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# Getting forward - Page 3

For some interesting thoughts on balance and it's definitions see:

http://www.csuchico.edu/~jackieh/pdf/hudson96.pdf

I particularly liked: "Garrhammer (1989) discusses static or dynamic balance as occurring when the line of gravity (LoG) passes inside (static) or outside (dynamic) the base of support (BoS)."

Which inverts Lemasters definition: One would be in static balance during transition, and in dynamic balance otherwise. That is because the focus is on the LoG alone.

Now if Lemaster was to use the vector that is the SUM of all force vecotors, one would have the opposite:

In the carved belly of the turn, the force vector is within the BoS: the skier is in static balance.

During transition, the skier is moving across the BoS, so the BoS is not in a position to restrict or deflect that crossing over of the CM. Consequently the skier is in a dynamic balance. As the resultant force vector is not within the base of support, the skier is literally falling/toppling over from one side of the BoS to the other.

If that is the case, then Arc's term for falling in and out of balance is actually moving from static (carved turn) to dynamic (transition) balance and back to static (carved) again.

There are other notions in the link that would support that idea.

Cheers!
I like that, BigE. Nice post!
Now, if we say we want them to keep MOVING forward, that another issue altogether.
[/quote]
Blizzard, you got it!
RW
Good article BigE. I like the idea that dynamic balance is an interplay between stability and mobility. I also like the real world distinction between being "out of balance", (uncontroled and temporary) and "losing one's balance", (falling).

I think that there is one distinction that needs to be made with skiing that is different from other sports that don't have equipmet worn on the feet. This would be that the movement across the skis can also be acompanied by a smooth change of the force vector the skis are creating through the edge change. DavidM talked about this very thing as a result of his reseach with "Birdcage". We change the perpendicular direction of the base of support as we change our position over the skis. To me this can equate to a continuos application of stability even though there is clearly a big mobility context also. As we move across the skis, we develope a new edge to stabilize on, which is different than moving across and then trying to reestablish the new edge to stabilize on.

This may not happen exactly simutaneously, but the time differential may be small enough that we may never move outside of our BoS. We stay connected through transition. As Dr. Roberts points out, the idea of a finite point of balance in human movement is incorrect. We also have the ski base and edge to think of in terms of our base of support. This coupled with the ability to move the focus of our stability from one foot to the other without moving the CoM outside our BoS. The dynamic relationship of substantial and insubstantial, and our LoG, and our ability to redirect our LoG within our BoS. This is good stuff. Thought anyone? Thanks everyone. Later, RicB.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by RicB I think that there is one distinction that needs to be made with skiing that is different from other sports that don't have equipmet worn on the feet. This would be that the movement across the skis can also be acompanied by a smooth change of the force vector the skis are creating through the edge change. DavidM talked about this very thing as a result of his reseach with "Birdcage". We change the perpendicular direction of the base of support as we change our position over the skis. To me this can equate to a continuos application of stability even though there is clearly a big mobility context also. As we move across the skis, we develope a new edge to stabilize on, which is different than moving across and then trying to reestablish the new edge to stabilize on. This may not happen exactly simutaneously, but the time differential may be small enough that we may never move outside of our BoS. We stay connected through transition. As Dr. Roberts points out, the idea of a finite point of balance in human movement is incorrect. We also have the ski base and edge to think of in terms of our base of support. This coupled with the ability to move the focus of our stability from one foot to the other without moving the CoM outside our BoS. The dynamic relationship of substantial and insubstantial, and our LoG, and our ability to redirect our LoG within our BoS. This is good stuff. Thought anyone? Thanks everyone. Later, RicB.
That's interesting. I'm not sure that you need the time differential, except when teaching the move: you can focus on the sequence of tipping the skiis and then recentering the CM. Railroad tracks and rollerblade turns immediately come to mind as precursers to this transition.

The short story: To teach a transitional move where we always remain "in balance", I suggest that first the BoS must be re-angled (tipped). The CM is allowed to align itself perpendicular to the new platform once turning forces build. It is realigned first by movement in the knees, then hips. (The kinetic chain, I suppose.)

Flexion is used to manage pressure. The decrease of pressure allows for the the ankles to be rolled. Note that at this point skeletal support is no longer present -- this is a "big move".

Once the ankles have been tipped, the edges will begin to engage, and the platform will be somewhat solid. It is now sufficient that the skier resumes a skeletally supported stance to complete the transition.

The skier must "get forward" and move laterally to stay perpendicular (aligned) with the BoS. The skier will move the knees and then hips into position when turning forces make it feel safe to be aligned/stacked once more inside the turn.

Once aligned he is again "back in the saddle", and can extend. During extension the skier allows their feet to follow the tracks made by the newly edged skiis, which are edging towards the fall-line.

Just past fall-line, the turn forces begin to rise, but since the skier is skeletally aligned, they are easily managed.

The skier then times his flexion and tipping to release the turn such that the CM will move across the hill in the intended direction. The cycle repeats.

An advanced skier will be able to anticipate the amount of movement required by the CM to get himself "back in the saddle", which will make his movements appear simultateous, and closer to what the "throw/catch" would look like. Especially when they are using the inertial path of the CM from the last turn to "cross-over".

A carve is initiated immediately upon edge change, although the tracks at the top will be quite shallow -- the skier is not being skeletally supported, so the skiis will not be driven into the snow.

Using the above movement pattern, the force vector has never left being grounded in the BoS and so the skier has remained in static balance throughout the turn.

Consider instead dragging the edges to the new angle when leading with the body -- which sounds to me like the "throw/catch" paradigm. The resultant force vector MUST leave the BoS.

There is a leap of faith required by the student -- which many just won't take -- after all, how can the road to stability feel so unstable?

Of course, I could be entirely wrong....
I don't think you are wrong BigE. Isn't this what we do when we say we move from our center? Moving from our center doen't mean we move our center first, but that we move our center with the relationship of our LoG to our BoS in mind. Of course, in dynamic movement, the LoG becomes the LoF (line of force).

I would go further and say that even when we are being playful while skiing and let the skis come off the snow that we are still maintaining this relationship in the body so that when the skis touch back down, we are home, no compensatory moves need to be done. You see this most in the really good skiers. I spent 2.5 days skiing wiht Nick Herron (Dteam), and 3 days skiing with Troy Nedved (top examiner)this winter, and they both exhibited this feeling for the relationship. It didn't matter whether they had their skis off the snow or on, they were always nuturing and moving with this relationship of their CoG to their BoS. They moved with the unconcious knowledge of this relationship.

This is no different than the martial artist who is working with an opponent. The force line changes from vertical to more horizontal, and is maintained whether the person is moving with the opponent, counter attacking, jumping to kick, or just staying grounded on one foot for a kick.

Never is the martial art student taught to think of "losing ones balance" intentionaly. Just the opposite, they are taught to always move with this relationship driving their movements. They move from their center. Otherwise we lose. We lose the fight, the exercise, the connection, our balance, or we lose the efficiency of our ski/snow interaction.

BigE was it you who said "how we organize ourselves over our ski"? Understanding this relationship and feeling it are what allow us to organize ourselves over our skis effectively. So how about skiing from our center instead of getting forward? Later, RicB.
Is there anything lacking in this dictionary definition pertaining to skiing? "An equality of weight, power, advantage, etc., as in a balance of forces."
Yes, RicB, that was me. The previous description is an attempt at describing one way how one can "organize yourself above the skiis" using all the terms in this thread. (static, dynamic, skeletal and muscular support, getting forward, moving laterally.)

Also tried to throw in movements in their sequence (ankles, knees, hips) and how they relate to pressure control and STATIC balance. (getting back in the saddle)

IMO, turns that use DYNAMIC balance would use a different set of movements, since the LoF will point outside the BoS during transition. Literally "throw/catch".

Extremely short radius turns which cannot be purely carved would qualify as DYNAMIC turns, under the definitions that use either LoF or LoG. The skier must literally move their feet to the appropriate position for the catch, else they will fall. This is a planned recovery and is a very athletic move.

Most definitions use LoG. So one would call dynamic skiing the type that has the body far inside the turn; LoG is not above BoS. That makes everything other than wedging dynamic skiing -- I cannot agree.

I prefer using LoF in the definition of static balance, because that is what I can sense, respond to and control.

That static balance is present in carved turns fits my mental model best. It does not contradict nolo's dictionary definition. It's also what allows me to get organized above the skiis.

Organizing oneself above the skiis does not preclude dynamic skiing. You are exactly right RicB, it demands more understanding of the relationship and feeling between the CoM and BoS.

We've all seen pictures of the path of the skis and path of CoM. How many of us have thought about trying to sense each path, or the relationship between them AS WE SKI? I'd suggest that far more than 97% of all skiers are focussed on something completely different ( like repeating some magic mantra eg. "flex the ankle, flex the ankle....) while they ignore sensing that key relationship. It can be done if you pay attention!
Quote:
 Pressure control movements originating from the knees and hips, rather than the ankles, will position the feet ahead of the CM and the balance point behind the feet. This promotes inclination of the upper body and weaker lower body angles. In addition you may see over-pivoting of the skis, late pressure application and a divergence of the ski tips.

I like it

I just got back from National Academy, being stacked up with your hips over your feet and maintaining this by working through the ankle throughout the turn were a constant theme.
Thanks for the confirmation, Jess. I'm one PSIA member who thinks the D-Team rocks.

### forward more than you think!

This is all good stuff and I appreciate it a lot because I think it's such a critical area, it is pretty easy to do, and it is normally not done very well.

The editing on the PSIA sentence is great, and really fills out the implied stuff. And I'm really pleased (and not surprised) that they're "stacking" well at the Academy!

And thanks, Arc and Si for your detailed and accurate points.

I agree with Arc that it is a lot about balancing, and adjusting the feet is as important as adjusting the hips in order to dance the dance.

I also agree with Si. A whole bunch of "refusal" to go forward has to do with reluctance to dump the brakes--for many levels of courage and athleticism.

For me, this has been the strongest issue lately in my own skiing and teaching. I taught within this area A LOT this winter. I believe that this is because these skis are so good on the forebody. The old skis would twist too much to get away with this and you would lose the edge. The newer skis are torsionally stiff enough to make it work.

Here are some practical thoughts to make it work better.
• I advocate at the edge change to drive the hips forward more than you think is even safe. The heel almost comes up off the bottom of the boot. My goal is to engage the new edges, not just in the forebody, but right up into the shovel. If I can imagine that feeling, I can go there. There were times where I would feel just perfect lightly engaging up at the tips of my toes so that the turn, instead of front-center-heel became more like in front of the front-->toes-->ball of the foot-->arch. All this with the shins just hammering against the front (toward the inside of the turn).
• Jim Schanzenbaker (Schanzy) former D-Team guy (and I'm inviting him to teach at ESA and hope like hell he can make it), opened my eyes a bit when he said that you should try to move your femurs so that their axes are sort of perpendicular to the skis when moving forward. This is a fancy way of saying extend, but it clarified for me what I was seeing when people would try to push the shin against the front of the boot and drop the hip at the same time. The femurs in this case would be sort of parallel to the skis. It became a great way to explain the "how" of getting forward. (This is not absolute so don't be too literal.) I also found that this helped engage the hamstrings and buttocks very powerfully.
• The demo team guys talk about trying to project your shins right through the cuff of the boots during the turn. I like that a bunch.
• The forward pressure occurs throughout, but as the turn ends, the skis tend to accelerate away, and you need to jump ahead again (or pull the feet back, Arc--especially the inside foot).
• My students' biggest successes were achieved when I offered a perception that at first seemed really bizarre: The idea is to consider, at the moment of maximum anxiety from the skis accelerating down hill, to try and move your body forward in the exact same direction as the acceleration. Attack in the direction of the fear. In other words, try to race past the skis with your cm. The result, of course, was to load the tips, and the ski swould turn beautifully. Doing this a couple of times created enough trust that the students would then respond to the idea of beginning the attack at the edge change. Thus, the excessive acceleration down hill would never happen because they would exchange the old up and away move for the attack on the tips. The paradox has always been a delicious one, but I had never been able to have it work so well--maybe because I had never confronted it so head on. Obviously, careful management of terrain and speed increments were critical.
Wow, what bunch of performance doors this opens up.
I totally agree with John Cole and Arc on their views of this topic!

I would also urge all instructors and skiers to carefully address and experiment with the fore/aft angles created by the specific equipment combinations chosen by the skier (ie; boots, footbeds, binding) because these have an undeniable affect on your body position on the skis.

When you see or experience difficulty with fore aft balance or a stance profile showing deficiencies in good angles, it's prudent to assess and experiment with changing the toe and heel heights.

This can easily and inexpensively be done by using shims made from various materials (I use bontex sole shims available at any ski shop) to change the stand height of binding. By placing these shims (1.5 or 3mm) between boot and binding toes or heels you can very noticeble change the stance. Lowering the heel moves the cm back and raising it moves the cm forward. This is very simplistic and realize that changing angle inside the boot will have different affects than making changes outside boot. Once you find a good position check with your ski shop to have permanent adjustments made to your equipment.

The key point here is don't be an ostrich and ignore this area by simply believing that practicing technique changes will net positive results. Many times the equipment is the culprit.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by weems Jim Schanzenbaker (Schanzy) former D-Team guy (and I'm inviting him to teach at ESA and hope like hell he can make it), opened my eyes a bit when he said that you should try to move your femurs so that their axes are sort of perpendicular to the skis when moving forward. This is a fancy way of saying extend, but it clarified for me what I was seeing when people would try to push the shin against the front of the boot and drop the hip at the same time. The femurs in this case would be sort of parallel to the skis. It became a great way to explain the "how" of getting forward. (This is not absolute so don't be too literal.) I also found that this helped engage the hamstrings and buttocks very powerfully.
The mantra: Open the hip.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BigE The mantra: Open the hip.
Exactly.
Weems, I highly respect your teaching history and abilities but, I can't help but think the exaggerated forward pressure that you mentioned (to the point of lifting the heels off the bottom of the boots) seems a bit extreme especially with todays shaped skis being so willing to initiate turns for us? I am kinda suprised or am I missing something in the translation here? I am picturing you do this and it looks like you have a ton of ankle flexion and your "open" hips are out over your toe pieces? Is this an exaggerated maneuver to help correct a skier's weakness or do you aim to ski this way all the time?

OR.... Are you perhaps skiing with boots very straight up and a low ramp angle neccessitating such a move? Would love to see you skiing...
I think Weems describes an ACTIVE move forward and into the turn that MAKES the skis work, Bud, and keeps the skis working properly. I think all too many of us have come to RELY on the shape of skis to cause a turn, resulting in a passivity that lacks some of the spirit of skiing. You won't find many folks on the hill that ski any better than Weems.
Thank you Bud and Kneale for your kind comments. I need to state really clearly here that I know of many, many who ski better than me--and many, many of them are wonderful skiing women. I don't consider myself to be a better skier that Eric DesLauriers, Rob Sogard, Nolo, or Bob Barnes or others who coach in our EpicSki Academy. If you want to see some great skiing from some great coaches--and/or if you want to tap into your own greatness--please come to the ESA at Snowbird!

I have the good fortune to know how good I am, and how good I am not! I've come a long ways and have a long ways to go and really like it like that.

As for Bud's question, Kneale's answer is essentially correct. Because the ski initiates soooooo well, you can really take advantage of that by diving forward onto it. It is the most incredibly sweet feeling to sense the shovels of those skis just pick you up and take you for the best ride ever. And for sure the management and directing of the speed is stunning, when you commit. I don't really lift the heels up, but when I do it well, I'm moving forward enough so it almost feels like it.

One of my students this season, who had just discovered the delights of this movement pattern asked me if it was possible to go to far forward. I took out a photo of Benjamin Raich in that amazing part of the turn where the hips really are over the toepieces and showed it to him. I said, "Yes, but you're not there yet!"

Essentially you'll know when you get there, but it's more than you think. It feels for a moment like you're just hanging out there over the toes, and then wham, that ski is right there workin' the snow. As Arc says, you just throw yourself out there and the skis come around and catch you.

Think about how the ski accelerates as the edge releases. You want to be "ahead" of that so you can move with it and control it. If you go up without forward, you're just kissing it goodby.

I liken it to leaning the hips against a railing on the edge of a deck. It's that kind of trust and commitment.

I also think that this does not work so easily with your feet too close together.
And Bud, my boots are not excessively flexed, but they're not all that straight up either. They're set up so that I can bend them, but the amount of ankle bend to put you in the right position, although critical, is not that much really. Sometimes people think it is so much that they bottom out, and try to squeeze more by dropping the hip, creating the opposite effect.
Quote:
 the amount of ankle bend to put you in the right position, although critical, is not that much really
I think that's a source of misunderstanding about ankle flexion that needlessly divides us--a little dab'll do ya.
I want to second something Weems said.

I'm a lousy crud skier. Give me a foot of busted up powder that has "set up" for a couple of hours and it gives me fits.

I made ONE run this winter that had ONE turn that I will always remember. It was ina foot and a half of busted, half frozen crud. True "variable" conditions. I remember gritting my teeth and thinking I was going to do everything I could to keep my hips over the middle of my feet. In order to do this I had to make movements that were very foreign to me.

I made one long, sweeping, fast, delicious, turn to the left in miserable snow and for a split second I felt.......that's it!

I was on snow teaching six or seven days a week all winter and only felt "it" once.
I think for a split second I was balanced, offensive, going there, etc.

In retrospect.....for me I was probably out of balance!
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BigE RicB, Seems to me that this "internal balance" is related, if not equivalent to proprioception. The first time I jump/catch air hitting a small mogul, I have no idea of what the sensations will be. I gain some valuable experience that lets me think about how to control the jump the next time. Am I "balanced" in the air? IMO, that question makes no sense. You may call sensing and control of the body position while airborne "internal balance". Is that sense and control not completely proprioceptive in nature? And why does one need to sense and control position when aiborne? So that that balance can be quickly reestablished upon landing. Exactly the same idea in the "throw/catch" model. I let my CM be "thrown" or topple downhill, whereby my proprioceptive system lets me sense and control the extent to which I allow the CM to be thrown/topple, and position the body for an effective "catch". So, I suggest that we always ski "in balance". One could say that the movements while airborne or otherwise disconnected are movements that will allow you to balance in the future. But you are not out of balance, that would require connection. One could say that we are in balance ONLY when we are stacked and aligned above the skiis. But that would be just ONE way to balance and effect control -- with skeletal support. However, there are times in which skeletal support is dropped in favour of muscular support. At these times, the skier is not out of balance, although the balance point may have moved. IMO, it would be accurate to say that when skiing, we alternate between skeletal and muscular support to remain in balance. Our "internal balance"/proprioceptive systems allows us to prepare for "balance in the future"; pre-balance. Yuck I hate that term! All it really does is allow us to "stick the reconnect". I think I'm on the same page....
Ah Big E - now you see why things like skiing (& even worse surfing) are such a challenge for me.... without the proprioceptive feedback I am stuck with visuals & "touch" for balance ...touch dissappears when my skis leave the snow & becomes quite subtle in very soft deep snow.... which sort of leaves me in a bit of a pickle.....

I have only a couple of choices
1) BELIEVE that if I left snow in balance I should land the same way (not good if I left off-balance)
2) TRUST my body to perform the regular movements without feedback & HOPE they work (my soft snow dilemma & people wonder why I hate powder)

Balance for me (all balance) when skiing is heavily based on TRUST... trust body, instructor, etc.... requires LOTS of commitment
Quote:
 Originally Posted by RicB I learn more everytime I visit these issues. doesn't sem to be any end to it. Onto arc's description of falling into and out of balance, I think this may also be just a semantic issue as well. I guess for me it feels like I stay balanced, but I must be utilizing different sensory imput for my balance mechanism to work with. I change priorities on the fly. The body and brain is already monitoring and deciding everthing, but when the priority of the ski/snow interaction and the underfoot feedback is diluted then I must be relying more on the other inputs for maintaing a stable posture and balance. Later, RicB.
Yes Ric - to me also it feels as though I "stay more balanced" as I ski more as my instructors request... every change seems to bring me less time spent feeling "out of balance" ..... This does not mean I could "pose" in that state when not in a turn... but while skiing that turn I feel well balanced - my body connected to my skis & easily able to influence both the path of the skis & where my body wishes to be
The goal is to make a move forward onto the boot cuff at turn initiation which will affect on the tip of the ski and set up the arc

Is this too hard to understand?
Disski, I think people underestimate the role of the visio-vestibular system in our balance. I could be wrong but the three main systems our balance gets it's info from are vision, vestibular system in the inner ear, and the sense of feel from pressure, particularly under the foot. Propreoception gives the body an understanding of where it is in realtionship to itself and which muscles are engaged and how much they are engaged. Very helpfull to make movements that effect balance, but not what tells us if we are "in balance".

When we talk about losing the pressure sensations under the feet when our skis lose contact we are talking about one of several balance feedback mechanisms, the sense of touch. Am I unbalanced when I lose one of three or do I stay in balance because I'm tuning into all three and my body knows how to maintain it's balance. Now, lose two out of three, and it becomes very difficult. As in skiing with eyes closed and then losing momentum, or forward movement. Most of us will tip over or open our eyes at this point.

I'm wiht you though disski. My goal is to stay balanced continuosly. Not to play catch with the skis or the body. To find that synergized choreogaphy that happens when I no longer think of my skis as being outside of my body. This is the time when they no longer need to "driven", like as car, they are worn like a shoe. And just like a shoe, I feel the traction they provide, and the support they give to do what I want to do.

Not sure why I feel and see balance in skiing so differently than others. Nothing in my experience, learning, and training, has lead me to accept the in and out of balance skiing as a nesessity. What am I missing? Later, Ricb.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by number2 The goal is to make a move forward onto the boot cuff at turn initiation which will affect on the tip of the ski and set up the arc Is this too hard to understand?
Easy to understand. However, there's a lot of stuff out there in the world of the athlete that gets in the way of that simple truth--mainly because it's right at the moment of maximum turmoil.
[quote=Rusty Guy] I remember gritting my teeth and thinking I was going to do everything I could to keep my hips over the middle of my feet. In order to do this I had to make movements that were very foreign to me.
QUOTE]

Hey Rusty. Your comments evoked for me something I finally relearned (hopefully forever) this winter. I was struggling with the conflict created by the need to use the tip of the ski and the inherent tendency to overload it in crud because of the depth and increased resistance of the snow. The challenge seems to be how to get on it, not dive it, and still have adjustability for the variation in the snow.

I suddenly had a magic moment that was like yours. I figured out that, in crud and other nameless loose, nasty snows, I can still move my hips forward in exactly the same way as in packed snow, but at the same time, I arched my back (just a little) leaving the shoulders behind slightly. In this way, I could get great contact with the tips, but not have everything pile forward to a screeching halt. I remembered also that this is exactly what I do in very deep/steep, bumps so that I can remain extended long enough for the absorption impact, yet still work the tips through the top of the turn.

A corollary was to discover that sometimes, my forward movement on the packed was too much out of the upper torso--too much in the shoulders and actually leaving the hips behind.

It was a great eye opener for me in the art of managing pressure in different situations while maintaining the important purpose of using the front of the ski well. It was about how to use the torso to complement and support the pressure/edge/turning game below.
[quote=weems]
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Rusty Guy I remembered also that this is exactly what I do in very deep/steep, bumps so that I can remain extended long enough for the absorption impact, yet still work the tips through the top of the turn.
I first began to explore these balance issues in a bump clinic with Winter Park's Bob Barnes. He first took a group onto groomed terrain and then into crud as a pre-cursor to skiing bumps. All in an effort to keep the hips in the position you describe.......over the boots.
RicB,

I just re-read the start of "The athletic skier" on the weekend. It states that the proprioceptors are in the pads between the joints, and MOSTLY on the bottoms of the feet.

It also goes on to mention that "balance messages" sent from these proprioceptors will compete with muscle tensing messages over the same nerve fibres. That explains quite a bit about skiing with tension hindering balance. Ski loose and you'll balance better, because you're not clogging the neural paths with unneeded signals.

So, if you CAN find skeletal alignment, your sense of balance will improve, and you will ski better.

An interesting notion is to try to relax the hips and let the boot tongue provide more support. Just to see how relaxed you can keep your hips and legs. You should notice a huge increase in the sense of pressure from the feet and knees.

I think the sense of increased pressure is mostly from the release of tension allowing the proprioceptor signals through. The other part of the increase is from the stacked position. Of course, if you are far in the back seat, the ratio will be different, but one will still feel a tremendous increase in pressure as tension drops.
I hesitate to say that the "athletic skier" is wrong but I don't understand how he can leave out the fact that our proprioceptors are in our joints, but more importantly in our muscles and tendons. Hundereds of thousands if not millions. Gives us feedback on muscle and joint position and what is active and what is not. To say that they are mostly in our feet would seem to be a stretch, unless he is confusing the sense of touch and pressure on the bottom of the feet, which give us feedback for body proprioception (the awareness of our body in space) versus our proprioceptors (specialized nerve endings in our muscles, tendons, and joints). these are as difined in my American council of exercise trainer manual and the dictionary.

The rest is right on I think, at least it makes sense to me.

Personaly I like to focus my balance through the bottom of my feet and not rely on the boot tongue constantly for this. though I do rely on the boot cuff to transmit my movement and leverage the ski and for maintaining my balance when needed.

Removing unnessasary tension is a never ending goal of mine whether skiing or not. Maintaining optimal posture is a big part of this, and one that always seems to need work. I noticed that my posture degraded somewhat over the winter from the effects of skiing on my body and less all around conditioning on my part. Only so much time and energy in the day. Now I'm back at it. Later, RicB.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by RicB Disski, I think people underestimate the role of the visio-vestibular system in our balance. I could be wrong but the three main systems our balance gets it's info from are vision, vestibular system in the inner ear, and the sense of feel from pressure, particularly under the foot. Propreoception gives the body an understanding of where it is in realtionship to itself and which muscles are engaged and how much they are engaged. Very helpfull to make movements that effect balance, but not what tells us if we are "in balance". When we talk about losing the pressure sensations under the feet when our skis lose contact we are talking about one of several balance feedback mechanisms, the sense of touch. Am I unbalanced when I lose one of three or do I stay in balance because I'm tuning into all three and my body knows how to maintain it's balance. Now, lose two out of three, and it becomes very difficult. As in skiing with eyes closed and then losing momentum, or forward movement. Most of us will tip over or open our eyes at this point. I'm wiht you though disski. My goal is to stay balanced continuosly. Not to play catch with the skis or the body. To find that synergized choreogaphy that happens when I no longer think of my skis as being outside of my body. This is the time when they no longer need to "driven", like as car, they are worn like a shoe. And just like a shoe, I feel the traction they provide, and the support they give to do what I want to do. Not sure why I feel and see balance in skiing so differently than others. Nothing in my experience, learning, and training, has lead me to accept the in and out of balance skiing as a nesessity. What am I missing? Later, Ricb.
Ric B - yes the sense of "out of balance" still works without proprioceptor input but you are simply in no position to correct...
The problem is that the cerebellum nicely does that constantly for you without you being aware... it senses all the small changes required to stay balanced & upright & performs them with you quite unaware that it does so (or that is my vague memory of my lessons from many years ago - remember my course requires no gross anatomy though & I am old so that is VERY long ago)

I am left with feeling "falling" with absolutely no idea how, why where when this fall is happening... so my falls consist of UP...ON GROUND....

Proprioception includes all senses & all are used for balance - I will ask the physios how much each is important generally.
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