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How to lower/tip hip in a turn

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Okay ski pros I have a question . I have little problem tipping my skis on edge but when it comes to getting my hips low I have all kinds of problems ..lol
I have tried pulling my inside knee up towards my chest but in all honesty it tends to make me break at the waist way too much - At first I thought I could just lean way over but that takes all of my control away so I will not be trying that approach .
So, any drills or suggestions are welcome .I just want to get low and rip but dont we all ..lol
post #2 of 17
Gator, the first ventures into creating lateral separation between the feet and the hips (also referred to as the center of mass, or CM) can be very intimidating. By lateral separation I simply mean moving the hips toward the inside of the turn. To do so requires a trust in the laws of physics to rush to your aid and produce centrifugal forces which will save you from a fall on your keester.

I use a drill called Gorilla Turns that helps introduce students to big edge angles and big lateral CM/feet separations. Essentially it's just super wide stanced carved turns. The wide stance forces high edge angles and lateral separation, while at the same time transforming the inside foot into a virtual training wheel, always under the hips and eliminating the risk of an inside fall. It removes the fear element until the student discovers that big angle carved turns do in fact create major forces that allow the use of those major inside CM positions, and thereby develops the confidence to repeat them at normal stance widths.

I did a detailed explanation of the drill a while back. If you’re interested try doing a search under Gorilla turns. Also be sure to read my suggestions on prerequisite skill levels. Such big angle/separation turns require some specific foundational skill development prior to attempting or success will be elusive, with frustration and discouragement the likely outcome.

FASTMAN
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

ski drills

Thanks, I will do a search!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator
Okay ski pros I have a question . I have little problem tipping my skis on edge but when it comes to getting my hips low I have all kinds of problems ..lol
I have tried pulling my inside knee up towards my chest but in all honesty it tends to make me break at the waist way too much - At first I thought I could just lean way over but that takes all of my control away so I will not be trying that approach .
So, any drills or suggestions are welcome .I just want to get low and rip but dont we all ..lol
Gator short of being able to see you, I would guess that you are probably in the back seat at the start of you're turns. Being in the back seat will cause all of the problems that you are experiencing. Its tough to get out of the back seat all on you're own. Being there can have more than one root cause. You could have poor fore/aft alignment having to do with equipment. Back seat can be caused by fear/intimidation. At the advanced level it can be caused by holding onto the turn to long and not moving towards the new turn soon enough. There are many root causes and it may take a good pro to sort them out.
post #5 of 17

Snow Blades

Gator,

Get Thee Onto Snow Blades!

If you try to force your hips into a low position, it's like trying to push rope. You need to let your hips go low in order to stay in balance. To get low hips to happen naturally in a turn, you need to have high speed relative to your turn radius. You're going to need to really carve your turns. You need high edge angles and wide seperation between the feet. You can do all this on skis. Rick's Gorilla Turns and Pierre's comments are spot on, but I've got an easier approach for you.

Try snow blades. Snow blades force you to get your balance centered through negative feedback. Try skiing too far back on blades and you will end up with a sore butt. Snow blades force you onto higher edge angles, or else. Try skiing blades flat on the snow and they will wobble your quads into jelly. Rick's Gorilla Turns will be far easier to do on blades. The naturally shorter turn radius of snow blades means that you need to have less speed to have the same force required to get your hips low. Or travelling at the same speeds you will get your hips lower than you would on skis. Once you've mastered your fore/aft balance on blades, you simply work either on tipping your feet/knees more or widening your stance farther apart (or both together, whatever works for you) as a focus to get tighter more forceful turns to happen. The idea here is that there is not much to think about and BOOM (sorry John Madden) it happens.

Once you can do this on blades, it is easy to transfer this back to your skiing. Most people I've worked with though, have discovered that they really have to "turn up the volume" on their skiing to do this. After locking in the moves on blades, they can do it. But the difference between their new and old skiing is a shock to them. If you ask them what the difference is, they'll say their new turns have a lot more speed and energy in them. But if I had told them to just get higher edge angles, wider feet, go faster, add more energy into their turns .... Well, that just does not work nearly as well.

Although I've seen a lot of people pick up blades and just figure this stuff out by themselves, Pierre's suggestion to get a pro to help you is a good one. The people I've had in blade specific lessons have had a hard time believing they could go to higher edge angles/faster speeds. But after I give them a couple of tweaks and then "push" and "pull" them, the learning is greatly accelerated.

So my recommendation is to try blades for an hour or so. If you don't see a huge difference right away, try a lesson. Gator, if this works for you, we want to hear about your toothy smile (would that be a "Gator Grin"?).
post #6 of 17
Gator, I can see how pulling your knee towards your chest would make you break at the waist. Instead try pulling your inside heel towards your butt. This introduces better mechanics, a more centered stance, less upper body involvement, and keeps the entire inside ski engaged amd active from the tip back. Keeping the inside foot under your butt will enable you to use it for balance and adjustments much more effectively. Then add in your outside leg and foot extending away from your butt to get full extension of the outside leg for strong, long, skeletal alignment. Play with this, it just may help the breaking at the waist.

In my own skiing I find the idea of both feet moving in opposite ( inside towards the butt, outside away from the butt) directions along the midline of my body allows good mechnics and angles to happen all the way up my body. Try to keep your eyes level.

I think this would be a good one to move to from Fastmans gorilla turns. Later, RicB.
post #7 of 17
In addition to all of the tips above, there's something you can do now, while you're not on-snow: build your core strength.

The ability to do all of these drills is largely contingent on abdominal and lumbar strength. Even if your legs and glutes are in great condition, a weak core will create a tendency toward falling out of balance - either into the back seat or breaking at the waist.

So do your abdominal workouts, both the traditional (e.g. crunches, sit-ups, bicycle crunches, et al) and the non-traditional (e.g. balance ball sit-ups and crunches). Do a lot of lumbar/back strength work, and don't forget your lats! Make sure that you do the exercises in slower, controlled motions to build strength and work out the entire range of motion.

It may be a little late to start for early-season, but any additional core strength is a huge benefit in helping get the dynamic position you seek.
post #8 of 17
Getting your hips low is a result of high turn forces. Go really fast and try to carve as short a turn as you can.
post #9 of 17
Rick said:
Quote:
big angle carved turns do in fact create major forces that allow the use of those major inside CM positions
I hadn't read about the role of speed in previous posts, so thought I'd mention that you have to create the forces to hold you in balance--otherwise you're just in a forced position.
post #10 of 17

Great minds...

I see milesb beat me to it. The guy's sharp!
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta
In addition to all of the tips above, there's something you can do now, while you're not on-snow: build your core strength.

The ability to do all of these drills is largely contingent on abdominal and lumbar strength. Even if your legs and glutes are in great condition, a weak core will create a tendency toward falling out of balance - either into the back seat or breaking at the waist.

So do your abdominal workouts, both the traditional (e.g. crunches, sit-ups, bicycle crunches, et al) and the non-traditional (e.g. balance ball sit-ups and crunches). Do a lot of lumbar/back strength work, and don't forget your lats! Make sure that you do the exercises in slower, controlled motions to build strength and work out the entire range of motion.

It may be a little late to start for early-season, but any additional core strength is a huge benefit in helping get the dynamic position you seek.
Excellent advice, and there are a gazillion core workouts in the Health and Fitness section! Focus on lateral stability, such as side bends on a stability ball.

BTW, the emailed core workout program for ESA is almost finished!
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nolo
I see milesb beat me to it. The guy's sharp!
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
You need to let your hips go low in order to stay in balance. To get low hips to happen naturally in a turn, you need to have high speed relative to your turn radius. You're going to need to really carve your turns.
Actually Rusty beat you both to the speed issue. :
post #13 of 17
You are even sharper, dchan.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
Rick said:

I hadn't read about the role of speed in previous posts, so thought I'd mention that you have to create the forces to hold you in balance--otherwise you're just in a forced position.
Yes, centrifugal force will hold you up. Of course, we learned last summer in this forum that centrifugal force is imaginary - but don't let that worry you!
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta
Do a lot of lumbar/back strength work, and don't forget your lats! Make sure that you do the exercises in slower, controlled motions to build strength and work out the entire range of motion.

It may be a little late to start for early-season, but any additional core strength is a huge benefit in helping get the dynamic position you seek.
It's not too early! Never too early for core.

BTW: Full range of motion is correct. But not hyperextended!

Eg. the back extension exercise that people do in the gym should only be done until the back is straight. You know the one where the front of the hips are on a pad and the back of the legs/ankles are used to hold you up?

Do not arch your back trying to emulate a cobra pre-strike. Straight back only. You need more effort you say? Hold onto a plate/barbell when doing it.

Cheers!
post #16 of 17
I'm dull for not reading all the posts.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB
In my own skiing I find the idea of both feet moving in opposite ( inside towards the butt, outside away from the butt) directions along the midline of my body allows good mechnics and angles to happen all the way up my body.
This sounds like a good tip.

I will have to try that if it ever snows.

Last year I had an instructor who made me widen my stance and tip my knee further into the hill which helped me alot with carving and getting my hip more into the hill.
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