is exactly what I'm talking about.  I guess I used the wrong plane in the title.  What is the rotary plane called?

 

But yes, the shoulders and arms are moving the COM. Upper Body contributes to the turn.  Feet and legs create and drive it, but the UB does it's own thing - separate from what the hips are doing.  Pole plants aren't square with the hips are they?  If so the hips would be quite anticipated.

 

Three-way-separation.

post #9 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
 

 

 

This is exactly what I'm talking about.  I guess I used the wrong plane in the title.  What is the rotary plane called?

 

But yes, the shoulders and arms are moving the COM. Upper Body contributes to the turn.  Feet and legs create and drive it, but the UB does it's own thing - separate from what the hips are doing.  Pole plants aren't square with the hips are they?  If so the hips would be quite anticipated.

 

Three-way-separation.

Rotation of the human body as defined by anatomical position takes place in the transverse plane about the longitudinal axis.   The job of the upper body in skiing is to balance.  The upper body should not be used to generate turning forces of the skis.   Using the upper body to create turning forces works great...until it doesn't.  Gates, moguls,  icy conditions, steep short swing are some of the places where  using the upper body to generate turning forces will get you in trouble.   Lots of folks use outside hand, arm drive to power the ends of their turns.  This also works well until it doesn't.   When you learn to power your turns with the feet and legs you can give up the less efficient  methods.   The upper body should face the lifted edges, more tip...more counter.  During transition there are no lifted edges so the upper body faces the ski tips.  I'd like to qualify the last two statements by saying that there is a slight bias of the upper body to face the towards the direction of the new turn.   YM

post #10 of 56

Saggital = Side view

 

Transverse = Top view, looking down from above

 

Frontal = Front view

 

This business of the initial letter is what helps me keep them straight.  

Saggital-transverse-frontal simply indicate where the camera/viewer stands while watching the skier.

post #11 of 56
Thread Starter 

Watch from :50 on.

 

post #12 of 56

Interesting ... Where are you going with this? I am sure this crowd is aware of Ligety's use of arms to add control to his lateral inertia. In terms of the world cup, I believe it is somewhat unique to him almost across the board. The context of this pattern is a unique specialization at an ... the elite level. I just don't see it's application outside of that context unless you can convince me otherwise (from something up your sleeve). I have seen many a plateaued club racer using their shoulders and arms to apply flow and rhythm which is technically, anatomically, psychologically and aesthetically blood curdling to watch. They look like they are trying to make something happen that their feet are, as of yet ........ not able to do. (I would never say as much in passing conversation, me no buzz kill) Anyway, I would think that anyone attempting to add a "third layer of separation" to their program better have the first two down pretty tight before progressing. Me? I will always be happy with just two and leave the arms for fore/aft management and balance adjustments. Where did you dig this up? Some PSIA manuel? Lito CD? A funky dream after beer, pizza, and a peanut butter ice cream sunday? That last one happening to me all the time.

post #13 of 56
Thread Starter 

It's not just Ted.  Most videos I look at the hands are moving towards the new turn before the skis and hips.  Here's another.  But I challenge you to post videos of this not happening.  The best I can find is hands and arms pretty much with the skis - but not with the hips.

 

 

post #14 of 56
Thread Starter 

Here's a lesson on pole plants.  Look from 2:00 on, particularly the overhead shot.  His arms are pretty square with the skis, but there is still a bit of a lead more obvious with the overhead shot.

 

The thing that I'm mostly talking about is how PSIA and it seems most people I talk to make these blanket statements that the Upper Body begins at the hip socket.  Everything above moves together.  We certainly shouldn't be making shoulder/arm movements a driving force of our turns, but it is a force to be reckoned with and to utilize to our advantage.  

 

 

post #15 of 56

The folks on the WC have done their homework.   For most recreational skiers, use of the upper body or hands and arms to power turns leads to loss of counter through the hips which flattens the skis towards the end of the turn when higher edge angles  and angulation is needed to resist the forces.  A good example  of the difference is to watch cross blocking in slalom where the cross block does not create excessive upper body rotary even though the hand  appears to come across the skis.  The difference is being able to maintain counter through the hips as well as higher edge angles.  Being able to isolate and use certain body parts with out disturbing other parts is part of the issue.   YM 

post #16 of 56
I've been finding myself performing this unintentionally, skiing without poles I aim to touch forward mimicking a plant action. A double tap, or diving board dive had me bringing the outside hand downhill effectively punching around while the outside foot snapped around as if the punch triggered the foot coming around so quickly. Experiments in this correlation has not identified causation beyond a general feeling the two motions are connected.
On one hand counter rotation wants me to bring that hand/shoulder square to the fall line while bringing it around does appear to facilitate the outside foot coming around faster.
Chicken-egg syndrome?
post #17 of 56
Thread Starter 

Set to start at :37.  Look at these turns by heluvaskier.  He keeps his arms/hands pretty square with the skis, but there is still a slight lead.

 

 I have to slo-mo it to see it clearly.  Shift and , together (<) slows it down once per click.

 

 

Im not discussing this for recreational skiers @yogaman if so I would have done it in the Intermediate Zone.  This is for those of us who take complex movement patterns seriously and use them.  

 

 

 

post #18 of 56
Thread Starter 

And powder.  From 2:27

 

 

post #19 of 56

SMJ, I only see what you are talking about regarding Ligety. I see no upper body/arms leading the turn, whether movement or orientation, with all the other videos. When the alltracks guy says he is "leading the turn with the pole plant" he is referring to timing. So many variables in terms of what we perceive, how we communicate that perception, how others will interpret that communication and their resulting organization of perception that the original message could do a complete 360 in meaning by the time it reaches its mark. I see shoulder carriages/arms that remain faced more down the hill than the turning skis and only moving for pole plants. Regardless of what I see, conceptually, any initiating movements with the upper body other than for a pole plant goes against the theory of the kinetic path of movement as well as that over rotation of the upper body will always sapp the quickness of the following turn because it is forcing excessive upper body rotation as it will have to travel much further back and forth not to mention implications around managing pressure over the dominant ski. The main difference, I feel, is that Ligety can use this aggressive lateral arm movement WITHOUT affecting the rotary orientation of his torso and, when lesser skiers are doing it, it not only disturbs any correct rotary orientation but, worse, is that it is what they are actually using it for.

post #20 of 56
Thread Starter 

Well I see it in all the videos in slow motion.  Look at post 14 Ski School video at the overhead shot.

 

Yes tipping the ankles and everything follows is the conventional wisdom.  Up the kinetic chain we go.  I do not deny this at all.

 

However the COM takes a different path than the skis and while the feet are tipping and the legs are moving to send the skis off in their nice round long path the body is moving down the hill.  The arms and shoulders are involved in this movement.

post #21 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
 

Well I see it in all the videos in slow motion.  Look at post 14 Ski School video at the overhead shot.

 

Yes tipping the ankles and everything follows is the conventional wisdom.  Up the kinetic chain we go.  I do not deny this at all.

 

However the COM takes a different path than the skis and while the feet are tipping and the legs are moving to send the skis off in their nice round long path the body is moving down the hill.  The arms and shoulders are involved in this movement.

 

 

Yes, but a supporting role rather than a leading role. That is why I think arm and hand position is important. Micro patterns supporting macro patterns so to speak.

 

Even in the first video w/green jacket, I didn't see his outside arm cross over/past his outside ski. Had he done that, I would likely think "over rotation". 

 

Let's forget for a minute all the other "rules". Ideally, what are you looking for to see happen? What would be the benefit? Bring it all the way and I may catch on better.

 

Right now, I am thinking about Rick's video where he demonstrates a number of faulty movements, one of which is leading rotation with the arms/upper as a faulty movement.

post #22 of 56
Thread Starter 

My point is that the arms are a tool and have an impact on our COM and thus we should use them.  If moving them across the skis contributes to the crossover or crossunder than we should utilize this additional impact, not deny that it has value.

 

Powder skiers have been whipping around their outside arm for ever.  It works. 

 

So why wouldn't a more subtle but still active movement have value?

post #23 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
 

My point is that the arms are a tool and have an impact on our COM and thus we should use them.  If moving them across the skis contributes to the crossover or crossunder than we should utilize this additional impact, not deny that it has value.

 

Powder skiers have been whipping around their outside arm for ever.  It works. 

 

So why wouldn't a more subtle but still active movement have value?

 

S, you are killing me here. You still have yet to state what the actual core significance/benefit is. Contribute? What contribution? Impact? What specific impact? Value? What value? Do you work in marketing? Because while your post above seems to be saying a lot, when broken down, it really isn't saying anything. Maybe a politician? :) We need to drill our inklings of discovery down to where the rubber meets the road which is ski to snow interaction. What are you trying to help the ski do that you cannot initiate from the feet and ankles? You need to bring your concept full circle before you are truly going to implant an idea into someone else's thinking. I like the direction of this exploration, just perhaps not the speed in which it is trudging along.

 

You are correct that it is helpful to deep pow skiers and T. Ligety but only in regards to value within those obscure contexts. . Ted Ligety is using arm movement to help manage an extreme amount of power and forces that none of us see outside the World Cup. The only reason powder skiers lead with arms is for another similarly specialized move for what can be an obscure condition when skiing in 3 feet of freshies.

 

For me, and many others, the arms are an extremely beneficial tool used to help manage fore/aft (pressure) and pole plant (timing). I would not want to rely on my arms for rotary inertia at the expense that timing and pressure benefits when I can do that with separation at the waist. 

 

Going to PM you with more regarding this.

post #24 of 56
Thread Starter 

I'm not killing anyone, nor am I advocating for shoulder based movements.

 

I'm pointing out from my observations that skier's arms are rotated towards the new turn before their skis - quite often across multiple disciplines.

 

They got there somehow.

 

They help to move the COM across the skis.  All the dogma in the world about everything needing to come from the feet and legs will not change the fact that great skiers move and use their upper bodies.

post #25 of 56

I can't gentlemanly argue a point when I still really don't know exactly what you mean, which is what I got out of watching the videos.  

 

I said you are killing me because you have still not shared what the benefits are ... or is that what you are trying to figure out. I know what they are for deep powder and WC GS racing but, elsewhere? Not yet anyway.

 

I'm certainly not claiming the most disciplined of arms, but that they are long and heavy, they help me significantly with the above stated benefits of the root core fundamentals of pressure and timing.

 

Wait ... looking back I see you said they help the CoM go over the skis. I know no Dogma. I have not ever participated in any large teaching system from which dogma is born. But, I have to say, IMO, that shifting your com over your skis should be initiated and completed by ankle rolling. 

post #26 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich666 View Post

I can't gentlemanly argue a point when I still really don't know exactly what you mean, which is what I got out of watching the videos.  

I said you are killing me because you have still not shared what the benefits are ... or is that what you are trying to figure out. I know what they are for deep powder and WC GS racing but, elsewhere? Not yet anyway.

I'm certainly not claiming the most disciplined of arms, but that they are long and heavy, they help me significantly with the above stated benefits of the root core fundamentals of pressure and timing.

Wait ... looking back I see you said they help the CoM go over the skis. I know no Dogma. I have not ever participated in any large teaching system from which dogma is born. But, I have to say, IMO, that shifting your com over your skis should be initiated and completed by ankle rolling. 

If I understand him correctly, he is saying that the arms point towards the new turn, which to me means that they are pointing downhill, which it's add it should be.
post #27 of 56
Thread Starter 

My point is simply this.  There is three way separation that happens in a skier's body.

 

Looking down at the shaft of the skier from overhead.

 

The ankles can point the feet left or right.

The legs can turn in the hip sockets left or right.

The hips can rotate

The waist can rotate

The sternum can rotate

The neck can rotate.

 

So my point is that the skis can be pointing left, just about to change to their right edges.

Pelvis can be pointing more downhill.

Arms can be pointing downhill and starting their movement in the direction of the new turn.

 

It's not a matter of the arms pulling the skis around.  I am simply stating observational data that the arms do act independently from the hips and the legs.

post #28 of 56

When it comes to skiing, it seems that up to three people can be talking about the same thing without using any of the same phrasing, concepts or perspectives. Also, there comes a point where the complexity and subtlety of our personal/internal understanding of what our own bodies are doing is not very applicable for linguistic distribution. So, I'm not exactly sure that I am experiencing a fundamental disagreement. Using a teaching system can help with that. What does the PSIA say about it?

 

If Rod is correct then that is what I would refer to as counter which is the absence of upper body rotation with the skis. So, they are not leading but rather staying behind ... or "left ahead", depending on perspective. Not ahead but staying behind which makes it look "leading" on the skis' way back. It is not a movement but rather a suppression of movement such as the difference between "separation" and "rotation".

 

While there are many vertical layers of rotational ability within the body, primary rotary separation is at the waist and, IMO, all other rotary abilities are either in support of that primary rotation and/or insignificant. I think that an introduction to a usage of that third level of separation, something I am familiar with as "shoulder carriage", is a technical can of worms to a very high percentage of skiers. I believe that a concept of using shoulder carriage rotary separation to lead lower torso rotary separation is initiation in the wrong direction.

 

I think the rotary separation dichotomy to strike here is that the "shoulder carriage" (neck, shoulder, arms) can rotate over torso rotation for slight adjustment or support of torso counter. There is no need to "power" torso rotation movement with arm swing inertia which is what Ligety is doing within his specialized realm. 

 

This is the way I see it based on and consistent with my personal and foundation of understanding that is completely independent of any one teaching or coaching system.

post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

Saggital = Side view

 

Transverse = Top view, looking down from above

 

Frontal = Front view

 

This business of the initial letter is what helps me keep them straight.  

Saggital-transverse-frontal simply indicate where the camera/viewer stands while watching the skier.

 

Saggital = fore/aft AND vertical ?? 

Transverse = lateral AND fore/aft AND rotational??

Frontal = lateral AND vertical??

 

I don't know why we can't all just use fore/aft, vertical, lateral and rotational... 

post #30 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

 

Saggital = fore/aft AND vertical ?? 

Transverse = lateral AND fore/aft AND rotational??

Frontal = lateral AND vertical??

 

I don't know why we can't all just use fore/aft, vertical, lateral and rotational... 

 

Yes! This is instruction and coaching, not medical surgery. If basic and general language usage meets the needs of accurate communication, the use of anything else is a communication deficit. Lateral, vertical, rotational and fore/aft is all I will ever use. I do understand the effort of some to pick their understanding up a level, but terminology is not necessarily fundamental nor central to that understanding

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