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Release Timing - Page 2

post #31 of 79
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado

Hmm--I don't think calling it the "traverse line" is going to solve the problem either, except perhaps in this one discussion, because I don't think it's a very widely used term. It may also imply something unintended--that there is actually a traverse between turns.


Another related point worth considering is that, since skis release before they become fully flat on the snow, it can be misleading to think of release and reengagement, at least of the same ski, occuring at the same moment. In an "edge change," a ski's edge angle decreases until it releases, continues rolling through the point at which it is "flat," and then finally reengages on its new edge.


It's also critically important to recognize that, while you cannot complete a turn without at least one edge engaged (because you must resist the pull of gravity past the "fall line point"), you can, and often must, BEGIN a turn without edges engaged (because gravity pulls you into the turn--a bowling ball will "initiate" a turn if we roll it across the hill, because it cannot engage its "edges"). Again, this point becomes increasingly important the steeper it gets, and it explains the folly of necessarily trying to engage the edges and "carve" from the beginning of every turn--especially on steeps.
I was reading Ron LeMasters Skiers Edge last night, and he uses the term "transition" to identify that part of the turn between completion, and before initiation. This is quite long in duration; he identifies no single moment that one would call a "transition point". Just all the time spent between lowering edge angles from one turn and initiating the new turn.

The time spent between "going here" and "going there" is spent in "transition".

Bob's comments about edging here support that too, since there is no switch that immediately takes you from "on outside" to "on inside" edge. When you are linking turns, once you lower the edge angle in one turn to below the critical angle, you will skid. You will continue to do so until you can re-engage at least one ski in the new turn again at the critical angle. (Ron's use of critical angle is that the ski does not skid.)

But edge engagement is a continuous process. If I am fully hooked up in one turn, and begin to roll off the edge, the ski will begin to skid. The skid will start slowly at first, and increase. What of the turning forces? The ski will still be deflecting the path of the skier. A lot at first, and less as the ski approaches flat. At flat, no turn is being maintained at all by the ski; it is only the skiers inertia that maintains the direction of travel.

This is the point that Ron LeMasters calls "neutral"; the point where your body crosses over the skis and the skis are flat to the snow. Since the skiis are flat to the snow, they are no longer deflecting your path. In a drawing, I'd imagine that would look just like Bob's frame 18, and equally weighted skiis would be just one option.

Must the critical edge angle be reached in the defintion of transition? ie, an angle where the skis do not skid? I suggest that if linked turns are being skidded they would still have a transition phase. Which means they must have been completed: once the skier has stopped "going there", their turn is complete.
post #32 of 79
In response to whether or not there is a single act that intiates the inside leg extension:

Originally Posted by RicB
Does anything in skiing happen all by itself? I see this as not nessasarily being simutaneousl but certainly as being dependant on each other as in having a symbiotic relationship.
I'd agree completely with that. What I was getting at was whether the inside leg extension should begin with the inside leg extension itself, or should begin with outside leg flexion?

post #33 of 79
maybe I'm wrong on this but I don't equate inside (uphill) leg extention as always being early edge engagement, in my mind it also serves to move our pressure to a new flat ski as well as help direct the body in the direction of the new turn and down the hill, or early outside ski engaement. I find this particularly true in bumps and steeps where I do have strong initial steering happening but I still need to get a deliberate and quick change in which ski will now be my new outside ski, even though it might be flatish and skidding.
I agree, Ric--hope I haven't implied otherwise. While much of this discussion was probably prompted by the earlier threads about active "early weight shift," which may or may not involve inside leg extension, clearly the two (weight shift and leg extension/flexion) are independent. Further, either can be active (muscularly driven, to intentionally influence the path of the CM) or passive (resulting from external forces, or simply to keep both feet on the ground during changes of slope or body inclination).

I would put both into the category of important tools that can cause sometimes important things to happen, but that we should not use actively unless we're looking for those specific effects.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #34 of 79
BigE--great comments on Ron's book. Just one thought to add. We have to keep in mind that racers' turns are often not linked together, as they often go as straight between gates as they physically can, while most recreational skiers tend to seek that delicious, sensuous, continuous ebb and flow of forces and cyclical movements that can only come from turns linked seamlessly together.

Unfortunately, the outcome of truly linked turns is not at all simple to attain, and I think that this is the main thesis of Arc's initial post.

Here's a thought to ponder: For the sake of this discussion, I'm going to define "neutral" as "the position from which we start a turn" (and there could be many legitimate variations). Furthermore, I'll define it as the position from which the least possible movement is needed to actually start that new turn. For example, the edge angle of "neutral" is "critical edge angle"--the minimum angle needed hold--any less and the ski would release its grip into the turn. Neutral for the center of mass is as FastMan has defined it--essentially, at the precise angle of inclination it needs for balance laterally and fore/aft (although its "vertical" position can vary through the skier's full range of flexion and extension). I believe this is the "position" of the CM that Arcmeister would call "release"--any more uphill, and you'd have to be turning uphill for balance; anymore downhill, and you'd have to have started the new turn for balance.

You could find this "neutral" in a traverse--again, it involves the minimum effort needed to hold the traverse, in balance, and neither carving uphill nor "releasing" to the pull of gravity. (It is worth noting that the term "position" may be misleading in linked turns, since unlike this traverse, it is merely a point you pass through while in motion, never a "position" you freeze in, or stop in, even for a microsecond.)

So--if "neutral" is the position we should find before beginning the turn, AND if we want our turns to be linked together with no traverse between them, then "neutral" is the position we should strive for as we FINISH each turn. Obviously, unless you're already in "neutral" (which you couldn't be if you're still turning, by definition), then it takes some amount of movement, and therefore some amount of time, to "get" to neutral. So, obviously, the movements toward neutral, in linked turns, MUST begin before the turn ends. And all these movements must be precise in character, timing, intensity, and duration, such that everything coincides exactly and flows through "neutral," without stopping, at precisely the point where the turn needs to end and the next turn needs to begin.

Thus, the key to linking turns without traverses or "stops" is to FINISH each turn in "neutral," which, by my definition of "neutral," means that there is nothing left to do to initiate the next turn. Everything necessary has already been done, and every movement is already in motion. Relax, release, and savor the moment!

OK, it was 6 degrees this morning in Silverthorne, but the sun is shining brightly. I think I've stalled long enough--time to go savor some moments up at Loveland! Have a great day, everyone. I'll be thinking about you....

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #35 of 79
Originally Posted by nolo
Inside leg extension is "force driven" movement of CM. EWS appears to be "skier driven" movement of CM so I was mistaken in saying that EWS is a twin to Inside Leg Extension. Thanks to Arc and Bob for clarifying that for me.

Not to be argumentative, why do you see the EWS as skier directed? I really can't see a difference in that regard. IMO, this is the key difference between the two moves:

From "jargon busting": In the EWS turn the LTE of the uphill ski acts as the fulcrum when the outside leg is collapsed. In fact, the outside leg is really holding the CM from falling in the first place. It's up to you to time the weight shift to get the CM falling in the right direction into the next turn.

Originally Posted by FASTMAN
As the inside leg extends the primary point of pressure (POP) is transferred from the inside edge of the old outside ski to the outside edge of the old inside (new outside) ski.


This force driven movement of CM combined with the extension of the inside leg creates a lateral pendulum movement pattern of CM with pendulum anchor (swing point) located between the skiers feet.
The EWS turn creates the fulcrum/pendulum anchor at LTE of the uphill ski. The transfer of the POP is very quick. The EWS realizes the quick transfer of the POP primarily due to the collapse of the outside leg.

The weight shift in the inside leg extension is not as quick, as Fastman writes that the pendulum is anchored between the feet. Inside leg extension realizes a smooth/slower transfer of the POP primarily via extension of the inside leg.

The condition in Bob's Frame 18 can easily exist during inside leg extension, not so in EWS.
post #36 of 79
BigE, I do see a distinction between making (skier-driven) and letting (force-driven) in the two. It's a pretty nuanced distinction having to do with the disruption of what Fastman calls the balance equation. In that regard, I see EWS as tending to be more active (in Bob Barnes' definition) and ILE tending to be more passive (same def.) and both being more active than the so-called Perfect Turn.

I see the three occupying different points on a Make/Let Continuum, with ILE somewhere between EWS and PT.
post #37 of 79
Thanks! I think I finally get the difference, and what Bob was saying all along!

PT is "all Let". EWS is "all make" ( just short of actively throwing the CM into the turn ), and ILE is a bit of both where you make the anchor, but let the CM flow over top.
post #38 of 79
Originally Posted by BigE
In response to whether or not there is a single act that intiates the inside leg extension:

I'd agree completely with that. What I was getting at was whether the inside leg extension should begin with the inside leg extension itself, or should begin with outside leg flexion?

In my mind, I see it as either one of the two starting or anywhere in between. How's that for an answer. I guess i'm not really viewing it as a type of turn, but as more of a basic movement patern that we can apply at differing times to achieve differing effects. Tough to talk about these things in cyberspace.
post #39 of 79
Thanks Bob. It wasn't so much what you had said but whether I understood it along with what everyone else was saying also. I am envious of the turns. Later, RicB.
post #40 of 79

I've thought a bit about this other "neutral". Ron LeMaster would put that into the control phase of the turn. If you could find it in a traverse, then the edges are still deflecting the CM -- the CM is not released.

I think the thesis of Arcmeisters post was the release of the CM prior to release of the edge is a necessary event for dynamic skiing.

Also, that the notion of "flow" in transition is the feeling of the released CM!

So, how to get this flow going?

Originally Posted by Arcmeister
My experience has shown that “release” is most generally taken to refer to the point of releasing of the supporting edge(s).

While this action does release the skis from their engagement, I would like to suggest that ideally this is after the point in expert skiing where the more germane releasing of the CM actually begins the transition from one turn to another. The is the point where relaxing the supporting muscle tension of the supporting leg(s) at a rate (progressively quick or slow) functional to the support of a skier’s intended path begins to reduce the deflecting effect of the arcing skis on the CM.
(my bolding)

IMO, "Supporting muscle tension is relaxed", means relaxing the outside leg. The deflecting effect of the arcing skies is reduced because the CM is released and begins it's path across the skis, which in turn begins changing the edge angles. So it is the relaxation of the outside leg is the primary action that starts the transition.

Wow, I almost wrote "starts the turn" instead of "starts the transition"!!!. At least that would be consistent with skiing from falline to falline.

post #41 of 79
Originally Posted by BigE
...Wow, I almost wrote "starts the turn" instead of "starts the transition"!!!...
I think you'd have been right, although it might not have been interpretted that way!

Bob once did an anology to a car illustrating "when do you begin turning the other way". If I recall correctly it was along the lines of:

You have the wheel turned to the stop, lets say to the right, and now you want to go left. So you start turning the wheel to the left. As you start doing this you are still going right and the wheels are still going right (to a lesser degree, more and more), but you have started to turn to the left.
post #42 of 79
Relaxation is the proactive movement. How Zen.

I agree with this completely, but I think we always need the caveat:
It should be understood that the described movement patterns do not stop and later restart at neutral, but move through it smoothly and uninterrupted.
I also would call your attention to another note from Fastman:
Waiting for the forces to direct pressure to the outside ski later in the turning cycle, as some alternative techniques require, means not having a significant platform ready and waiting to receive those forces upon their birth and will inevitably result in a harsher edge development.
Worth considering...
post #43 of 79
I like the concept of inside leg extension as an option. It was something that I recognized and played with a little even before Fastman posted on it here at Epic. It seems to me that there are two categories of this movement (and as always everything in between) that we should distinguish between. One is when there is just enough inside leg extension to maintain and build pressure on the inside ski as the edge changes and that ski becomes the new outside ski. The other is when extension is enough to move the body up and over into the fall line somewhat.

The first category is just what we can and should do in any turn initiated by relaxation of the old outside ski. The latter, I suspect, is most effective in racing gates or turns on hard packed slopes. As I have no racing background I am somewhat limited in my experience with (very active) inside leg extension but it seems to me that when I play with it, it helps me get over quicker (on hard snow and/or gates). In soft snow and steep terrain it has its counterpart in the pedal turn. There is a price to pay for the extension as I see it, however, and that is extra exertion. If transition quickness is important then I think that is a fair price to pay. In other situations I think it could be considered an inefficiency.
post #44 of 79
I'm as guilty of this as anyone, but I would like to refocus on the use of the term of relax to desribe what we are doing as we are releasng our edge and/or Com, we are actually just reducing the effort or work being done we are not actully relaxing the muscles or we would immediately lose control of the flexion action. I think this is widely misunderstood by the skiing masses. The move to reduce is deliberate and controled or we would lose all pressure and the progression of the release and the progression of the redistribution of pressure and balance. Am the only one that sees this distinction? Later, RicB.
post #45 of 79
Ric, I agree with you but strictly speaking I think relaxation refers to the lengthening of muscle fibers. Any lengthening, even from a contracted state, is considered relaxation. Thus, a reduction of contraction strength is by definition muscle relaxation.
post #46 of 79
Ric, are you talking about functional tension?

post #47 of 79

I too think it is very misunderstood.

IMO, the term "relax" is used to identify the muscle activity as being eccentric -- a lenghtening action, and not concentric, a shortening action. To clarify by example: a biceps curl has two phases, the concentric phase when the weight is lifted, and the eccentric phase when the weight is lowered. One would speak of relaxing the biceps muscle (under control of course) to lower the weight. It makes sense, because the muscle got tense as it was contracted and got shorter. It has to relax to get longer.

Lessening the force against the push of the ski is the lowering or eccentric phase, as the leg gets longer as it's muscles are contracted.

IMO, This is in the category of a "let" move, not a "make" move. One would "let" the outside leg "relax" and shorten at the appropriate rate. One does not "make" the leg shorter by pulling on it.

"Relaxed" would also be appropriate to describe the lateral movement of the hips as they catch up to the CM above the skis, and continue their downhill path. It too is a "let", not "make" action. One would "let" the hips cross-over at an appropriate rate.

In this way, muscle activity is not the prime mover of the CM. The prime mover is inertia: muscle activity is managing it's path.

So, what the heck has happened to the skis all this time? We're now speaking ONLY of managing the path of the CM! Do they just sort themselves out?
post #48 of 79
SI, from a phisiological standpoint I have never heard relax to mean anything but no activity or contraction. Outside of skiing, relaxing a muscle means to let it go limp or to turn it off. I believe it confuses our students when they here relaxed used by us to mean something different than say their PT or massage therapist.

BigE, I think you made my case for me. Eccentric is exactly that, the muscle is still doing work, but it is no longer the motive force, it is being overpowered by an outside force, but it is still active, some of the fibres are still trying to contract, as they all get longer. Understanding this to me is very improtant to maintaining control in the "eccentric phase" of our turns (if I can use that term). Why even bring up these distinctions between types of contractions in our psia manual if we aren't going to understand the roles of these different types of contractions?

Nolo, I view "functional tension" as being Isometric in nature, balanced oposing muscle tension, that serves as an internal stabilizing force. Like core stabilization. Maybe I'm alone here, didn't look at the link yet. How can we talk about using the "plyometric pulse" to extend if we can't really accurately desribe the process of the preloading or strecthing of the muscles.

The ability to utilize eccentric contraction in our skiing is probably one of the biggest hurdles to get past in becoming a high level skier. At least that's how I see it. Later, RicB.
post #49 of 79
How can we talk about using the "plyometric pulse" to extend if we can't really accurately describe the process of the preloading or stretching of the muscles.
Good question. Can you help us out with an accurate description of pre-loading?

The prime mover is inertia: muscle activity is managing it's path.
This is excellent, BigE.
post #50 of 79
Lots of good stuff from Arcmeister in the functional tension thread:

Originally Posted by Arcmeister (From the functional tension thread)

One of the key aspects of "functional" tension is that it not be dis-functional.

I work a lot on getting folks to "release" excess tension, especially from upper body, so as to allow the body to more naturally repsond to the demands of skiings dynamics acting thru our feet and upon our center. When the upper-leg and lower-body's core support muscles are neither under or over-engaged, the feet and lower legs are much more agile.
Example: Make a fist, gently. Now move your wrist. The wrist moves easily. Now increase the force squeezing the fist. How does the wrist move now? You need to work harder to move it, right? Now REALLY squeeze hard -- not that hard -- EVEN HARDER!

Your forearm should be really tight, you may even be gritting your teeth. The wrist is probably locked solid, and the tension is probably making it hard to even move your elbow.

That's dysfunctional tension.

You started with functional tension -- enough to make the fist, but still move the wrist.
Originally Posted by Arcmeister (From the functional tension thread)
I've always liked referances to keeping the "core" engaged. The big "u-joint" just below our center core, comprised of hip joints, pelvis, & lower back, provides us a lot of flexable mobility, but it is also the focal point of skiing's forces via the long lever arms of our legs and upper body. As such if the big muscle groups supporting it are not engaged with just enough of the "functional tension" of which you speak, this is where the body will first collapse when sudden increases in skiing's energy environment are ecountered. This FT becomes the difference between effectivly using the energy of our center to flow thru heavy conditions, and pitching forward at the waist whenever the feet encounter resistance.
(my bolding) is to underline that one should ski with just enough tension in the body. I assure you, if you do, you will be completely amazed at just how little effort you actually need to remain upright. Use the groomers first. Heck, do it on inline skates! The amount of effort is lessened when you are most in balance. This is the cusp between eccentric and concentric contraction -- the isometric state.

Concentric: muscle shortens under contraction. eg. up phase of biceps curl.
Eccentric: muscle lengthens under contraction. eg. down phase of biceps curl.
Isometric: muscle stays the same length under contraction. eg. holding weight in place.

Sure, you can grind your teeth doing an isometric exercise too, like wall sits, but then you are not in balance.

The point is that to ski efficiently, we need to ski with functional and not dysfunctional tension. Dysfunctional tension would be an "energy leak", for those that remember LisaMaries thread.

Originally Posted by Roto (from functional tension thread)
Once a good stance is acheived, create enough tension throughout the body to maintain that through turns, terrain changes etc. It is a tension one can 'move within,' and it isn't tiring to maintain that tension as it is 'even throughout the body,' not overly focused in one muscle group or another. Simply amazing
This is not something you use when the going gets rough, it's the state of tension with the body that one should endeavour to maintain at all times. Said another way: ski relaxed. The key: good balance. The precursor: proper stance.

You know when you have nailed the stance when balancing is effortless. Now you can lower the level of tension within the body until it is functional.

Originally Posted by Arcmeister (From the functional tension thread)
We can find this happy medium by skiing from "super tight" to "super loose" and finding the state of engagimus optimus, as well as the direction for our learning (to be stronger or looser) that works best for each of us.
That's how I see it.
post #51 of 79

Center Line = Inside Leg Extension?

************************************************** **************
According to the PSIA Alpine Manual and the description of the Center Line Maneuvers:

At the end of the previous turn, the skier starts the new turn by extending the new outside leg. Note that the intended movement is lateral rather than vertical.
a. causes the center of mass to move from the center of the previous turn toward the center of the new turn.
b. Facilitates a change of edge angle in lower levels ans an edge change at higher levels. Note that for all parallel turns, the release edge of the "old" outside ski is facilitated by this lateral movement.
c. Initiates a transfer of pressure from the old outside ski to the new outside ski.

In describing the wedge turn:
1. Start the turn from the previous turn so they are rhythmically linked. Extend the leg slightly. During the previous turn there is slightly increased flexion of the ankle, knee and hip toward the inside of the turn. The extension at turn initiation decreases flexion, neutralizes the stance and decreases the edge angle on the downhill/outside ski. This neutral stance and balancing movement facillitates the smooth and easy blending of other skills necessary to start the skis down the fall line.

Guiding Student Performance -- Center Line movements of the parallel turn:
* Change pressure from the downhill ski to the uphill ski earllier by slightly extending your uphill leg while moving toward the center of the new turn.
* Use the pole as a connecting link between turns, and during the preparation and initiation phases of a turn.
* Roll both skis off their uphill edges and continue to roll them to the new edges during turn initiation. This coordinated edge change allows for a smooth turn initiation
************************************************** *************

am I reading these wrong? Isn't this Fastman's Inside Leg Extension?
************************************************** **************

from Fastman's Inside Leg Extension Technique thread:
This is a highly efficient technique that provides the best potential for continuous foot to ground contact of any available technique. To watch INSIDE LEG EXTENSION skillfully executed is to view beauty in motion, so clean and efficient as to appear in slow motion. The transfer of pressure to the new outside ski while the prior tuning forces still exist allows the skier to begin the progressive development of a new turn while rebound from the prior turn dissipates into the non pressured old outside ski.
The early pressuring of the new outside ski this technique provides allows for a very clean, gradual carved turn platform development. Having early dominant pressure on the ski that will ultimately harbor the forces of the turn allows the skier to have ultimate feel of edge development as those forces are created. Waiting for the forces to direct pressure to the outside ski later in the turning cycle, as some alternative techniques require, means not having a significant platform ready and waiting to receive those forces upon their birth and will inevitably result in a harsher edge development
post #52 of 79
(I can't figure out how to do quotes, so please bear with my cut and pastes)

From the Jargon Busting thread, Bob Barnes wrote:

Unfortunately, many instructors still today teach wedge turns based on a strong "early weight shift." (Examples: "Push on the right ski to turn left, push on the left ski to turn right." "Squish a bug--or grind out a cigarette butt--with your right foot to go left....") These negative movement-based turns are the antithesis of good carved offensive turns, and the habits they introduce can be difficult to break. Early weight shift is the WRONG--not RIGHT--way to initiate a wedge turn, in this respect.

This seems to contradict the PSIA direction...? I'm studying for my Level 2 right now so I'm really trying to understand all this. I thought I had a handle on the fundamentals as explained by the Bears -- EWS, ILE, positive and negative movements etc. Where does the above direction in the Alpine Manual fit? Are your descriptions way beyond what I need for a level 2? Should I just do rote recitation from the manual for the exam?

Reading this logical and descriptive thread in conjunction with the Alpine Manual is pummeling my confidence.
post #53 of 79
FallLine, if you are using the Alpine Manual from 96' you may be out of date. Most division tests are based on the Alpine Technical Manual of 2002.
post #54 of 79
sho 'nuff, 1996 it is. Curious, though because I JUST got this from PSIA-E... Anyone know who has a current copy?

back to confidence pummeling, I'm going to have to do a brain dump of all this dated material aren't I? Crapola, this is going to require alcohol.
post #55 of 79
If it's any consolation the new one is only 75 pages. That, the core concept book and the L2 study guide are all you need. It's pretty straight forward stuff. You'll pass. Good luck.
post #56 of 79
Hi FallLine--

Don't trash the '96 manual--but do get ahold of the new stuff too. Unfortunately, I don't think either of these manuals is very clear in their descriptions of good ski technique, though, and I'm not a big fan of either one, for the most part. But if you read them carefully, and consider also everything that makes sense to you here at EpicSki (and consider too the stuff that doesn't seem to make sense), you'll have plenty of understanding to pass your Level 2 exam.

Regardless of how you read the descriptions in the manuals, and whether the extension of the uphill leg is active or passive, one key fundamental principle of all "Center Line" (TM) turns is that they begin by releasing the edge of the downhill (old outside) ski, so that both skis can be guided into the turn without the need to push the tail(s) out into a skid. If anything in the manuals (since the late '80's, really) conflicts with this point, or seems to conflict with this point, it is poorly written. I hate to say this, but my advice is not to take the manuals too seriously, and certainly don't take them as the exclusive final word.

"Center Line" wedge turns, wedge christies, basic parallel, and dynamic parallel turns ALL begin with the release of the edge of the downhill ski (these turns are all fundamentally identical, with differences arising purely from speed, terrain, and skill and refinement of movements). These are all linked, gliding, "offensive" turns, meant to control where you're going (your line), rather than to scrub off speed. (And note that, since they are "linked," they must therefore END with the release of the downhill ski as well.) While there may sometimes be some skidding in these turns, there is no INTENTIONAL skidding, for the sake of speed control. Therefore--no pushing or twisting of the tail of the outside ski to initiate the turn. Even at the lowest, wedge turn, level.

If you reread some of the passages you quoted above, you can see that the main purpose of any extension is to move (if necessary)--or to accommodate the movement of--the center of mass laterally across the skis and into the new turn. This "crossover," in turn, helps release the edge of the downhill ski and also provides for balance in the new turn. I agree that it is easy to read other things into some of those descriptions. But don't!

(And though I've said it before, I must repeat that nothing in the PSIA models is meant to imply that these offensive "Center Line" turns are the only "good" turns, or the only turns and movement patterns a skier should practice. Other intents dictate other movements, and the "Center Line" is merely a reference--not a directive!)

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #57 of 79
Originally Posted by nolo
Good question. Can you help us out with an accurate description of pre-loading?
Preloading is strecthing a muscle a little more than is actually required to enhace range of motion and power. The slight crouch before the jump, or the flexion before the extention. In skiing we have a mid range in our stance we spend the most moving in, if we extend from there we have limited not only our range of motion but also the power we need for our extention, especialy in high speed high force type of turns. Our muscles respond with more power when we strecth to a longer length before we contract.

I too like the idea of BigE's managing the the forces. It is in this direction I think that I find a distiction between those muscles engaged in managing and those engaged in simply maintaing posture in the core of the body in equilibrium. This other function is really our opposing muscles working against each other to keep things still from outside distrurbances, hence the isometric use. Speaking of core function, movement only comes from corrections as required and is done for the purpose of maintaining our posture in equilibrium. Whether running, standing still or skiing, much of our core and upperbody stablity is created by opposing muscles in balanced contraction, and if there is no movement in them then it is isometric contraction. So when I hear someone talk about stablizing the core with functional tension, I think of isometric contraction, if I think of movement in the core, I think of the other two forms of contraction. Maybe I'm all wet here, but this is how I see it.

Here's where posture comes in to play also. The better the posture, the less effort required to maintain our posture. Gravity Rules. Later, RicB.
post #58 of 79
RicB has got it exactly. For the techno geek, try

this: http://www.sportsnutrition4u.com/art...osloscalzo.doc

If your eyes glaze over sometimes, that's ok, you'll get the drift. There are other references that claim while power is increased, speed is not....

post #59 of 79
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
This is a great discussion, with far yet to go in the exploration, I suspect! Thanks, Arc. It's late, so I'll save any real comments for another time,

But one question--John--for the sake of clarity, would you please define your use of the term "fall line" to denote part of a turn? Here and elsewhere, it seems that you're using it to describe the very top of the turn, the transition--#5 and #18 in this diagram:

Is that what you mean?

Not to argue--again, terms can mean anything you want, as long as others understand how you use them--but I think you may be confusing some people who, like me, think of the "fall line" part of a turn as the point at which you are heading the same direction as the fall line--that is, straight downhill, or #12 in the diagram. That "fall line" is actually the farthest point in the turn from your "fall line."

(Note that "downhill" (the fall line) is straight ahead, or "up," in the diagram.)

Happy Halloween!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
Bob, I looked at your fabulous diagram and picked #12 before i finsihed reading your post. Without a doubt #12 is the fallline!

John your should start your turn at the RISELINE! Let me explain. If you draw a line straight up from where you are in the fallline (what I would call the Apex of the turn or you put a race gate at that point and drew a line straight uphill from it whereever you intersect that line above that point is where your turn should begin.

In a race course the riseline is the line straight uphill rom the next gate. Which if continued through the gate and downhill is then the fallline.

You can run a high or low line but must be patient and wait for the riseline to begin the turn. I have never heard the term "traverse line" and maybe Riseline doesn't really apply to freeskiing but is a basic very important concept in racing!
post #60 of 79
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Bob, I looked at your fabulous diagram and picked #12 before i finsihed reading your post. Without a doubt #12 is the fallline!

John your should start your turn at the RISELINE! Let me explain. If you draw a line straight up from where you are in the fallline (what I would call the Apex of the turn or you put a race gate at that point and drew a line straight uphill from it whereever you intersect that line above that point is where your turn should begin.
John, A-Man and Bob are right here. The historic, traditional, widespread, understood meaning of being "IN THE FALLINE" is having your skis pointing the same direction a rolling snowball would be traveling down a ski slope. Point your skis downhill, flatten them, lift your poles, and if the resultant force of gravity is greater the resistance from friction and wind you will take an extended ride in the falline. This agreement on this concept is really too widespread to try to redefine it at this point.

A-Man, how's it going? Your suggestion about starting the turn at the rise line has been a long used critique, and has help many a racer overcome the tendency to start turns to early in a race course, then have to lay off the edge engagement, drift, and reengage. A couple things I want to point out about the concept though. The concept was much more applicable in the old days of straight skis, before turns were so extensively arc to arc, and edge engagement was typically preceded with a pivot or steer.

Now with the radius capabilities of shape skis more of the turn can be done by carving, and this has allowed a much earlier edge engagement that is maintained for the entirety of the direction change. Look at Bob's diagram and you'll see what I mean. The rise line of the gate in his numbered diagram would be somewhere around 10, but the arc/edge engagement has already begun at 7. The same thing can be seen in the racer montage. It can be clearly seen that edge engagement, pressure, and direction change have occurred well before the rise line.

I point this out because I think it's important that this distinction between old technique and new become better understood. The START AT THE RISE LINE concept has been out there a long time, and there are many old coaches that still spew this out without fully understanding that it's not as consistently legitimate advice anymore, and if taken literally could confuse students. Not that advice to a student must always be strictly accurate. Sometimes a critique that takes liberties with reality is what's needed to light the bulb of comprehension for overcoming shortcomings, but as coaches we should KNOW when we are stretching it, and for what purpose.

Second, I noticed in your comments an equating of where you are in the apex of the turn, and the location of the gate, as a means of locating the rise line. Carefull. Realize in a high energy turn location of the feet will be 3 or 4 feet outside the gate. The turn apex and the gate are two distinct points, two distinct rise lines.

As far as the rise line concept for freeskiing, it doesn't have that much significance. While free skiing we have the liberty of rolling the skis on edge and enjoying a ride along a generally desired path. We seldom focus on exact points we must dissect, so we seldom need to adjust our line if we error. Also, as I said before, if we are skiing arc to arc, then the whole concept is out the window anyway.

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