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Becoming comfortable with both turns?

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
I've always been more comfortable making a carve to one side (while water skiing), & the same holds true when I'm on the snow.:

Is this common?
If so, are there drills that you can recommend, or tips that you'd like to share
for raising ones comfort level while carving to the weaker side?

The same can be said for making stops. I find myself favoring one side when
performing a stop.
post #2 of 68
Habits are hard to break but not impossible. Sometimes it can be simply a matter of allowing the weaker side do the task without help from the dominant side. It does take conscious focus to do, so don't be surprized if it takes a little effort.
Drills? Start with garlands to the weaker side. (A traverse with an edge release and re-engagement). Work into a full turn when you can easily do the garlands. If the second half of the turns give you trouble, try some J turns on shallower terrain. (straight run with a turn finish to the weaker side.)
post #3 of 68
It is very common. As Jasp said, habits are hard to break, and they create imbalances in the body. You might want to consider off snow functional fitness training especially focusing on the weaker side. Done effectively this should improve not only your snow skiing but also your water skiing. something like pilates, or a regimen like the one laid out in the book ProBodX, by Marv Marinovich. The eye of a good trainer will help you here, but a good book will also work if you follow it well. There's still time before the snow flies. After some foundational work the exercises Jasp laid out should come easier.
post #4 of 68
As JASP and Ric note, we all have a dominent side, a foot on which we feel more secure than on the other, and that's usually the one we rely upon when doing something like making a stop.

Go hike up a relatively steep grade and then walk back down by making a traversing descent, switching from one foot being the downhill to the other for each set of steps. This would be similar to the exercise JASP describes.

Once on skis, make steeper hills shallow by turning back and forth across a traverse line so that you kind of traverse/turn from one edge of the slope to the other, make one large turn and turn/traverse back to the original edge well down the hill. This makes JASP's exercise more of a skiing routine.
post #5 of 68
I'm not sure it's always a weaker - stronger issue. I'm right handed, kick right footed, had a broken left ankle and can turn better to my right than I can my left. Go figure.
post #6 of 68
Ray,

You may want to have your boot alignment looked at too. This is very a common cause. Most people who I assess are asymetrical, meaning they need more or less cant angle on one side than the other, one leg is shorter than the other, one foot more pronated than the other, so any or all of these factors will affect turn symetry and can easily be rememdied by a good boot fitter.

When I first begain teaching skiing my mantra for this was telling people you are right or left footed just like you are right or left handed. Well after some more observation I modified my mantra to you trust putting weight or commiting weight to one foot more than the other. Which was true but still just the "effect" or "symptom" of a deeper rooted issue. Canting!

Any boot alignment specialist can look at your stance on the bench in the shop without ever seeing you make a turn and most times be able to tell you to which side you turn the best.

Sure you can do exercises, strengthen this or that muscle and maybe get some results, but why not fix it right away so you can enjoy your time on the slopes and progress your skiing skills?

Food for thought!
post #7 of 68
In my personal experience this has been primarily due to one leg being weaker and or less stable than the other.

I suggest you strengthen the leg that you use less.
post #8 of 68
Bud, with all due respect, even those who have been aligned by a professional such as yourself can still exhibit functional deficiencies and muscle imbalances from side to side. These show up as range of motion and strength issues which are the result of habitual movement patterns and dominate use patterns and can impact the ability to fully trust and utilize this side when the movements go outside of or beyond those normally performed. Especially with respect to hip/leg rotation and ad/abduction range of motion. Integrated, coordinated, balancing movements involving core activation can be under utilized and restricted from one side to the other as well from the simple fact that we use one leg more than the other.

One way to find your dominate side if you are unsure is to stand still with your eyes closed, and have some one gently push you from behind until you lose your balance. you will quickly move one leg or the other froward to catch yourself. The leg you moved forward should be your dominate leg. If this doesn't jibe with your skiing, then digging a little deeper may be in order.
post #9 of 68
I have the same problem with my skiing and windsurfing. My experience is that it is possible to learn from the good side. It take some times and both sides get nearly equally good. It worked for many times uneven progress( left side's progress always lag behind).
I was told to look into alignment issue too. I am still looking at it so can not tell if its my issue too.
post #10 of 68
Work on the weak side will actually stengthen the good side too. eg. You don't have to do as many lunges on the strong side, you can do far fewer. or, when ice/inline skating, crossing over skating counter clockwise is much easier than crossing over skating clockwise. Working on the clockwise crossovers actually makes the counter-clockwise crossovers better....
post #11 of 68
We all have this. I'll bet you start each run with a turn to your good side ... right?

Don't! You can't do that any more or Uncle Yuki will be givven you a whoopin! :

Am I clear now?

Your job is to start each run and from each stop with a turn to your bad side. Yup, each time ..... and sooner or later the problem will be no longer a problem.

You will will always have a strong and weak side ..... but it will stop being a factor.

post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by carver_hk View Post
My experience is that it is possible to learn from the good side. It take some times and both sides get nearly equally good. It worked for many times uneven progress( left side's progress always lag behind).
Exactly. One thing to do is whenever you start on a steep pitch and whenever you come to a stop, conciously use your "bad" turn, to give it more--rather than less--practice.

And typically there is a huge learning opportunity when you have a strong and a weak turn: Pay attention to what you do differently on the strong side, and then exaggerate that difference for turns on both sides and watch both turns improve. (For me, in slalom turns, it was dropping slightly down to increase edge angle.)
post #13 of 68
Thread Starter 
All good points.

sfdean,
What you pointed out in your last sentence makes sense. Dropping down to increase edge angle is something I do when carving from right to left, but seldom do I get that far on edge when carving from L to R.
As I progress, I'd like to reach a point where one carve mirrors the other, which I have felt before, but which seems to disappear before I can get into a rhythm, or for any extended distance.

I believe the general consensus from everyone here, is to emphasize starting a turn to the weaker side,& stopping on the same side, whenever possible. Correct me if I'm wrong here, since I don't want to form more bad habits.

Thanks

PS
Kneale, I'll have wait till Jan to work on the "Hike a steep grade drill"

Still, I do appreciate the info. and thanks again

Ray
post #14 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
In my personal experience this has been primarily due to one leg being weaker and or less stable than the other.

I suggest you strengthen the leg that you use less.
Strengthen the leg you use less?? Unless you hop around on one foot, I would think us bipeds use both pretty equally??

Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB View Post
Bud, with all due respect, even those who have been aligned by a professional such as yourself can still exhibit functional deficiencies and muscle imbalances from side to side. These show up as range of motion and strength issues which are the result of habitual movement patterns and dominate use patterns and can impact the ability to fully trust and utilize this side when the movements go outside of or beyond those normally performed. Especially with respect to hip/leg rotation and ad/abduction range of motion. Integrated, coordinated, balancing movements involving core activation can be under utilized and restricted from one side to the other as well from the simple fact that we use one leg more than the other.

One way to find your dominate side if you are unsure is to stand still with your eyes closed, and have some one gently push you from behind until you lose your balance. you will quickly move one leg or the other froward to catch yourself. The leg you moved forward should be your dominate leg. If this doesn't jibe with your skiing, then digging a little deeper may be in order.
I agree with you here RicB! but wouldn't it make sense to eliminate any alignment issues first? It is certainly easier and focuses the light more brightly on other issues!

Your dominance test is great for snowboarding or surfing to determine goofy or regular stance and is a great test sans boots, but we both know once you put ski boots on your feet they tend to dictate angles that may or may not match up to your personal needs and therefore should be personalized and aligned to maximize their benefit to the skier. THEN, the skier is free to focus on the issues that may take other solutions to solve? no?
post #15 of 68
I once spent a few years without skating. When I finally got back on the ice I was surprised at how awkward a stop was on one side as compared to the other side. I practiced both sides. Eventually it came back.

Some say practice your bad side more than your good side. I maintain that you make your best advances with your best techniques, and the advances once made can be brought into your weaker techniques. I say practice more on your bad side until it is at least acceptable, then practice both sides about equally even if one side is better.
post #16 of 68
Ray,
RicB pointed out something that is easy to describe but is so very difficult to change. Just trying to do things with the opposite hand/foot and you will see what I am talking about. Old habits die hard.

Ghost, I would disagree with the logic that practicing with the dominant side will make the less dominant side improve. Ask anyone who has broken their writing hand about having to write with their other hand. After a bit their writing improves with that hand. In fact, a generation or two before mine it was SOP in the schools to force left handed writers to write right handed. My mother was one of those kids and like most of those people, she can write with either hand because she practiced with both. I am also left handed but I was never forced to write right handed and to this day I cannot do so.

Actually in a beginner lesson I work both sides equally unless there is a reason to focus on the weak side. In extreme cases I call in our TLC pro for some one on one work. I agree with Bud about alignment being the first cause to suspect. Sorry I didn't include that in my first post. Correcting mis-alignments works so much better than teaching compensatory movements can. FYI, Aspen's SOP includes using Mosh's shims, (even in the beginner corral), which should tell you how much of a difference they can make. It doesn't correct every problem but they also have several world class boot fitters in the valley for those that need more permanent solutions.
post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
Strengthen the leg you use less?? Unless you hop around on one foot, I would think us bipeds use both pretty equally??
I've done this with reasonable success by carefully setting up my activities in the gym.

I agree with you that it is good to get alignment issues out of the way first.
post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
Strengthen the leg you use less?? Unless you hop around on one foot, I would think us bipeds use both pretty equally?
Not really. Most folks show a strong preference. Can you kick a ball equally well with both feet? Why not?
post #19 of 68
One thing I think is very helpful in my case. Get MA from experts who will then able to tell what exactly is the problem (bad movements) on the bad side. This works for me.
post #20 of 68
Do it the right way, on your good side. Do it on your bad side. Figure out what you are doing wrong on the wrong side. Fix it. Repeat.
post #21 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Do it the right way, on your good side. Do it on your bad side. Figure out what you are doing wrong on the wrong side. Fix it. Repeat.
The bolding is why the bad side needs more practice.
post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Not really. Most folks show a strong preference. Can you kick a ball equally well with both feet? Why not?

I agree, my point is let's eliminate the ones caused by leg length discrepancies, canting issues, morphological abnormalities that can be balanced through proper alignment first.

Fix what can be fixed, then focus on what needs to be learned or trained or changed as a protocol.
post #23 of 68
OK by me!
post #24 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
I agree, my point is let's eliminate the ones caused by leg length discrepancies, canting issues, morphological abnormalities that can be balanced through proper alignment first.

Fix what can be fixed, then focus on what needs to be learned or trained or changed as a protocol.
Take me through the procedure for checking boot/stance issues.

Are we talking about alignment issues that may have been overlooked by my bootfitter?
post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
Strengthen the leg you use less?? Unless you hop around on one foot, I would think us bipeds use both pretty equally??



I agree with you here RicB! but wouldn't it make sense to eliminate any alignment issues first? It is certainly easier and focuses the light more brightly on other issues!

Your dominance test is great for snowboarding or surfing to determine goofy or regular stance and is a great test sans boots, but we both know once you put ski boots on your feet they tend to dictate angles that may or may not match up to your personal needs and therefore should be personalized and aligned to maximize their benefit to the skier. THEN, the skier is free to focus on the issues that may take other solutions to solve? no?

No we don't use both equally Bud, which is why a dominance test works in the first place. Ray stated that this was an issue in water skiing as well, which says to me that there is more going on here than issues strictly relating to hard plastic boots. I agree Bud, these boot issues should be addressed, and as he stated later, they may have already been addressed.

What I would bet on though is that if this shows up in two sports it will show up to some degree in everything we do. I see this one sidedness in my begining tai chi classes with just about every body. Tai chi places demands on the body that take it out of it's typical movement patterns and dominate side patterns. Most sports tend to do that as well, and will show our weaknesses born from habitual movements patterns and continually nurtured through habitual favoritisms.

Why not divest from our stuckness and improve both sports and general function as well. It will take a little time to do for sure, but would cost very little. For Ray, I would say that if it is enough of an issue that you notice it in both sports, then it would be worthwhile to address. It's not as hard as some might think.
post #26 of 68
I agree! I still have a preferntial direction to hockey stop!
post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayl1964 View Post
PS
Kneale, I'll have wait till Jan to work on the "Hike a steep grade drill"
You can do that before the season in your sneakers, you know. Then follow up on snow when you can.
post #28 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
You can do that before the season in your sneakers, you know. Then follow up on snow when you can.
I guess I was being facetious when I made reference to the steep grade.

My roof maybe, but thats a 10 on 12 pitch!
post #29 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
I agree! I still have a preferntial direction to hockey stop!
I do too Bud. The difference I see is when our preferences become a hinderance to our ability to perform like we want to, then as you say, why not fix it.
post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayl1964 View Post
I guess I was being facetious when I made reference to the steep grade.

My roof maybe, but thats a 10 on 12 pitch!

Levee banks? Football stadium steps? LA isn't all swampland is it?
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