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MA request - one footed apartment skiing

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I searched the forums for "bowlegged low intermediate trying to balance on one ski in dimly lit apartment holding giant drumsticks" but didn't find anything, so sorry if this has been answered before.

I'm thinking I need an alignment session, but I thought I'd post this for fun in the mean time. Most books I've read mention one footed skiing as a drill, and I can't do it - at all. The best I can do is lift one ski a few inches off the snow for a fraction of a second and then slam it right back down before I fall over. Can anybody look at this video and tell me what issues they would expect to see in my skiing and what the problem(s) might be, alignment or otherwise? I've skied about 20-25 days in my life, and am hoping I can put some of the blame for my lack of progress on my equipment. I've taken a few lessons and none of the instructors have mentioned alignment, but I never asked.



BTW, I do normally ski with regular poles, but they were in the car.
post #2 of 19
Fly... dude... wow!

I'm thinking either you have very weak legs, really bad balance skills, or your alignment is just screwing you up completely. I'd tend toward the latter, frankly. You really shouldn't have a huge difficulty lifting a ski and holding the other ski up for a while.

Where do you live? Where do you ski? Get thee to a boot specialist and see!
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I knew it was bad - just didn't realize how bad until I saw it on video. I didn't do much to get in shape this year, so leg strength is probably an issue. I can stand on one leg in street shoes just fine and I walk around all day without falling over, so I think my balance is at least average. I live in Denver and mostly ski Loveland, Breck, and Keystone.
post #4 of 19
It looks like you're trying to balance on the outside of your foot instead of the bottom of it:

Can you do it when you have one ski boot and ski in the air on one side, but bare foot on the foot that's still on the ground?
post #5 of 19
It's not too late to take up snowboarding instead. Really. You will probably have alot more fun, take a look at the snowboarding section here.
post #6 of 19
Try standing on one leg, barefoot, for any amount of time, with your support leg straight.
Then try it with the support leg bent at the knee. It should be easier.
Then try it with the support leg bent at the knee, but do little up/down movements with that knee. In other words, do gentle small knee bends as you stand on one foot. This should be even easier.

Move these tactics to the boot/ski. It should be easier to stand on one ski with the support knee bent, and even easier if you are doing gentle knee bends.

If this doesn't help, practice, practice, practice.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
It looks like you're trying to balance on the outside of your foot instead of the bottom of it:

Can you do it when you have one ski boot and ski in the air on one side, but bare foot on the foot that's still on the ground?
I know - when I try to keep my foot flat, I fall to the inside.

I tried the bare foot thing, and don't have much trouble balancing that way.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB View Post
It's not too late to take up snowboarding instead. Really. You will probably have alot more fun, take a look at the snowboarding section here.
I tried that too, but I fall backward every time I say "sorry, bro".

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
Try standing on one leg, barefoot, for any amount of time, with your support leg straight.
Then try it with the support leg bent at the knee. It should be easier.
Then try it with the support leg bent at the knee, but do little up/down movements with that knee. In other words, do gentle small knee bends as you stand on one foot. This should be even easier.

Move these tactics to the boot/ski. It should be easier to stand on one ski with the support knee bent, and even easier if you are doing gentle knee bends.

If this doesn't help, practice, practice, practice.

I thought my left leg balance was bad. Echo above.
post #10 of 19
I stand on the outside of my foot too. You need an orthodic made by a pro. Then maybe some canting. Get somebody good and you will see results.

Do you do this alot at home
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
Try standing on one leg, barefoot, for any amount of time, with your support leg straight.
Then try it with the support leg bent at the knee. It should be easier.
Then try it with the support leg bent at the knee, but do little up/down movements with that knee. In other words, do gentle small knee bends as you stand on one foot. This should be even easier.

Move these tactics to the boot/ski. It should be easier to stand on one ski with the support knee bent, and even easier if you are doing gentle knee bends.

If this doesn't help, practice, practice, practice.
I tried the movements barefoot, and didn't notice much difference in the different positions. I stay up and don't really feel out of balance, although I can see and feel my foot and knee constantly making tiny corrections as my natural tendency is to tip to the outside.

Bending the knee did seem to make some difference with the boot/ski on. I was able to stay in balance with my weight more equally centered on my foot.
post #12 of 19
Fly,

I agree with paul Jones, you need an allignment to get your feet flat under you. That will help your edge engagement a bunch.

Maybe try much wider skis (150mm under the foot) when balancing in the living room (allignment and orthotics is cheaper).
post #13 of 19
One thing I see is that you aren't raising your elevated leg straight up. You immediately tip your body outside to compensate for the weight of your equipment when you begin raising your leg.

Use your "poles" for balance and practice pulling your knee straight up using your quad muscles. You should be able to keep your other foot/ski flat on the floor because the poles are keeping you balanced. Raise your leg until your thigh is parallel with the floor and 90* to your torso. After you feel comfortable raising the weight of your boot/ski with isolated quad movement and feel relatively evenly balanced, then try lifting the poles off the ground once you already have your leg elevated to the 90* position.

Again, don't subconsciously lean away from the raised foot as soon as you begin to lift the poles. Lift the poles straight up also. The poles don't need to be raised high, just a few inches to see if you can stay balanced on a flat ski. Moving your lower arms/poles is less mass than your leg/boot/ski so the challenge to your dynamic balance will be less.

You probably do have a cuff alignment issue at the very least, but it just looks like a big part of your balance problem is leaning your body outside the minute you begin to raise your foot. That alone puts you on the outside edge of your ski.

A little flex in your "planted foot" is a good thing also. You don't want to be leveraging against the back of your boot cuff while lifting the other leg. Again ... work the lift from the quads and isolate all movement to just the leg.
post #14 of 19
I agree with medmarkco, I can not tell from this angle but it doesn't look like you are flexing your ankle?? Very difficult to balance without flexing the ankle!

Try shimming under your boot's/ski's edge with paper stacks of different thickness or duct tape to see if this helps your balance and stability.

Also try shimming inside the boot with duct tape on one side or the other of the zeppa to see the affects of this.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
I agree with medmarkco, I can not tell from this angle but it doesn't look like you are flexing your ankle?? Very difficult to balance without flexing the ankle!

Try shimming under your boot's/ski's edge with paper stacks of different thickness or duct tape to see if this helps your balance and stability.

Also try shimming inside the boot with duct tape on one side or the other of the zeppa to see the affects of this.
You're right about the flexing - I don't think I'm doing it much in the video. I did notice a bit more stability when I bent the knee as LiquidFeet suggested. I guess I had never made the connection between flexing and lateral balance before. Maybe that's why my balance doesn't look so horrible when I'm actually skiing, because I'm flexing more. I'm not thinking about it when I'm trying the one-footed drills.

When I'm standing straight like I'm doing in the video, the reason it looks like I'm intentionally leaning to the outside before I lift is that as soon as I start to lighten one foot, my weight immediately goes to the outside of the other. If I concentrate on keeping my right ski flat, the left seems glued to the ground when I try to lift it (and vice versa). I can force it up if I try, but it immediately moves about 6-8" to the outside and plops back down.
post #16 of 19
Fly, when standing with equal weight on each foot ones center of mass (CM) is directly above the center point between their feet. If one foot is lifted, and the CM is not moved laterally, the person will fall over toward the lifted foot. That is why you are leaning over your stance foot as you lift the other,,, to avoid falling over. In essence, you're moving your CM laterally so as to remain in balance. Not a bad thing, it's a mandatory thing. The problem you're seeing is in the manner you are moving your CM. In the video you are simply leaning, what we call inclintation. This natually puts you on your outside edge.

There are a couple alternatives you could use to inclination that would allow you to balance on a flat, or even inside edged, ski. They are two forms of angulation. The first is hip angulation. Turn your pelvis and torso away from your lifted foot, and forward flex at the waist. This will move weight (CM) to the outside of your stance foot, while allowing you to leave your hips to the inside of your stance foot. With your hips still inside your stance foot you will be able to keep your stance ski flat, or even up on it's inside edge, while remaining balanced.

Option 2 is knee angulation. Turn your pelvis toward your lifted foot, and bend your knee and ankle. Your hips will move to the outside of your stance leg, moving your CM over your stance foot and keeping you in balance, while your knee moves inside your stance foot, pulling it up on it's inside edge.

I suspect inclination is contributing to your lateral balance problems on snow too. Give angulation a go.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Fly, when standing with equal weight on each foot ones center of mass (CM) is directly above the center point between their feet. If one foot is lifted, and the CM is not moved laterally, the person will fall over toward the lifted foot. That is why you are leaning over your stance foot as you lift the other,,, to avoid falling over. In essence, you're moving your CM laterally so as to remain in balance. Not a bad thing, it's a mandatory thing. The problem you're seeing is in the manner you are moving your CM. In the video you are simply leaning, what we call inclintation. This natually puts you on your outside edge.

There are a couple alternatives you could use to inclination that would allow you to balance on a flat, or even inside edged, ski. They are two forms of angulation. The first is hip angulation. Turn your pelvis and torso away from your lifted foot, and forward flex at the waist. This will move weight (CM) to the outside of your stance foot, while allowing you to leave your hips to the inside of your stance foot. With your hips still inside your stance foot you will be able to keep your stance ski flat, or even up on it's inside edge, while remaining balanced.

Option 2 is knee angulation. Turn your pelvis toward your lifted foot, and bend your knee and ankle. Your hips will move to the outside of your stance leg, moving your CM over your stance foot and keeping you in balance, while your knee moves inside your stance foot, pulling it up on it's inside edge.

I suspect inclination is contributing to your lateral balance problems on snow too. Give angulation a go.
Excellent, thanks. Feels extremely awkward and I'm still wobbly, but I'm wobbling on a flatter ski.
post #18 of 19
Start with the ankle---many have said it.

NOTE: Do not lift ski off the ground more than 1 inch....any higher messes with your balance.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
OK, I practiced a little with the angulation and was getting the ski more flat, but my body felt very contorted. I had an alignment session today, and this was my first attempt when I got home. I'm still doing the hip angulation, but it's taking a lot less of it and it feels more natural now.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=axuVqv5ciBQ

Sorry, still can't get videos to embed
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