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Unlocking hips?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
When I get into steep bumps, I have a bad habit of letting my hips point across the hill instead of keeping them down the hill and rotating my femurs from the hip socket. (Apologies for the heavy tech talk) Do any of you have any ideas, focuses, drills, etc. that could help?

I am trying to pull it together for the Level 3 skiing exam at Killington, March 28-29

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 11
try streching the ligments in the hip sockets so they rotate easier.

The way i do it is by standing in front of a mirror, dont let your pelvis rotate, lift your leg up until knee is 90 degree, then turn leg to side (whilst holding knee at 90 degree) and place foot back to the ground. Your feet at the finish should be at 90 degrees to each other, repeat 3 sets of 10 per leg, remember dont let that pelvis twist. Its a bit like ballet!

After you have done this, on the slopes practise on gentle blue runs, skiing straight down the slope (slowly) and rortating the legs in the hip socket to bring the skis sideways (not fully 90 degrees but somewhere near), ensuring shoulders, pelvis remains pointing down the hill, when you come to an almost stop rotate back to point down hill then rotate the opposite direction.

Pole planting helps with this exercise.

With the streching and the practise it becomes easy to rotate on bumps

hope this helps
post #3 of 11
Originally Posted by jess
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
I ain't even at your level, but ...... pivot turns, and lots of them?
post #4 of 11
Originally Posted by josseph
pivot turns, and lots of them?
I was just thinking the same thing. When I get into a situation similar to what you describes, Jess, to me, it feels like I am not activating my feet enough. When I feel that hesitation (when hips no longer stay square), I switch my line, and go into an exploration of the bumps (teaching/guiding path going over bumps, skipping turns, doing a medium radius turn in the bumps) and focus on activating my feet (even to the point of excessive foot steering) and lower body, really using all the joints from ankles, knees, and hips. Then I'll work back into a new line in the bumps, focusing on just being smooth.

The thing to keep in mind though is what is causing it? Is it a mental break (not being completely comfortable with the terrain or just not having the best day, bad conditions maybe) or is it a physical break, maybe not enough bump skiing to really have the movements mastered (this sounds harsher than its meant to be).
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your replies, I will definately try what you all suggest

I also don't think level procludes you from giving advice like the good advice you've given me here

Manus - no offense taken, its mostly a mental break fixing physical breaks is alot easier for me
post #6 of 11

As always, discard if this is rubbish. Since it does not happen on a flatter pitch => fear. Why? Likely out of balance.... having not seen you ski, here is just a possible fix:

There is a thread on the inside leg extension turn by Fastman.

I suggest that you check it out, and try to learn how to make a short radius ILE turn on a fairly steep pitch, without carving the upper part of the turn. Instead, you pivot a flat ski at the top of the turn as your body is toppling over the skis into the turn. Carve only once the skiis hit the fall-line.

The sequence to keep in my mind is flex, flatten, pivot and extend. The flattening of the skiis is done by extension of the inside leg, which also brings the body across the skis. Feet are hip width apart.

The goal is to first be comfortable slipping down a steeper pitch while crossing over. Which means being in balance through transition as opposed to being locked up.

could this work?
post #7 of 11
Jess, I think you mean you are letting your pelvis pointing across the hill with your hips i.e. the sides of your pelvis that the femur is attached in the hip socket, pointing down the hill. One thing I use for a little visual drill is to tell my students that they have a camera in the belly button and they are filming for me a ski run. They don't get "paid" if they are filming the trees on the sides of the trails. This is to get them to think about being strong in the core or stomach area and not letting the trunk rotate thereby rotating the pelvis so it is facing the side of the trail. The point here is to film down hill not across hill, in other words to ski in and out of a countered relationship with the upper and lower body. Upper body (pelvis on up) stays strong and focused mostly downhill, lower body (femurs on down) work back and forth during the turns. As was mentioned pivot slips are a great drill to feel this happening as long as they are done correctly with the upper body staying in a countered relationship to the lower body. Good Luck on level 3!
post #8 of 11

Good luck

good luck with level 3. Im not even close, but have this idea about hip movements when we ski. Check out Time warp. Let me know what you think....
post #9 of 11

Here's a drill. Grab an extra set of poles. Hook them around your hips by attaching each poles baskets into the strap of the other. Keep the poles pointed to the sides of the trail.

Here's another drill. Ski the bumps without poles. Use extra counter rotation to make up for the lack of pole plants.

Final drill. Make a pole plant as opposed to a pole touch. Use the solid plant to stabilize the upper body as the lower body pivots through the bumps. Touch your pole plant on the uphill face of the mogul as opposed to the top or the back of the bump.
post #10 of 11
Your original post specified steep bumps as a condition. Does the hip thing *not* occur in blue bumps or elsewhere?

If a general issue, I'm with the chorus... Pivot slips and other countering exercises practiced to an exaggerated degree. If only related to steep bumps, I might admit a tendency to something similar.

On large, steep bumps I sometimes square up my hips (unconsciously) to mitigate the higher impact levels when I'm not controlling my speed earlier in the turn. It's quite a bit stronger taking the hit with squared-up hips than otherwise.

That said, it's not my goal to do this... just the result of choosing a path overly aggressive for the degree of drop encountered. It happens a lot when I let the bumps determine my line and is more a reaction to events earlier in the turn than a habit.

When I notice some 'unconscious impact anticipation' going on, my own solution has been is to round-out my turns and implement more tip carving (OK; scarving) rather than a pivoting & slipping technique to control speed. With reduced intensity at turn finish, my regular movements return.

Extending down into the trough works well for smaller bumps but on larger ones I sometimes 'extend' right out of my existing counter. If bumps get too big for my inseam, changing line choice is the only option that works well for me.

I like the suggestion of skiing bumps without poles. Not only enhances our management of upper-body flow independent of our skis, it gets those dang poles out of the way.

post #11 of 11
The other day I asked my group of advanced skiers to ski bumps without poles. We were amazed at how this simple exercise could have so many and varied benefits: the hoppers stopped hopping; the musclers stopped forcing the turn (typically stepping inside ski around instead of releasing by moving hips forward); and the bankers and outside foot draggers simply stopped leaning and park'n'riding.

My students were initially apprehensive about skiing steep bumps without their poles, and some refused to do it, but after experiencing the difference in their skiing, some said they'd continue practicing without poles and the nay-sayers decided they wanted to try it too.

I see Rusty has made the same suggestion. I urge higher level skiers having trouble with bumps to give it a try.
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