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Phantom Move / Phantom Edging

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
Looking over the posts for the last year and pondering how people are talking past each other, I was doing some research from the medical field and have a theory.

Theory: People that are used to steering with their strong hip rotators can not experience the phantom move.

The result of this is that people think that PMTS has no rotation component to it. The reality is the strongest bio-mechanical way to apply twisting torque to the outside leg is with the phantom move.

Now before everyone thinks I'm crazy consider:

Arc and Eski - both bear coaches - and HH and Lito all focus on tipping the about to be new inside foot to initiate turns.

The little dark secret that some people in the PMTS camp ignore but Rusty Guy has observed is that this move creates rotary torque in the other leg. This means you can use it for hop turns, bumps, etc. You can also over do this move and create a very skidded non-carved turn. (Rusty's observation of some skiers he is calling PMTS). This shouldn't be a secret because there is nothing wrong with this. Match this controllable rotation to what the skis are doing and you carve, go to the other extreme and you hockey stop.

Yet, I'm convinced that some posting here that seem to think this phantom move is like a ghost - a figment of someone's marketing imagination, are correct in their own tests of this on the hill. I now understand the little piece that is missing. Someone that actively steers and is used to guiding and following the skis with active steering in their legs will almost by definition NOT be able to feel anything at all when they try Phantom Edging (lito's version) or Phantom Move (Eski, HH, Craig McNeil version).

Ok, read slow:

In people's nervous system there is the normal voluntary muscle system. You can illustrate this to yourself by simply bending your arm at the elbow. Your bicep pulls your arm up. Muscles cannot "push" but only contract, so to make your arm go the other way, your opposing muscle, your tricep contracts.

That's the voluntary system.

The voluntary system is weak. The voluntary system is slow. (this comes in later when you see that to create torque for rotation you can use the voluntary system (what HH calls bad rotation) or you can use a much stronger system that I'll introduce here in such a way so everyone reading this can actually experience the phantom move for themselves. (even if they never have before)

You'll need a friend for this one. To inllustrate how the voluntary system is slow, hold your hand out with the finger and thumb ready to grasp a falling object. Have your friend hold a dollar bill with the very bottom of the bill just between your thumb and forefinger. Have your friend drop the dollar bill when you don't know they are going to do it and try to catch the dollar bill. You'll not be able to do it unless you read and anticipate something from your friend. There is just no way the slow voluntary system can do it. This is becuase the voluntary system relies on direct control from your brain and there is a time delay along your nerves.

Thankfully, the muscles have a 2nd way of being activated that is much faster and happens to be much stronger - measurably.

This also requires your friend, but you can also do it yourself. Lock your arm in a 90 degree bend. By locking I mean do whatever comes naturally when you want to make your arm be a certain angle and not allow it to be bent. Now have your friend hit your arm from top to bottom. Then do it from bottom to top. You will notice that your bicep and tricep will fire, without any conscious effort on your part to keep that joint at the same angle. It's almost as if you arm is "locked" by friction in the joint, but it's not. Your joint is just a free as ever. But our involentary nervous system is smarter than we are and can maintain this active counter to force instantly. This proves your brain is not involved in directing this activity other than the initial command to hold your joint lock in place.

The other fascinating thing about this phenomenom whoose technical name is co-contraction is that it's very strong. Lets say you can normally bicep curl 80 pounds with one arm. You can easly have a 140 pound person grab on your co-contracted elbow and hold them in place. You can't raise them, but you can keep your joint in that position. Negative reps in weight training is this same effect to some degree but not quite the same.

Ok, now that you've digested the above here is another weird phenomenum. When you did your first bicep curl above - the voluntary kind, medical science has discovered that your tricep - the nerves to it, will not react and pass on external electrical stimulation. This is called pre-synaptic inhibition. This is evolutions way of having us move efficiently. When you contract one muscle the pathways to the opposing muscle are mostly shut down. It's like the old radio buttons on a car. Only one button can be pressed at a time.

Now for the kicker. When a muscle is co-contracted as in locking a joint, until your brain calls this off, both muscles are inhibited from external stimulation. This is weird stuff and is late 90's research. You can easily feel this yourself. Just lock your elbow and while keeping it in a locked state, do a bicep curl. It's real hard. It's not hard because your actually doing any work, because you're not, you're just experiencing the lockout your own body does on co-contracted joints.

Ok, what does this mean for the phantom move and the utter confusion I see on this board as people don't understand what it is?

In doing the phantom move, you start with your skis parallel. You tip the inside foot. If your hips are relaxed and not in a co-contracted state you will feel absolutly nothing happen on your other leg. However, if you apply a little, and just a little of that co-contracted feeling to your hip-rotators so that you have told your hips and rotators maintain position, when you tip that inside foot you'll almost feel your other foot tear the rotational torque is so strong. The only way to relieve the pressure is to let that leg and foot tip also or rotate.

Whenever a PMTS skier using the phantom move is tipping the inside foot and in an o-frame so there is a momentary differential of angles of the shins (bowlegged a tad) while maintaining some hip-rotator tension, they are going to be creating rotational torque on the other leg. Once the legs are aligned again then you have no rotational torque on the outside leg.

My theory is that the people that don't know what the phantom move is all about, don't ski by co-contracting their hips rotators but leave them loose and actively direct there skis with these same hip rotator muscles. A skier that does this is creating their rotation with the weak voluntary system. A skier using the phantom move controls both rotational torque and tipping angles with that one simple movement. And the rotational control is finer yet stronger than the direct way. (try it in a doorway and see - but don't injure your outside foot)

Further - you'll note in your arm and it's also true in your leg - when you co-contract your elbow joint, you'll find rotation of your forearm becomes harder, yet even with the most co-contraction you can muster, you have complete freedom of movement of your hand. Medical science has discovered the same thing happens in the legs. When you are co-contracted in both your hip rotators and your weight bearing knee joints, you are limiting the upper thigh and lower leg steering ability as compared to a relaxed leg due to pre-synaptic inhibition. But, your foot is free to tip even in a co-contracted state.

This may be why the proponents of a wider stance and active steering and even weighting have adapted their skiing that way because it would be a natural result to a person that skis using only the voluntary system and who is not using co-contraction to their advantage.

Also, since the feet are not affected by con-contraction even the weighted release in PMTS where all the weight is left on the downhill about to be inside ski works. The active tipping of that foot initiates the turn no matter what the weight distribution is.

So, if you've never felt the effect of the phantom move have your friend hold your foot in place while you co-contract your hip rotators. Then have your friend (like the elbow execise) distrupt your foot. (sit in a chair - raise a foot). Once you're sure what it feels like to apply co-contraction to your hip-rotators, stand in a doorway. Support yourself in a comfortable stance (legs dangling straight out of your hip sockets), then tip your right foot while leaving your hip rotators relaxed. (this will point the knee out but is totally different then pointing the knee out) Then do it again with your hip rotators co-contracted. If you do this right you'll feel the torque in the other leg and it's strong.

Then go read Eskis, HH's, Lito's, Craig McNeil's books again and realize the only reason you thought the phantom move was bunk was because you never had anyone bother to tell you the hips need a tad of tension (co-contraction of the hip rotators) for any of this to work. Once you discover this, play with it on the slopes. You now have a direct steering wheel to finely control rotary torque and a way to support greater g-forces since co-contraction is so much stronger than voluntary muscle movement. Just stand on your outside ski, apply a little hip rotator lock, tip your inside ski.

Oh, back to knee pointing for one moment. I've heard people say that tipping the inside foot which results in the knee pointing is the same bio-mechanically as simply pointing the knee. This is not true. If you don't consciously tip the foot that then results in that legs knee pointing into the turn, then you may be actually pointing the knee into the new turn with your hip-rotators. If your doing that, you're not co-contracted in your hip-rotators and your skiing the hard way. There is a big difference. In the real thing, the tipping is your steering wheel and as long as your "car" has it's frame rigid and strong. But if your hip-rotators are not co-contrated, then you'll not experience any of this.
post #2 of 65
John how long did it take you to write all that? I don't disagree with basically what you are saying about the rotary in the Phantom move or experiencing it from the bit that I read. I am not going to wade through that whole mess that no doubt repeats different points and pick it appart. I'll leave that for Rusty.
post #3 of 65
Thread Starter 

I think this explains some of Rusty's observations actually

Oh, I've been piecing this together for some time after I found the research on it related to gait studies in humans. (though the general pre-synaptic inhibition happens on rats as well and thus probably most animals)

Rusty says he sees PMTS'ers badly skidding turns. That can be true enough as simple self testing shows the strongest rotation one can create with their feet on skis happens with this move. As a skier using this method progresses they learn to control edging with upper lower body coordination combined with phantom move tipping. When you progress and time it all correctly you'er just skiing with balance over a bunch of co-contracted stable and strong joints while your skis carve your path.

I've just been boggled for so long wondering why people reject or don't see or understand the dynamics of the Phantom Move. If their hip rotators are not co-contracted the kinetic chain is a rubber band instead of an actual connection. If they been taught to ski using these same hip rotators in a dynamic fashion, then this is the opposite of co-contraction so none of this will be self experienceable by said skier.
post #4 of 65
John,

Please have someone drive you asap to the nearest mental health facility.

Do not drive yourself.
post #5 of 65
Thread Starter 

Hi Rusty!

You're right - I'm sick at home so had the time to finally write this out. But I don't think I'll need the other kind yet. (unless it keeps on raining here - then I'll go crazy)
post #6 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason
Rusty says he sees PMTS'ers badly skidding turns. That can be true enough.
I get so tired of saying this. One more try.

There is nothing wrong with skidding. It is HH who seems to suggest skiing with a ski fully engaged on edge is the only correct way to ski.

I see lots of PSIA members "skidding turns".

I spent the vast majority of my day doing "skidded turns".

John again I admire your passion, enthusiasm, interest, etc. Don't ever let my ribbing dampen your spirit. Make me a promise. I'm dieing to ski with you. I say this with all sincerity. I am absolutely certain I will learn something and be a better teacher if I get the chance to spend a little time with you. Promise the next time your out here you'll save some time to make a few turns with me.

We'll slide,skid, and smile!
post #7 of 65
Thread Starter 

no problem here

Either approach to skiing can result in speed control skidded turns (which requires less trail width) or carving with the skis.

Just the internal manner these are done are entirely different.

HH uses and teaches a brushed carve (ok - skid) modulated and created with the phantom move for many situations. He just doesn't call it a skid.

I'll pm you on the next time I'm coming out. (check your box)

(forget that - your box is full)
post #8 of 65
You must be right John... the Austrians just have no idea & all ski badly in that wide stance & it is just coincidence that they can win so many races that way when HH trains north americans to do it better :
post #9 of 65
Ah, I finally get the "secret" to the "phantom" approach: Call something by a different name (a skid becomes a "brushed carve") and it doesn't occur. Now find someone to sell it to.
post #10 of 65
Sorry guys but HH does not say turns cannot be brushed or have skidding. What he does say is the mechanics that produce those turns are the same mechanics that produce a carved turn. The intent is different.
post #11 of 65
Thread Starter 

kneale and disski

This is a discussion of the 2 general ways to create and control rotation and why biomechanically, pre-synaptic inhibition, the 2 ways are difficult for either camp to understand.

A skier that skis with direct steering using the hip rotators is skiing with the voluntary system without co-contraction of the hip rotators. A skier doing what Lito/Eski/Arc/Craig McNeil advocate are skiing with those same muscles in a state of co-contraction locking the position.

It could be an interesting discussion. You can skid or carve with either approach. It's very tough to rotate a co-contracted joint yet co-contraction of these muscles are required in the one approach. That's why these two methods are really two methods - not marketing hype. It's a difference to the core of the ski technique.

Are their sloppy variations? Sure. People create rotation by diverging tips, etc. I'm more interested in comparing the actual technique being employed by top skiers from both camps. These two ways look different coming down the hill. Both can be employed for high level skiing.

Disski - not sure where your left field comment is comming from. It's almost a thread hijack. But since you brought it up, which way of skiing do you think most top racers employ? Where do you think the phantom move originated? With Harald? Have you ever seen VonGrunigen ski? Do you know what type of release he uses?
post #12 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason
This may be why the proponents of a wider stance and active steering and even weighting have adapted their skiing that way because it would be a natural result to a person that skis using only the voluntary system and who is not using co-contraction to their advantage.

.
Trot off to Austria.... find some people doing their staatlich & tell them their wider stance & active steering they are teaching is not advantageous & they should change.....

Have you not read any of the posts by Checkracer, Ott, Rick etc when we have explained that the Austrian system involves a university degree physical education - lots of biomechanics etc... also that these same austrians teach active rotary - in the form of braqague (I know I had one try to teach me when i was not ready to want to learn same...) .... they also advocate a stance wider than that that PMTS generally shows....

& they have quite a few good results racing with such a terrible background to overcome.... you just pop over & fix 'em all - they'll appreciate it so much....
post #13 of 65
John, before you make a post such as this you owe it to yourself to at least read Smart Moves by Carla Hannaford. all skeletal muscles are voluntary. The same mechanism that moves the muscle through concious thought is the same mechanism that recruits them through intent.

Yes it would be true that if you have your hip muscles in isometric contraction (cocontracted with no movement in the joint) then you would still be able to move your feet. So What? I want my whole body moveing in harmony serving my intent and recuited by my brain. Taking short cuts will leave us short.

We teach our body to move. You want new moves from your kinetic chain, teach the kinetic chain new moves conciously and then you will have new unconcious moves available to recruit. That means to get new moves from your hips you need to teach the hips to move in new ways by concious mindfullness if you want to develope a needed pattern. This lays the neural connections in the brain and the resulting emotional filling system to access when needed.

The brain is an incredable thing, able to recruit any number of muscles through the neural connections. It is the development and refinement of these connections that enable the brain to recuit mutiple muscles and also to recuit only a few muscle fibres in a specific muscle to realize an intent. It is not because a muscle is potentialy powerfull that we have trouble using and controling it, it is because we have not developed and fine tuned the neural connections in the brain to utilize the potnetialy powerfull muscle in an unpowerfull way. This development requires a deliberate mindfullness and really a form of meditaion on the movement to really develope fine motor control over a large muscle, and to develope new recruitment patterns n a muscle with previously well developed recruitment patterns. Any muscle for that matter.

We get the movements out of our body that we put into the our body. Think on that one for awhile John. Later, RicB.
post #14 of 65
Thread Starter 

Ric

Thanks for the input Ric. If that is what the author said, is sounds directly counter to the research I've been reading. The brain does not control the staticness of the co-contracted joint. It's too far away to do so.

Do the little exercises with your arm and try it yourself. You're not voluntarially making your bicep and tricep fire to counter someone hitting your arm to disrupt it. It's an involuntary response that happens to a co-contracted joint. In fact the voluntary system neural pathways are restricted in the presence of a co-contracted joint. If your brain was doing this you'd have too long of a time delay (do the dollar bill thing).

When was this person's book written? The studies on pre-synaptic inhibition are pretty recent. It was first proposed in the 60's but much of the medical community did not accept it. However, later studies and experimental methods in the 90's confirmed it.
post #15 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason

A skier that skis with direct steering using the hip rotators is skiing with the voluntary system without co-contraction of the hip rotators. A skier doing what Lito/Eski/Arc/Craig McNeil advocate are skiing with those same muscles in a state of co-contraction locking the position.
Hi everyone, sorry to jump in here so late in the discussion, but this is a pretty interesting topic. So I thought I'd throw my two cents in...

A skier who skis with direct steering using the hip rotators is not using co-contraction per say. However, the definition of co-contraction is as follows:
* the simultaneous contraction of movers and antagonists.
* the purpose of this is to counteract an additional function of a mover that is not desired in the present movement.

If we're talking about the rotators of the hip, there are 6 deep primary external rotators, biceps femoris, and gluteus maximus that allow for lateral/external rotation, and there is the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus that allow for medial/internal rotation.
Internal and external rotation are two movements that are used a lot in skiing because they allow our femurs to rotate in the hip joint. Without rotation, we essentially won't be able to actively turn the skis unless we rely only on the sidecut of the ski and whatever amount of "turning" external or internal rotation of the foot we can do. Of course, this describes a dynamic action of actively guiding the skis, which I've always learned through PSIA.

Now going back to the co-activation...
If we co-activate the muscles of the hip in the way that it's being described here, then we are essentially preventing any additional function of our hip muscles beyond what they already did. In the example of standing in the doorway to feel the phantom move, I can't feel it when I co-contract my hip muscles because it doesn't allow for the muscles of the hip to function at all. If they aren't functioning, then my femur isn't able to turn in the hip joint, and I can't effectively (in my opinion) turn/guide my skis.

In the PMTS method teaching, is active guiding of the skis through a turn not taught? If not, can you explain the phantom move a bit more or relate it more to this discussion? I'm just trying to get a better understanding of it and wanted to add some comments as well.

Quote:
It could be an interesting discussion. You can skid or carve with either approach. It's very tough to rotate a co-contracted joint yet co-contraction of these muscles are required in the one approach. That's why these two methods are really two methods - not marketing hype. It's a difference to the core of the ski technique.
So it's supposed to be difficult to rotate in a co-contracted state? Seems to flow with what I said above, but I'm not clear on how this approach is any better.

Quote:
Are their sloppy variations? Sure. People create rotation by diverging tips, etc. I'm more interested in comparing the actual technique being employed by top skiers from both camps. These two ways look different coming down the hill. Both can be employed for high level skiing.
What are these techniques? This is pretty interesting.
Thanks!
post #16 of 65
research conducted with a preordained conclusion in mind is NOT valuable research.

any scientist will tell you that much.
post #17 of 65
John,

You are off-base once again. The only co-contractors that we are concerned with in PMTS is the peroneal group and the anterior tibialis. They affect balance. Primary Movements are just that; primary movements. If you start bringing in hip rotators, then you are not using primary movements. Where is the first movement? HH will tell you the feet. I agree. What is the most important thing in skiing? Balance. What will HH tell you you don't want to do? Bring the gross upper muscles of the leg into play. How do you control your skis? With fine, or primary, movements of your feet. That is why the name "Primary Movements."

You should get a copy of the PMTS Instructor's Manual. It is all in there. Biomechanics is one of the elements of accreditation. Before you start making statements, find out the facts first.

Rick H
post #18 of 65

Good info

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick H
John,

You are off-base once again. The only co-contractors that we are concerned with in PMTS is the peroneal group and the anterior tibialis. They affect balance. Primary Movements are just that; primary movements. If you start bringing in hip rotators, then you are not using primary movements. Where is the first movement? HH will tell you the feet. I agree. What is the most important thing in skiing? Balance. What will HH tell you you don't want to do? Bring the gross upper muscles of the leg into play. How do you control your skis? With fine, or primary, movements of your feet. That is why the name "Primary Movements."

You should get a copy of the PMTS Instructor's Manual. It is all in there. Biomechanics is one of the elements of accreditation. Before you start making statements, find out the facts first.

Rick H
Good info Rick. I keep learning more and more about this PMTS method of teaching and it's pretty interesting. It doesn't seem all that different from what PSIA is trying to get across, but maybe just presented differently? I know from my experience, I've always tried to begin movements with my feet and have always focused on balance to achieve other necessary movements, but just never heard it taught or stated the way you just said it. It completely makes sense now. Thanks!
post #19 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason
Thanks for the input Ric. If that is what the author said, is sounds directly counter to the research I've been reading. The brain does not control the staticness of the co-contracted joint. It's too far away to do so.
OK John what does control the cocontraction then? You are simply talking about the difference between a reflex action and a concious move. Both however are from signals traveling to and from the brain on the neural network executed by our voluntary muscle system. Hanaford's book is a compilation of the latest science available. This conversation is silly. Later, RicB.
post #20 of 65
I have a friend who is actually a rocket scientist who will believe anything a marketer of 'alternative' medicine will tell her, but looks at medical science with skepticism. I find her interesting to talk to because I keep trying to understand why she chooses to believe some things and not others. Its baffling.

John, science builds and rarely finds revolutionary discoveries that contradict vast quantities of previous science. Don't look at the date of scientific work and assume it is more valid. Look at the older works and understand how they build. And demonstrate some skepticism towards both, please.

A few facts already touched upon. The brain is the center. When we learn a new physical activity, the processing takes place within a verbal or symbolic context. This takes time, especially if you're like most skiers who have slowed their processing with alcohol. Many physical activities require repetition to create what is commonly referred to as muscle memory. I don't think there is great science on this subject matter yet, but it appears to be something along the line of removing the symbolic processing element and preprogramming the muscle patterns into a different, faster part of the brain.

Second, your analysis of speed of reaction is FLAWED (can I say that if its not a poll?). You state that going through the brain is too slow since it is too far away. If I sense a problem in my toe and require a muscular response in my toe, the information transfer speed will be about 330 ft/sec over about 6 feet or about .03 seconds to get the info transferred to and from the brain. If I am really flying down the hill at 60 mph, I will only cover about 3 feet in the time period. Since I will likely sense a problem visually or through balance, the timing will be about half of that. Too slow? I don't think so.

You further analyze the muscle activities like they have a mind of their own. To me, as an engineer and not an anatomy expert, what you explain is pretty simply creating a suspension system through what I believe is commonly called functional tension. This causes a different set of reactions than loose muscles. The complexity of the system is much greater than this discussion could ever allow as there are many possible muscles (as pointed out) combining through many different types of joints. All of this structure is connected through very odd angles. Equally important to understanding is that the angles differ for every person.

There are also reflexes that seem to be programmed into everyone. I think science still has these going through the brain. These can be amusing and perhaps someone can find some that can be useful to skiing. It is an interesting subject.

John, I thank you for an interesting thread. I would hate to refer to your original post as concise, but your attempt to apply science to the phantom move was overly simplified and included likely false assumptions in my opinion.
post #21 of 65
Orange Fish,

I have been saying for some time that there is not a lot of difference between the two methods of skiing at the higher levels. The big difference is at the entry level. The delivery of instruction is even getting closer, at least in RMD. Of course that comes from Kim Peterson of Winter Park. Harb had Kim develop his "Student Directed Ski Instruction" for PMTS in the late 1990's.

I think PMTS is a good vehicle for teaching entry level skiers. The only caveat is you need fairly wide beginner areas to do this. Some areas it is just too narrow to really work well.

Good luck!!!....Rick H
post #22 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredat40
A few facts already touched upon. The brain is the center. When we learn a new physical activity, the processing takes place within a verbal or symbolic context. This takes time, especially if you're like most skiers who have slowed their processing with alcohol. Many physical activities require repetition to create what is commonly referred to as muscle memory. I don't think there is great science on this subject matter yet, but it appears to be something along the line of removing the symbolic processing element and preprogramming the muscle patterns into a different, faster part of the brain.
i am told that the preprogramming involves building new circuitry to deal with the new movement pattern... I have no stretch reflex for instance - I can't make a stretch reflex that I don't have the nerves for - but can learn to use other nerves(senses) to build a set of movement patterns that help me compensate..... this I am told requires building new brain pathways & it happens in sort of "fits & starts" they tell me you can see a sudden change when I am about to start getting better at something - where my brain starts to deal with the whole process...

Back when I studied it was an accepted idea that we grew no new brain cells after childhood.... now it is recognised that we continue to grow them - but not so quickly..... There is evidence that continued challenge to tghe brain is protective against senile dementia - & it is believed that the challenges mean that the brain has to grow new cells - so is more adaptive & copes better with age changes...
post #23 of 65
I wanted to requote this whole post, because it's very good. It reflects the kind of intellectual honesty and rigor that should accompany any "research" conducted for ANY purpose, in any subject.

very well said, r@40. very well said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredat40
I have a friend who is actually a rocket scientist who will believe anything a marketer of 'alternative' medicine will tell her, but looks at medical science with skepticism. I find her interesting to talk to because I keep trying to understand why she chooses to believe some things and not others. Its baffling.

John, science builds and rarely finds revolutionary discoveries that contradict vast quantities of previous science. Don't look at the date of scientific work and assume it is more valid. Look at the older works and understand how they build. And demonstrate some skepticism towards both, please.

A few facts already touched upon. The brain is the center. When we learn a new physical activity, the processing takes place within a verbal or symbolic context. This takes time, especially if you're like most skiers who have slowed their processing with alcohol. Many physical activities require repetition to create what is commonly referred to as muscle memory. I don't think there is great science on this subject matter yet, but it appears to be something along the line of removing the symbolic processing element and preprogramming the muscle patterns into a different, faster part of the brain.

Second, your analysis of speed of reaction is FLAWED (can I say that if its not a poll?). You state that going through the brain is too slow since it is too far away. If I sense a problem in my toe and require a muscular response in my toe, the information transfer speed will be about 330 ft/sec over about 6 feet or about .03 seconds to get the info transferred to and from the brain. If I am really flying down the hill at 60 mph, I will only cover about 3 feet in the time period. Since I will likely sense a problem visually or through balance, the timing will be about half of that. Too slow? I don't think so.

You further analyze the muscle activities like they have a mind of their own. To me, as an engineer and not an anatomy expert, what you explain is pretty simply creating a suspension system through what I believe is commonly called functional tension. This causes a different set of reactions than loose muscles. The complexity of the system is much greater than this discussion could ever allow as there are many possible muscles (as pointed out) combining through many different types of joints. All of this structure is connected through very odd angles. Equally important to understanding is that the angles differ for every person.

There are also reflexes that seem to be programmed into everyone. I think science still has these going through the brain. These can be amusing and perhaps someone can find some that can be useful to skiing. It is an interesting subject.

John, I thank you for an interesting thread. I would hate to refer to your original post as concise, but your attempt to apply science to the phantom move was overly simplified and included likely false assumptions in my opinion.
post #24 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB
This conversation is silly. Later, RicB.
Amen Brother. :
post #25 of 65

I might be missing the point, but. . . .

If I am reading this correctly, I believe that what John Mason is talking about may be a reflex arc. In all voluntary actions/reactions, the neural signal travels from the sensors in the affected limb, up the spinal cord, to the brain, and back down. There are certain times, however, when this is short cut because that path is too long and slow. When you touch a hot stove for example, you actually pull back your hand before your brain truly realizes that you have been burned. The neural signal travels up the afferent or sensory nerves from the affected limb to the spinal cord just like in volunary movement. At the spinal cord however, the reflex arc kicks in and sends a shortcut signal right directly back down the efferent (or motor nerve tract) to the limb causing you to withdraw your hand before the pain signal has even finished traveling to the brain. Reflex arcs have limited functions related to pain and survival, and they do play a part in balance. I am not well versed enough to know if they play a part in the co-contraction of large muscle groups however, so I may be off base.
post #26 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredat40
Many physical activities require repetition to create what is commonly referred to as muscle memory. I don't think there is great science on this subject matter yet, but it appears to be something along the line of removing the symbolic processing element and preprogramming the muscle patterns into a different, faster part of the brain.
Great post!

The reason I requote only this portion is to say that there has been quite a bit of research into this area primarily around human/computer interfaces. Touch-typing is a typical example of this "muscle memory". The reason, for example, that I can type in passwords without thinking about them, or type these sentences without actually spelling out the words in my head is "muscle memory." Many, many user interface designs do not take this research into account, which is why you have user environments that actually make it more difficult to enter the information that you want than it needs to be. This is why many of us who spend hours in front of a keyboard prefer keyboard-based shortcuts: they are ultimately faster than all the movements necessary with a mouse.

I know. That's more than anyone here cares to know. Sorry...
post #27 of 65

Stuff

John:
I admire your guts of posting a controversal topic on THIS site and sticking with it. I am no expert in the matter but instinctively I feel that there is some substance to your observation, even though it might be a bit unrefined. One of the replies that made the most sense to me was the one by piggyslayer on the realskier site.
post #28 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
research conducted with a preordained conclusion in mind is NOT valuable research.

any scientist will tell you that much.
Why doesn't somebody tell this to terminal PSIA level 2's seeking to pass their level 3.
post #29 of 65
You guys are too much. We are ski instructors for god sakes!------Wigs
post #30 of 65
Once again we find folks talking about "the way" it works. I'm going to try the obvious and go into why both systems (have to) work. Plain english here for two reasons folks---I haven't taught for a few years, and aren't up on todays "buzz words". Reason 2--not everyone here is a pro or in the medical field.

Deffinitions first (simplified)----steering (derived from the leg rotating) angulated (the entire leg, or portion of, moving latterally with little if any rotation involved) narrow stance (feet less than hip width apart) wide stance (feet at, or in excess of, hip width apart)

Note-----Steering (rotating the leg) and edging are two skills that counter each other----the more you steer the harder it is to edge-----the more solid an edge you stand on the harder it is to rotate your leg.

John---not a bad post---you now have the arguement mentality of a 1 st or 2nd year instructor ! Congratulations !!!!! Kidding aside lets look at what works-----and how well.

It is my view that a wide track stance is better suited to steering and a narrow stance is better suited for carving.

In your doorway (John & everybody else) WITH YOUR GEAR ON.
Stand in a wide stance, as I defined it, and attempt to either tip your foot or point your knee as it was described (for that matter DO BOTH---without holding on). You will find as you attempt this that your center of Mass will move away from the desired direction (of the next turn) in order to stay in balance.
Tip or point again in a narrow stance and you will note a cosiderable feeling of weight on the leg that you are tipping/pointing and the center of mass will move the desired direction of the next turn. Note the ski remaining on the floor is now naturally on it's edge.

Next time you are out on the hill----
Do some braqague in a wide stance (braqague-- for those of you not in the know is a sideslip with the torso headed down the fall line---rotate the skis 180 degrees under you and maintain course ----linked sideslips with 180 degree leg rotation if you will)

Then try it again with your feet glued together (For those of you that survive go on to the next task)

Now---In a narrow stance, at moderate speed, either tip your inside foot or point your knee (any muscles you want Mr Mason!) and I expect you will note a pretty comfy entry into a carved turn.

Try the same tip/point now, wide stance, moderate speed and see if you get any results (positive ones anyway).

The bottom line is that whether you tip your foot or point your knee in a narrow stance the result is that the CM moves to the side (where you tipped or pointed). Thereby unless you do something very unusual with the other leg your ski naturally edges. As the CM continues to move to the inside of the new turn, edging and angles naturally increase . (Sing along folks---the hip bones.......connected to the..Knee Bone)

Don't want to carve---open up that stance and steer-----skid, slip, brush----anything you want to call whatever isn't leaving a really thin little line in the snow.

Anybody that tells you one way is "better" than the other----really needs to try some of this stuff-----to prove it to themselves.
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