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Need help with my stance and adding weight to inside foot

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have been skiing for two seasons now. I am by no means an expert, but I am progressing well and relatively quickly consideringour short ski season here in the NE.

I am carving my turns now, very little skidding. I have been laying down turns, stopping and turning around to see my tracks...nice arcs and usually two ski lines (train tracks).

I have two problems;
(1) my feet are too far apart. I have difficulty keeping both skis pointing forward if I bring my feet closer together. It may be an anatomical thing. If my feet are closer together, my toes point outward slightly and I pronate. I would like to work on this because it would help me in the bumpier portions of the trails.

(2) Almost 100% of my weight is on the outside ski. I was carefully watching the olympics (GS and SL) and it appears as though the siers are skiing both skis, not just the outside ski. They are lightyears better than I, but how do I work on distributing the force to both skis on a hard/power turn? Or shouldn't I?

-Scott

PS - I try to take as many lessons as I can, which admittedly is not enough, but it is hard to get time for your self for a lesson when your kids ski and your spouse doesn't...I am usually with them and they are afraid to ski or stay in the lodge for over an hour by themselves.
post #2 of 22
I agree with the alignment thing, but what you are dealing with may not be a problem...

Check this link out: http://forums.epicski.com/showpost.p...40&postcount=4 (and all the links that it has in it)

Then go here, http://forums.epicski.com/showpost.p...03&postcount=2, and tell me what you think my weight distribution is in those clips.

Later

GREG

EDIT: This was weird... somehow this post went between Kneale's reply and the original post, even though it was actually posted 7 minutes after Kneale's response...
post #3 of 22
Someone from your neighborhood can suggest a nearby place to go to have your alignment checked. You need to be certain you're standing properly on your skis before you start addressing the kinds of problem you're describing.

If you want to work on two-footed skiing, you need to go to the easiest runs available and spend some time gradually rolling from one set of edges to the other and back again while maintaining as equal weighting as possible. Note that turns will automatically apply more weight to the outside ski. You don't need to resist this factor. But you do need to remember that as you roll back toward skis flat on the snow, you need the weight equalizing again. These are ongoing and progressive maneuvers.

Why do your kids have to sit in the lodge alone? They can benefit from lessons too. Put them in the children's program during your lessons. Then go skiing with them.
post #4 of 22
Contrary to what it might look like, the world cup racers ARE mostly on their outside ski.
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewdman42
Contrary to what it might look like, the world cup racers ARE mostly on their outside ski.
But they strive to engage both skis.
post #6 of 22
HI Scott .... Your question #1: agree with others; may be alignment. Do your toes point out only when you're skiing down a slope, or when you are just standing at home in your bare feet, or standing in ski boots? If only as your skiing and turning, then it is probably skiing related.

#2: Not necessarily a problem. As a general rule, we do have most of our weight on the outside ski, but everything depends on the steepness of terrain and the speed your going (and what your skiing goals are). Trying to do the "railroad tracks" can be good and can add to other skills. Here are a couple points to consider:

1. Stance width: a narrower stance will help (especially in bumps) provided you don't introduce issues by trying to ski narrow. If you're properly balanced (on the outside ski), the inside ski will naturally come to a comfortable stance position.

2. Terrain steepness: on flat terrain or slower speeds, skiing more on two skis is acceptable and sometimes even desirable, but be careful that you don't train yourself to balance on the inside ski or too much on both skis - this will kill you (figuratively) when you go back to steeper and faster skiing. Many people (good skiers) tend to tip inside on flats to get the railroad tracks effect on flats and the tracks look great, but they are training themselves to weight the inside ski - really bad on steeps.

I don't want to make this post too long, but I'm more than willing to answer more questions or discuss this further ...

Cheers
post #7 of 22

Two things that might help

What you lack is what we refer to as a "strong inside half". Don't worry, you're not alone. I spend a lot of time with instructors working on the same thing.

Here're a couple of things to try:

1) Tracer Turns - also called 90/10 turns. Simply this. Go skiing and keep 90% of the weight on the same ski - - turn after turn, always on the same ski - I'm not talking always on the inside/outside ski, rather, pick the right foot and put 90% of the weight there, turn after turn. When the "heavy" foot is the inside ski you will be forced to keep more weight on it. This works wonders and is easily practiced.


2) Do a series of traverses on the uphill ski and uphill edge. Try to make a clean arc in the snow, no smearing. The cleaner the track the better you will be at this. This might take practice but will work wonders as well. A couple of things you will notice. First, you'll notice just how tall you need to be to be in balance. Second, you will find it hard to balance on the uphill ski until you keep your body moving forward. Try it with your uphill hand down by your side and then try it by keeping your uphill hand and arm reaching toward where you want to go. Here's how this progresses.

a) Then make the traverses a bit steeper until you can make a turn on the uphill foot while starting in a very steep traverse or even going down hill.

b) Then try this: about two-thirds of the way across a medium steep traverse gently put the downhill ski on the snow. You will feel the ski engage dramatically and the G-forces will increase and the turn will progress much more dramatically.

c) As you traverse across on the uphill foot try gently releasing the edge so you go straight across, rather than turn uphill, for only a second or two then re-engage the edge.

d) Get a partner and follow directly behind and leave your track in exactly the same line as he or she does.

The purpose of a strong inside half is to get the body well positioned for the next turn and to enlist the inside ski to carry some of the load. This directly relates to some of Bob Barnes's stuff about "come over here" where the body moves in the direction of the turn.

If you watched the short-track speed skaters in the Olympics you saw the necessity of a strong inside half. You saw them leading the turn by almost diving in. Even though they lifted the inside skate their body position was extremely strong.

Hope this helps.

BobH
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the pointers.

Greg, I aspire to ski as you do.

I look like a duck! My right foot faces outward slightly in a relaxed position, but my left foot points outward more pronounced. Looking at the wear pattern in my sneakers and shoes, I definately pronate. I have had knee surgeries and I do beleive I have noticed this lower leg rotation (toes out) more since the surgeries. Perhaps I became more aware of it and it was always there...I do not know.

As far as width, I measures the tracks and my skies are roughly shoulder width apart (14-16 inches). The only time the seperation is an issue, is when I go through pumpy portions where I need to keep the skis closer so one doesn't go up and one down a bump.

-Scott
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
EDIT: This was weird... somehow this post went between Kneale's reply and the original post, even though it was actually posted 7 minutes after Kneale's response...
This happens when you write slow (i.e. you started writing your reply first). In the software business, we call this a feature!
post #10 of 22
As Kneale was saying, the goal is to ski both skis not just the outside ski, but engaging and intentionally weighting are two different things. You want to be actively engaging the inside foot by rolling that ski onto edge and not just riding the edge of the outside ski.

Try to ski 50/50 and let turn dynamics manage weight transfer. In a carve on hard snow with any sort of speed to it, that will be nearly entirely on the outside ski.

Video helps a lot with this. You can see quite clearly when you become big toe dominant and the inside ski/leg is not matching angles.
post #11 of 22
Scott, you're probably exagerating your duck-like features, but definitely go find an quality bootfitter and get your alignment and boots fixed up or at least checked (http://www.bootfitters.com/FIND_SHOP.htm). I have no experience with the shops in this link, but it sounds good - I'm sure others can recommend other shops from experience.

You should aspire to be the best you can be. Learn good technique from a top instructor and when you develop good technique, you'll be able to adapt to any situation - bumps, racing, steeps, flats etc. The general technique of good skiing is the same, the application differs depending on goals, terrain, what you want to achieve.

Good luck with the alignment issues.
post #12 of 22
Regarding alignment and duck walking etc.. I am going through this right now too. One foot is worse than the other. I pronate and in a relaxed position my feet point out. Worse yet, that is the stable position for me as well...with toes pointing out about 30 degrees. If I move my feet to point foward I literally feel pigeon toed, even though the feet are pointing straight forward. This causes my knee to do weird things.

I recently did some sessions with the best boot alignment guy I could find in the area. he had me do all kinds of things like jumping up and down in a rectangle and other wierd stuff and he used measuring devices. He determined that there was nothing fundamentally wrong with my basic alignment, but that I do pronate and partly because of this I have over the years favored that, allowing myself to walk more and more duck like..which stretches out certain muscles and ligaments and tightens up others..until holding that foot straght literally feels unnaturally tight.

The solution? There is not much he can do for that. He can make foot beds to make sure my pronation does not wash around inside the boot and we can work on some canting to fine tune the angle of the skiis, but as far as the duck turn out issue...nothing he can do.

What he *DID* suggest is that I should think about getting some rolf massage work done. Its not inexpensive. I am planning to do it though, probably after the ski season is over. Look up ralf massage to find out more, but apparantly it is a discipline to stretch out certain muscles and help the body to retrain other key muscles that have gotten weak as I've walked incorrectly over the years. The claim is that it will straighten out my walk and get rid of that tight pigeon toed feeling when my right foot is straight forward. I plan on trying it. I am also going to get some orthotics for my street shoes made which will also help to correct the way I walk, which over time will stretch out those muscles and ligaments.

I will also say that when I was up skiing Saturday and playing around with different duct tape cant levels, I was being extra focused about everything and paying very close attention to my edges and body, etc. and wow..I can see very clearly how much easier it is for me to counter when the good foot is on the outside. When my duck foot is on the outside I have a much more difficult time countering well. I think this is because that muscle or ligament is wound up, feeling pigeon toed and making it more difficult for me to do the counter or at the very least its giving my brain cues that I'm wound up tighter than I actually am which probably makes me counter less than I should on that side.

Bottom line, I think the ralfing could help a lot.
post #13 of 22
One of the ways to do engage the inside ski more actively is to stick out the inside knee (kind of lunge with it): you will have to bend it into the turn anyway; so wy not initiate the turn with it? Just make sure the inside ski does not go tip up: stay forward and keep your weight on the balls of your feet. Just something a coach told me once, a long time ago.
post #14 of 22
Hmm. Personally I think you want to be careful about lunging your inside ski. Yes, your inside knee will come up to your chest... I think its more like you allow it to come to your chest...don't push it. The real key lies more in tipping that inside ski onto the Little Toe Edge (LTE). No, I am not a PMTSer, but that is one thing they emphasize a lot. If you want to know a lot of details about how to get your inside ski onto the LTE, then check out the PMTS forums and books..there is a lot of info and exercises to help you do that.

Its more like you will need to guide that ski a little bit since it has to turn a smaller radius turn than your outside ski, but you shouldn't have to lunge it forward. The PMTS crowd even advocates pulling the inside foot back, not foward. I'm still not sure of the purpose of that move. But I do know that for myself..I have been tipping my inside ski for a long time. I don't stand on it. I stand on the outside ski, but I very conciously tip the inside ski onto its edge, very early. If I have to while warming up in the morning I might even lift the ski up. I do this movement BEFORE my outside ski is hard on its edge turning. In other words..its not like a stem move where you get on your outside ski and then lift up the inside ski and put it onto its LTE. That is old school. I literally try to lift up that inside ski at exactly the same time that I move to the inside edge of my outside ski...if not mentally a little before. When I warm up in the morning I probably lift the inside ski and do this in a very forced motion, but through the day it becomes much more subtle and it becomes more of a timing issue of just rolling that inside ski onto its edge as I transition into the turn and not later...both skis together basically should roll onto new edges..

But don't get caught in the trap of standing with too much weight on the inside ski. its there, its tracking, its taking some Gs, if you lose your outside ski edging, the inside ski is ready to take over. But you will get a lot more edging power out of your outside ski and you can't really angulate your body and counter properly if you're trying to stand on the inside ski. Without that angulation and counter, your edges will not be as effective. Ready LeMaster's book for more technical information about why this is.

good luck
post #15 of 22
Scott K, thanks for the compliment on the skiing. Were you able to determine what my weight distribution is in the center half of the turn (say 1/4 above and below the apex)?

You mentioned scissoring, in your response. This can certainly be caused by your pronation. It may be exaggerated by trying to add weight to your inside ski. As you add weight to the inside ski, it tracks farther out in front of you to maintain your balance and create a stable platform. As this happens you rock back to your heel and loose control of the inside ski so it is not actively engaged with the outside ski. I think this was mentioned in a few of the posts above this one in greater detail...

Later

GREG
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewdman42
Hmm. Personally I think you want to be careful about lunging your inside ski. Yes, your inside knee will come up to your chest... I think its more like you allow it to come to your chest...don't push it. The real key lies more in tipping that inside ski onto the Little Toe Edge (LTE). No, I am not a PMTSer, but that is one thing they emphasize a lot. If you want to know a lot of details about how to get your inside ski onto the LTE, then check out the PMTS forums and books..there is a lot of info and exercises to help you do that.

Its more like you will need to guide that ski a little bit since it has to turn a smaller radius turn than your outside ski, but you shouldn't have to lunge it forward. The PMTS crowd even advocates pulling the inside foot back, not foward. I'm still not sure of the purpose of that move. But I do know that for myself..I have been tipping my inside ski for a long time. I don't stand on it. I stand on the outside ski, but I very conciously tip the inside ski onto its edge, very early. If I have to while warming up in the morning I might even lift the ski up. I do this movement BEFORE my outside ski is hard on its edge turning. In other words..its not like a stem move where you get on your outside ski and then lift up the inside ski and put it onto its LTE. That is old school. I literally try to lift up that inside ski at exactly the same time that I move to the inside edge of my outside ski...if not mentally a little before. When I warm up in the morning I probably lift the inside ski and do this in a very forced motion, but through the day it becomes much more subtle and it becomes more of a timing issue of just rolling that inside ski onto its edge as I transition into the turn and not later...both skis together basically should roll onto new edges..
That's very true. As long as you keep pressing the front of the inside boot (which you have lunged forward) and don't lean back at the initiation of the turn, you will end up carving on both skis. It is kind of an extension of the move that Pierre recommended a few years back, when you turn by collapsing the new inside knee, rather than by extending the new outside knee. BTW, this kind of turning is very energy efficient too.

I heard from the PMTS guys about that "lunge back" with the inside foot - I think the movement has been borrowed from telemarkers, and the mechanics here is to pull the point of balance back, so that the CM would move into the turn, but I think it is a wrong premise for the fixed-heel crowd.

Quote:
But don't get caught in the trap of standing with too much weight on the inside ski. its there, its tracking, its taking some Gs, if you lose your outside ski edging, the inside ski is ready to take over. But you will get a lot more edging power out of your outside ski and you can't really angulate your body and counter properly if you're trying to stand on the inside ski. Without that angulation and counter, your edges will not be as effective. Ready LeMaster's book for more technical information about why this is.
Remeber Herminator's recovery in this Olympic GS ?

Quote:
good luck
Thank you; good luck to you too
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott K
(2) Almost 100% of my weight is on the outside ski. I was carefully watching the olympics (GS and SL) and it appears as though the siers are skiing both skis, not just the outside ski. They are lightyears better than I, but how do I work on distributing the force to both skis on a hard/power turn? Or shouldn't I?
Scott, here's a late 2 cents' worth on that inside ski edge and weight distribution thing.

The tip-LTE movement may put the ski on edge, but for someone who is habitually heavy on the other ski, it's perhaps not decisive enough to get some weight going across.

You could try this adjustment to the movement: rather than just tipping the little toe side of the foot, consciously lift the big toe - and at the same time move your belly button towards it (across and forward, but not down).

Note: when I say lift the big toe, I don't mean to lift the ski off the snow - or to move your weight onto your heel. The lift movement really just rolls the foot onto its edge; combined with the belly button shift, you should get an emphatic shift of weight going early onto that foot. This will get some pressure on the edge towards the tip, and engage it with the snow.

Some of the edging exercises detailed above, esp WVSkier's, will help you get a feel for what it's like to have more weight on that inside foot. Soon you'll be able to comfortably - and progressively - replicate that feeling a turn at speed.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewdman42
The PMTS crowd even advocates pulling the inside foot back, not foward. I'm still not sure of the purpose of that move.
I've been experimenting with that. The PMTS books suggest pulling back the inside foot as a way of tightening turn radius, but why it works is never explained. It does seem to result in shorter turns than tipping the inside foot alone would, especially if you're in a strong countered position to start with.

As far as I can tell, it actually moves both skis back relative to the CM, therefore getting the weight forward. For some reason it also makes me lift my hands in order stay in balance, and puts them in the right place for the next pole plant. I can't explain that, though. Playing around with the same move standing on dry land, it seems to generate rotary motion too, which I guess also helps tighten the turn radius.
post #19 of 22
Scott,

I agree with WVskiier,

Quote:
What you lack is what we refer to as a "strong inside half". Don't worry, you're not alone. I spend a lot of time with instructors working on the same thing.
I just did a session with my senior group on "inside half", and wow, they got it. They are skiing like never before.

RW
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks again everyone, I will try it out this weekend...probably at Windham.

Ron - good to finally meet you. It was me who introduced themselves to you on Sunday (Pres weekend) at the Wonderama lift. You were doing a lesson so I did not want to wastes time BS'ing with you.

-Scott
post #21 of 22
scott-
just keep 'em hip-width apart.
better yet, take your skis off, close your eyes, jiggle your legs, arms, etc., and then stand at relaxed ease.
open your eyes, look down. whatever your stance width is, that's what you should ski at.
resist attempts at homogenizing your ski stance.
PM me, make the short drive the lousy hour and a half to mountain creek, and i'll work with you for free, for up to 4 hours, if you like, private lesson, i'll even comp the pass. hell- if you wanna ditch in 5 seconds and just go ski, please: enjoy. still on me.
just take me up on this....you'll break some new ground and smile a lot more.
post #22 of 22
ski with your poles not your feet
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