Originally Posted by epic
It wasn't presented to me as an exercise, but maybe that's the danger of only getting to ski with him for an hour or two with twenty other people. I've been wanting to explore this further for a year.
Well Pierre is right in that vertical femurs at transition can be an exercise (isolating a movement pattern), but taking vertical femurs into short reaching is another matter entirely for me.
Reaching short turns or short turns in general have certain requirements to execute effectively, one of which is that the skis and legs are active and the upper body is stable, quite, and anchoring the lower body activity. This is all in my own opinion. We can't have primary mobility in both the upper and lower body at the same time.
Even when done as short swing turns the upper body is the anchor and stability. But then we have that up unweighting and pivot of the skis.
To me, when we include the term reaching we are implying that something is moving away or extending. Reaching out from the body. So if in short turns we have a stable anchoring upper body with the lower body being active then I assume that we reach with the lower body, the feet and legs. Where the vertical femurs fit in here for me would be when reach out with the feet and legs after the skis have moved under us and are moving away from us in the beginning of the turn. At this point we can maintain more pressure on the skis getting less float through transition, with more early edge engagement, with less pivoting of the skis. An early more intense move to get the femurs vertical (extension) early in the turn can help achieve this.
If I was teaching in this direction I would direct my student to spend more time with vertical femurs. Find their vertical femurs earlier in the turn and ride them longer through turn. Don't know that I would tackle this by an exercise that forced vertical femurs at transition, but I would use an exercise or two, in particular ones that helped with timing. The big key for me in achieving vertical femurs is an open extended hip joint. I just don't know if I ever want this at transition in modern skiing. Even flexing the ankle max in my boots there is no way I can get through transition with enough flex in my posture to allow my feet to then reach out away from the body. The other joints have to flex along too, including the hips. Otherwise it would seem to me that we are just moving up and over.
Not sure if this is any help Epic. What was your impression of the timing in the turn movements (vertical femur) coming out of this clinic and how was the reaching short turn defined to your class? Further, how would you break it down and teach this to your students? Sometimes for me, breaking it down into language and movements that are teachable, helps my own understanding better.