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Bulging Butts

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
In many of the excellent ski racers it is apparent that their inside gluteal area is tense and bulging, especially as they approach the gate and are tightening their turns. This is especially apparent in many of LeMaster's photo montages. What is the specific move that causes this tension? I've searched this forum for clues, but haven't found anything aside from a reference to "tension in the cheek of the inside leg" by David M.

Would uphill knee drive produce this?
post #2 of 36
I think it's their package reacting to centrifugal force.
post #3 of 36
Harvey, nice title for the thread! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

I think uphill knee drive would work against this effect: if anything, it stretches the lower leg and butt muscles. I think it's more like what milesb said, body reaction to The Force.
post #4 of 36
HarveyD,

Do you see this in the female racers as well as the male racers, or would that occur higher in the body? I seem to recall someone speaking about Sarah Schleper's bulging bosom in this context as well.
post #5 of 36
It's my hope and prayer our brethren at powdermag don't see this.
post #6 of 36
Thread Starter 
Nolo: It seems, if anything, to be more pronounced in the female racers. Take a look at D. Compagnoni on page 129 of LeMaster's book. I'm wondering if gluteal flexion would enhance external rotation and if that's what's going on here, or if it's just a manifestation of hip angulation.
post #7 of 36
I am :

I thought this was one of those topics

HarveyD, You got me :
post #8 of 36
Quote:
I think the interesting habit of Schleper's that stands out for me is her tendency to ski with her breasts flailing. While this is of course an indvidual style quirk, I don't really see it presenting any performance detriments and I certainly would advocate it to other female skiers who were interested in emulating this technical model.
From one of Fastman's zanier moments...

All I can say, HarveyD, is that the gluteus maximus is a big muscle and it has a big role in skiing. If you've ever pulled a glute, you probably learned that. The other part of the female anatomy has no practical purpose in the sport of skiing, though it certainly facilitates apres ski.
post #9 of 36
With all the talk of pulling the feet back or driving the hips forward it seems to me that this is one of the main muscles(along with the hamstrings)for doing this. It's the feeling I get when I make those moves standing here on dryland. I know I feel it at times when I've got my stiff boots and skis and I'm trying to make RR tracks at low speed.
post #10 of 36
Will someone please explain this to wifey? She can be so sceptical! I watch those women's butts and boobs to study ski biomechanics . . . butt seriously . . . you CAN'T be SERIOUS! Everyone knows the importance of the butt in skiing! You almost never hear someone say, "I fell on my groin skiing the bumps on Maximus Butticus today" (Gott sie dankte) No! You hear "I really busted my butt skiing the bumps on Gloot Max today!" That's what it's THERE for, and it doesn't just dangle like this last preposition. It sits (relatively) firmly in place. It protects us. "A mighty fortess is our butt." So, why does it bulge so much in racers, particularly the women? hmmmm . . . requires more study.
post #11 of 36
Lest anyone think I've died or vanished from this site (which I all BUTT have, recently), I just want you all to know that, when a truly momentous and weighty topic like this one comes up, I must add my two cents.

As Sigmund Freud said, "Anatomy is destiny." But if I can ski with (what anyone who knows me would attest is) my non-existent butt, it doesn't seem all THAT critical.

Quote:
The other part of the female anatomy has no practical purpose in the sport of skiing, though it certainly facilitates apres ski.
I agree completely with the apres ski role of the "other parts," Nolo, but I'm not certain about the lack of other uses in skiing. I have made a great deal of study of these things, of course. Several years ago I was riding a lift at Aspen Highlands with my good friend Tom Banks, head trainer at Breckenridge, when we witnessed a novel use of ... those things. We were above a short, moderate bump run, watching a couple, um, talented female skiers. Suddenly, one of them caught an edge and high-sided spectacularly, landing very hard on her chest. "OW!" she bellowed for the entire lift to hear, "my TIT!" Tom and I just about fell out of our chair. Being professional ski instructors, of course, we analyzed what we had observed for the rest of the ride to the top, finally realizing that we had just witnessed a whole new technique. We christened it the Tit Christie.

OK. Back to work. Sorry to butt in. As you were.

Best regards,
Bob

PS--no, don't expect to see this term in the next edition of The Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing....

[ August 07, 2003, 07:48 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #12 of 36
[img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #13 of 36
Jeez Nolo, how did you ever find that old post of mine? You sure must keep aBREAST of what goes on in here.

Bob's story reminds me of a couple anatomy situations I had to deal with involving 2 of my teenage racers. The end of each race season was capped off with an awards ceremony in which we recognized outstanding achievements, and just for fun a few unusual achievements as well. Often the unusual achievements we chose to focus on were rather embarrassing for the recipient, something that took place over the course of the season the racer was hoping would just assume a quick, quiet and forgotten death.

Such was the case with one of our male racers who always seemed to consistently RISE to the occasion at competitions, and on a crowded race trail while sporting a tight Lycra suit such impressive performances do not go unnoticed by wide eyed peers and parents. Embarrassing for him? You bet! But as the season progressed he did seem to begin drawing more than his share of attention from the teams female contingent so all's well that ends well I guess. A bottle of pseudo salt peter pills made a fitting award for this youngster.

The other award went to a 17 year old girl who one day while training was viciously ravaged in broad daylight by a leaning slalom pole. I mean for real, the marriage was consummated. The only time I've ever heard of this type of thing happening. Took this poor kid over a week to heal physically and mentally enough to even think about getting back on skis. This one as you can imagined pegged the embarrassment meter, so even talking to her about the subject was strictly off limits to all until,,,,,,, yep, you guessed it,,,,,, the awards ceremony. We tactfully presented her with a key chain bottle of pepper spray. Hey, ya gotta get past these things!
post #14 of 36
Now, on a more serious note. Harvey has asked me for my input on this legitimate topic so I will. Harvey, in your opening post you stated that the only reference you could find to this subject in the archives was one from David M. so I took the liberty to contact him and solicit his input. Here is that conversation:

**************************

FASTMAN: David, I had a fellow write to me asking for my input on a thread he started. He mentions in his thread starting post that after doing a search through the archives the only reference to the topic was something you had said, so I thought I would contact you and see if you have any thoughts on this.

Seems to me to be an interesting topic. My thinking is that inside glute tension would be greatest during turn transition while inside leg extension (if in fact that technique is being utilized) is taking place, and would dissipate as the forces grow and are transferred to the outside ski. In addition, counter rotation seems to magnify glute tension when R force is applied, but specifically to the glute of the predominant supporting leg side.

DAVID: Dead on Fastman. Extension causes the inside leg (now the new outside leg) to passively rotate towards the L-R center of the body. If you 'assume the position' by leaning into a wall supported by your inside hand and begin to extend with the weight on the outside of your inside foot you will feel your glutes bulge up big time. The glutes adduct and rotate the femur into the hip. So even though the rotation is passive the tension the inside leg will cause the glutes to shorten and bulge. This is a big time clue to the use of inside leg extension.

FASTMAN: What's your thinking on this? Do you think the topic is of important significance, or just a resultant bio response to technical application that really is of little consequence?

DAVID: It is a big deal.

**********************************

So Harvey, to summarize my thoughts on this, glute tension will be directly proportional to the amount of turn forces directed to a particular foot/leg. In efficient turn execution the majority of turn force resistance is best accomplished by the outside foot so the greatest tension will occur in the outside glute. However, a small degree of inside foot pressure is typically maintained during high energy turns, enough so to make inside glute contraction apparent, it just won't be to the magnitude of the outside glute.

The one time dominant inside glute tension will occur is during inside leg extension during turn transition as David and I speak of above. If your not farmiliar with this technique you may want to refer to my "INSIDE LEG EXTENSION TECHNIQUE" thread. In this case the extension of the inside leg releases the kinetic gate and allows the glute to help pull the pelvis back into a rotational neutral position for the start of the new turn. If, however, retraction is used as the transition technique then this will be a non factor.

Also, counter seems to increase glute tension as it puts the muscle in a less efficient orientation. However, counter also drives the foot into pronation, which promotes inside edge engagement, and it facilitates better angulation efficiency, so it is not something we should necessarily avoid.
post #15 of 36
Thread Starter 
FASTMAN: Thanks to you and to David M for shedding new light on this subject. I thought that you would be able to put this in proper perspective and extend significance to what I felt was a valid observation. You and David provided a real synergistic effort. Believe me, I go back and reread both of your postings frequently.
post #16 of 36
Fastman,

I found David M's comment about passive rotation of of the femur of interest particularly in light of the previous discussions about the matter.

I have to respectfully question your statement that counter;

1. "drives the foot into pronation"

or

2. "facilitates better angulation efficiency"

Perhaps I merely don't fully understand your assertion. In the past I have understood you to contend inclination was something that created edge angle and angulation was a balancing force. I have never voiced a concern with that. I'm not sure I agree however I didn't feel moved to argue. I guess I always felt I could gently tip my feet, create edge angle, hence angulate and put the ski on edge, without changing the inclination of my spine. I didn't argue because to some degree I think the inclination/angulation and edging/balance debate is akin to the chicken and egg arguement.

In this case, I have had various practioners demonstrate to me in the past, that in a fairly high speed turn in which there is a fair degree of "counter" this effectively "locks" the outide femur in the hip and additional edge angle mandates moving the pelvis further inside the turn. A "squarer" stance with the pelvis/shoulders more oriented in the direction the skis are pointed (note: I said "squarer" not square, meaning I acknowledge some degree of counter existing) will better facilitate outside foot pronation.

So....I guess I disagree with counter facilitating better angulation efficiency. Again, in the past you have referred to anguation as being a balancing issue and not connected to pronation.

[ August 08, 2003, 06:03 AM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Harvey has asked me for my input on this legitimate topic...
Harvey, I apologize for misinterpreting the seriousness of your query. I notice this happens on the golf course a lot around the subject of having, picking up, dropping, and washing our balls. It's extraordinarily silly, but always good for a laugh.

I think that's what happened here. We were parched for a good laugh, and the vision of bulging butts got us on a humor jag.

I am curious: what are you going to do with the information Fastman has relayed from DavidM? How will you incorporate it into YOUR skiing?
post #18 of 36
Saw this on the fitness forum:

Quote:
Weems said it reminded him of a racing technique for turn iniation that he calls "Shoot the Glute". As you iniate each turn, contract the glute that corresponds to the turn direction.
Anyone ever heard of this one?
post #19 of 36
Thread Starter 
Nolo asked how I was going to incorporate this information into my skiing. I noted the sign of the bulging butt (SOBB), or gluteal sign (GS), if you're prissy, in reviewing a race video from Gray Rocks. This was in the guy who had the fastest time. I didn't fare so well. Well, I'm trying to improve my time. In the excellent discussion by FASTMAN on inside leg extension he talks about initiating execution of this movement sequence to finish the turn and take the skier into the next turn. Where, for example, I see this sign in the Compagnoni montage is approaching coming astride (dare I say abreast) of the gate. It then becomes more prominent after passing the gate. This, then, tells me where I have to initiate my inside leg extension to start the next turn. So for the price of asking, I've really got some useful information with respect to timing. In fact, I'm going to rereview the GR video to see if I can determine where the aforementioned guy starts his extension by looking for the SOBB in relation to the gate. In the past I've started my new turn initiation too late, so this is an extremely instructive exercise for me.

It might be interesting to ask Weems to elaborate on his concept. Thanks for everyone's help. I learned in the past how important the value of a team was in developing information and that has been well demonstrated here.
post #20 of 36
HarveyD,

As Fastman points out this all may differ in the event retraction is employed. I discussed the role of retraction with Ron LeMaster when I asked his permission to reprint/post stuff here from his site. He feels it is ever increasing.

In the powerpoint presentation from his site that he labels as having been given to the Vail ski school he notes a trend towards retraction being in vogue at present. I'm not suggesting active inside leg extension does not exist in the race realm, simply noting Ron's comment.

Perhaps you have identified a way to tell whether retraction or active extension is employed via the "bulge" you mention.

I was at P.T. today and asked a guy at the Boulder Center for Sports Med whether glute bulging was an eccentric or concentric contraction. His answer was way over my head.

Again......hope the boys/girls at powdermag don't see this.

It will be cannon fodder.
post #21 of 36
No worries, Rusty. They appear to be more intrigued lately by a particular video.
post #22 of 36
I saw that and was bemused by the responses. Actually I laughed so hard I almost had to change my Depends. I was unable to download the clip. It must be that I'm too old and technologically stodgy (sp?).

Would this topic at the "other" board be referred to as race porn?

I try to spend a little time at the other site in case my ten year old daughter shows up at the back door with a maggot some evening in the future.

I see you're from south of the border. I spoke to the SSD at Apache today. Their payscale is unreal. He does a nice thing and sends out a congrats letter to anyone in the division who passes a cert test. He also recruits via the letter. It's still nice to get. They are clearly near the top of the heap in pay.

[ August 08, 2003, 02:38 PM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #23 of 36
I asked Weems to pay us a visit. He says he's buried tonight, but will try to make it.

In the meantime, he writes:

Quote:
It was Manfred Jakober (Swiss Racer) who said it while coaching at Sun Valley. It meant to tension the buttocks during the heavy part of the turn. This in turn kept the hips from folding, and kept the pressure from being absorbed.
Quote:
It's why great ski racers have great buns.
post #24 of 36
YEAH BABY!!! And you should have heard Weems imitate the Swiss accent, calling out to his Perfect Curves aka Loose Ladies "SHOOT THE GLUTE, SHOOT THE GLUTE!!"
{maybe you had to be there! [img]redface.gif[/img] }

WARNING! If I ever put that stability ball exercise in a book, I want a photo of a ski instructor doing the butt bulge thingie on the slope1
Volunteers?

Rusty; the hamstring will contract eccentrically, while the glute contracts isometrically. Key word is BULGE. This usually implies shortening, so we are talking concentric or isometric. eccentric would be lengthening.
post #25 of 36
Hi. Sorry I've been out of touch. Thanks for the note, Nolo.

This is a funny discussion, but the main idea brought up is really important for performance.

I know very little about anatomy, but when I'm fit, I can feel terrific power from my butt. In a turn, as the forces build up, the hips and waist tend to fold, absorbing pressure--for an unfit or under-trained skier.

Dadou Mayer, of Taos, used to ridicule my absorption of pressures in the bumps. "Why would you want to do that? The rut in the bump offers so much pressure to help you launch your skis into the new turn." It was a fascinating reaction to the excessive absorption (jet turn, avalement, whatever) fashion of the day. He told me instead to stiffen my leg at the moment of max pressure and then release the edges so the skis would shoot forward into the next hole. Wow. What a great ride!

It was soon clear that contraction of the glute was the key to that stiffening.

I think strong skiers hardly think about this. It's just natural. But younger strong skiers are constantly badgered to keep pushing their hips forward during the high pressure phase. They naturally give in to the pressure. As their core strength develops, they improve. But also as their butt develops, they improve.

I believe that use of these big butt muscles is actually what pushes the hips forward and it's not a reaction, but rather a proactive movement.

I think that my abdomen AND my butt are critical to keeping the hips moving with the skis, and therefore keeping pressure available to the skis through the body's resistance to the centrifugal force. Therefore, sometimes you can just tension the butt driving into the turn ("shoot the glute") and you will have the perfect positoning prior to the tendency to fold up. And relative to what Bob Barnes said--strong doesn't mean big. But in the case of most top racers, the butt becomes at least sculpted.

Hey! I know this stuff. I'm a lifeguard on a beach in RI this summer, and I've had lots of opportunities for scientific observation here at the thong farm. :

[ August 09, 2003, 04:10 AM: Message edited by: weems ]
post #26 of 36
There are thongs in RI?
post #27 of 36
Quote:
I think strong skiers hardly think about this. It's just natural. But younger strong skiers are constantly badgered to keep pushing their hips forward during the high pressure phase. They naturally give in to the pressure. As their core strength develops, they improve. But also as their butt develops, they improve.

I believe that use of these big butt muscles is actually what pushes the hips forward and it's not a reaction, but rather a proactive movement.

I think that my abdomen AND my butt are critical to keeping the hips moving with the skis, and therefore keeping pressure available to the skis through the body's resistance to the centrifugal force. Therefore, sometimes you can just tension the butt driving into the turn ("shoot the glute") and you will have the perfect positoning prior to the tendency to fold up. And relative to what Bob Barnes said--strong doesn't mean big. But in the case of most top racers, the butt becomes at least sculpted.
Weems has just defined the essence of Pilates training! {does anyone still believe that it has no relevance to skiing?}
Joseph Pilates, who, BTW, went from being a sickly child, to an accomplished gymnast, boxer and skier, spoke of the POWERHOUSE. By this, he meant the simultaneous contractions of the core muscles and the gluteals, to add both power and stability to any sort of movement.
"You can't fire a cannon from a canoe!" The core muscles stabilize the "cannon" which is your body, and the glutes shoot, or fire the cannon.

As Weems has implied, the process is intuitive. But the most important thing is the muscle firing sequence. Paul Hodges, the Australian physiotherapist, did studies proving that people with healthy backs will fire their deep core muscles a split second before firing whatever prime mover is necessary for the desired action. {I hope they do not edit this from my TPS article!}
So, first, you stabilize the cannon, then fire!

One of the side benefits of this core/ glute firing, is that muscles that tend to over compensate will not have to work so darn hard. At Brighton, Bonni commented that her quads hurt her much less when she was using her glutes.

Since the firing sequencing is so crucial, its important to realize that just doing isolated glute exercises as dryland training will not be that effective, if the exercise does not require any pre stabilization, such as working on exercise machines. This is why that stability ball exercise that I spoke about in fitness works so well. If you don't activate your core, you will not be able to maintain the bridge!

One more point. If you have tight hip flexors, you may be cursed with something called "reciprocal inhibition". The hip flexors will do what the glutes are supposed to do. This will make the quads over work, and the glutes under work!
post #28 of 36
I like big butts and I can not lie
You other brothers can't deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waste
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung, wanna pull up tough
'Cause you notice that butt was stuffed
Deep in the jeans she's wearing
I'm hooked and I can't stop staring
Oh baby, I wanna get wit'cha
And take your picture
My homeboys tried to warn me
But with that butt you got makes
Ooh, Rump-o'-smooth-skin
You say you wanna get in my Benz?
Well, use me, use me
'Cause you ain't that average groupy
I've seen them dancin'
The hell with romancin'
She's wet, wet,
Got it goin' like a turbo 'Vette
I'm tired of magazines
Sayin' flat butts are the thing
Take the average black man and ask him that
She gotta pack much back
So, fellas! (Yeah!) Fellas! (Yeah!)
Has your girlfriend got the butt? (Hell yeah!)
Tell 'em to shake it! (Shake it!) Shake it! (Shake it!)
Shake that healthy butt!
Baby got back!

[img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #29 of 36
Well.....that was certainly pleasant.
post #30 of 36
way to "bump the butt," rusty
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