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# How to do pure leg turning?

Watch the first minute of this video, how do they do the leg turning? I couldn't do it without some kind of jumping and jerky move. How can you move your leg smoothly without too much counter rotation/force in upper body?

I tried start with side slips, hockey slips and pivot skips Bob Barnes described in his book. I couldn't even get side slips going. It's either too much edge that doesn't move, or when it start moving, so much snow piling up under my feet and it got stuck soon. Am I missing something or it requires a perfectly packed smooth blue trail?

Thanks.
Yes, you are missing something: an instructor.
Hey Whoever,

I would definately learn this drill on a smooth slope.

The trick is to allow your skis to flatten between turns. In order to do this you need enough momentum so you won't fall over... then you need to allow your COM to cross over your feet by toppling down the hill. Acheive this by rolling knees, ankles and hips until you feel like your falling into the next turn. At the moment when your skis are perfectly flat... you can then turn your legs easily. If it is not working out there is either an issue with your stance, balance or commitment into the new turn... but I cannot say unless I see you try it.

It takes a lot of practise . Good luck
Keep in mind that the "quiet" upper body takes lots of work. The body must actively counter rotate. When this is done right, it appears to be quiet and effortless. Anybody who disagrees must have snoozed through their science class about Newton's Third Law of Motion, "To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

One more point about pivot slips...they are one of the most popular drills and do no good whatsoever. There are other drills for edge feel and upper/lower body separation that are productive.

For sideslips, you do need a packed run, and judge the pitch of the run by how slippery the snow is...hard pack needs less pitch for practice than a layer of fresh snow. If the fresh snow is deep, forget it. To sideslip, balance on the middle of your foot, not on the ball or heel, feet close together. Downhill pole pointing way down, straight downhill from your boot, not forward, and the tip an inch or two from the snow--stretch way down the hill. Relax your downhill ankle to slid. Edge your uphill ankle to stop. Practice this with your weight distribution moving fore & back just a bit to slide straight. Then practice with your weight on your heels or on your toes and watch the effects. Now, turn around and do the other side.
Ummmm The pole helps stabilize the upper body so that only mild tensioning is necessary. No real active counter rotation of the torso required.

Pivot slips are a wonderful exercise for steering, edging and pressure control skills refinement after you've developed them. Of course, if you lack those skills, then pivot slips won't help you a bit.

Whoever, the suggestion you see an instructor is a good one.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by whoever Watch the first minute of this video, how do they do the leg turning? I couldn't do it without some kind of jumping and jerky move. How can you move your leg smoothly without too much counter rotation/force in upper body? I tried start with side slips, hockey slips and pivot skips Bob Barnes described in his book. I couldn't even get side slips going. It's either too much edge that doesn't move, or when it start moving, so much snow piling up under my feet and it got stuck soon. Am I missing something or it requires a perfectly packed smooth blue trail? Thanks.
If you cant do it your not in balance or your alignment is WAY off.

if you cant get a sideslip going there is something else wrong and your a long way off from being able to turn your femur in the socket every time. sideslips should be doable on nearly any snow surface but a packed semi steep run helps. to simply what soft snow guy said its the whole foot you want to be on. the easiest way to find that is to go forward and backwards in your boots to see where you should be.

Honestly learn some side slipping first and then if you can come back with video of you trying to do what you want to do.
It would be easier to learn on a hard surface or on a softer surface by getting yourself moving forwards first and adding in the sideways motion and then increasing the sideways motion and decreasing the forward motion until you can replicate what you saw in the video.

I'm not sure what you would want to do it for. Perhaps some instructor types can tell me why they are practicing those moves.
whoever,

KB and Bushwhackerinpa add some good in site. The conditions in the video are not groomed or packed, but it is easier to do on hard packed powder.

The skier demonstrating is very much over his skis which is the first ingredient. The second is being able to rotate both femurs in the hip socket which requires the down hill (or new inside) leg initiating the rotation. A stable upper body that is balanced over the middle of the foot is the third requirement and the fourth requirement is being able to release both edges by moving the COM down the hill.

Who says pivot slips have no value is done correctly? They are much harder to do correctly than it looks.

Hope this helps explain.

RW
Quote:
 Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy One more point about pivot slips...they are one of the most popular drills and do no good whatsoever. There are other drills for edge feel and upper/lower body separation that are productive.
I'm usually pretty good at agreeing with everyones point of view, but I have to disagree with this statement even though it may mean I am ridiculed on another site, who's main dude I have much respect for.

This is a great drill to master for all aspects of skiing & much more difficult than it appears. The secret is to be perfectly centered both fore & aft as well as laterally & to be able to keep the skis perfectly flat on the snow. On top of that, you need to isolate your movements so as not to add to much edge angle or pressure change from ski to ski. The drill involves a pure rotary movement of the femurs beneath the hip sockets (Braquage, as coined by Joubert). If you cannot find a stance that lets all your body parts work independantly, perfection of this drill will be close to impossible. If done correctly actual direction change is eliminated, & the need for counter rotation is minimized.
That's my story, take it or leave it.

JF
Wow, all the big guns showed up I was reading many of your posts when I end of my last/first season with a partial torn MCL. Thought I got it all until back on snow this past Sunday

Sounds like pivot slip has many of the ingredient of a basic parallel turn, like moving COM, steering from the feet, etc. For a while I thought you can just stand there and keep turning. Alignment and weight over ski are definitely some good points. Now look back, I think I may have my body way up hill and leaving the legs and feet down there shoveling snow, maybe subconsciously for fear of tripping over?

I'll go to Windham from time to time, heard a lot of wonderful words about the instructors there. Will definitely looking forward to meet them after some warm up .
The video is an approach to turning that builds on up-unweighthing. The momentum that is driving the skis to turn in the clips is created by edge friction that helps skier relese at the end of the previous turn combined with an up-extention. If you look closely at the very first turn you see that he has speed. Without this speed he could not be doing what he is doing. Relesing his edges from a stand still would be different. Correct me if Im wrong but isnt the word "pivot slip" used incorrectly here? Pivot slips are made straight down in the fall line involving no "turning" so to say. Skis are never trawelling in the direction they are pointing. Always pivotting. Body is moving straight down the fall line. Anyway, traditional pivot slips involve heavy upper body counter/antisipation from side to side and upper and lower body separation. That is something that is not being used here in the clips. I see the totally opposite. I see a very square body that is driving the turn by rotating the hips outwards in the turn. Not necessarily in reference to the rest of the body but if you look at the turn arc then you see that the tracks are drifted quite a bit. I would call that passive rotation. Its also a form of counter steering as discussed a while back. Quite a cool consept and good end result in the bumps but I dont like the initial drill.

whoever, if you could not do the drills in the book you were probably doing them falcely. You need an instructor to help you with it. Its not easy to perform drills from a book that you read the previous evening. And without any feedback on your performance. Video is good. Get somebody to tape you and maybe you can see for your selfe where you go wrong.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by whoever Wow, all the big guns showed up I was reading many of your posts when I end of my last/first season with a partial torn MCL. Thought I got it all until back on snow this past Sunday Sounds like pivot slip has many of the ingredient of a basic parallel turn, like moving COM, steering from the feet, etc. For a while I thought you can just stand there and keep turning. Alignment and weight over ski are definitely some good points. Now look back, I think I may have my body way up hill and leaving the legs and feet down there shoveling snow, maybe subconsciously for fear of tripping over? I'll go to Windham from time to time, heard a lot of wonderful words about the instructors there. Will definitely looking forward to meet them after some warm up .
From what I read above you should deffinetly go to windham and take some lessons. Dont be surpriced if they dont want to teach you what you saw in the video .

Quote:
 Originally Posted by whoever Sounds like pivot slip has many of the ingredient of a basic parallel turn, like moving COM, steering from the feet, etc. For a while I thought you can just stand there and keep turning.
Sorry but I dont think that pivot slips are a good way of approaching skiing and those ingredients you are talking about are eather incorrect or better learned differently. My advice would be to forget all about pivot slips. You dont want to be moving your CoM straight down the fall line and you dont want your skis to be skidding all the time. You want the total opposite. You want to use your edges efficiently and ski along them and moving your CoM away from the fall line. If you look at the video and focus 100% on pivotting and slipping then you are not doing the right thing. Look at the up-unweighting extentions and the timing in the bumps. How he creates momentum and how he keeps movements to an absolute minimum.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy Keep in mind that the "quiet" upper body takes lots of work. The body must actively counter rotate. When this is done right, it appears to be quiet and effortless. Anybody who disagrees must have snoozed through their science class about Newton's Third Law of Motion, "To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."
Counter rotation in the classical sense does not have to happen. Newton's third law happens between skis, not in the upper body. The exception is that if you are only on one foot and no pole use then, some form of rotation or counter rotation must take place to effectively guide the skis other than just running along the skis natural side cut.

Quote:
 One more point about pivot slips...they are one of the most popular drills and do no good whatsoever. There are other drills for edge feel and upper/lower body separation that are productive.
A well rounded skier can do it all including pivot slips. To say that they are useless is saying that a big part of skiing and natural human movement is useless. I think that is like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Quote:
 For sideslips, you do need a packed run, and judge the pitch of the run by how slippery the snow is...hard pack needs less pitch for practice than a layer of fresh snow. If the fresh snow is deep, forget it. To sideslip, balance on the middle of your foot, not on the ball or heel, feet close together. Downhill pole pointing way down, straight downhill from your boot, not forward, and the tip an inch or two from the snow--stretch way down the hill. Relax your downhill ankle to slid. Edge your uphill ankle to stop. Practice this with your weight distribution moving fore & back just a bit to slide straight. Then practice with your weight on your heels or on your toes and watch the effects. Now, turn around and do the other side.
I would say that you are describing pressure control and extension movements not the braquage or independent leg action that is the focus of the pivot slip.

whoever, good alignment is a big asset to being able to do pivot slips well.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tdk6 Sorry but I dont think that pivot slips are a good way of approaching skiing and those ingredients you are talking about are eather incorrect or better learned differently. My advice would be to forget all about pivot slips. You dont want to be moving your CoM straight down the fall line and you dont want your skis to be skidding all the time. You want the total opposite. You want to use your edges efficiently and ski along them and moving your CoM away from the fall line. If you look at the video and focus 100% on pivotting and slipping then you are not doing the right thing. Look at the up-unweighting extentions and the timing in the bumps. How he creates momentum and how he keeps movements to an absolute minimum.
Sorry Tom, gotta disagree with you. Pivots slips are a very good way of learning fine edge control and the effects of fore/aft movement as they apply to dynamic skiing.

Remember, pivot slips are only an exercise and not "The Way to Ski" so going straight down the fall line is okay in my opinion. There are infinite ways of modifying the pivot slip to achieve a desired result.

Pivots slips (independent leg steering) and modified pivot slips (pressure control/edging) are my prefered way of dialing in my own dynamic skiing.
The most useful thing I find from this drill/exercise is to find the best possible neutral, balanced stance. Also, a couple of pivots from this stance immediatly tells me a lot about how the ski is tuned.
JF
I would have to agree with Pierre, pivot slips are an exercise generally used to isolate certain skills. In particular, lag rotation, tipping movements (it's helpful to keep in mind that that release, or un-tipping is a tipping/edging skill) and fore/aft balance. From a tactical point of view, pivot slips are a great way to work on rhythm in short turns. It is often easier to improve fluidity of rotational movement when ski performance is removed.

Whoever- if you are having problems executing the exercise it may be helpful to do some self analysis and determine which aspect (skill) is casing the problems. You kinda got three choices:
-Edging, are both skis tipped/tipping (un-tipping) the same amount?
-Rotary, are both legs turning? The same amount? upper body?
-Fore/aft balance, Are all joint proportionally flexed/flexing keeping you centered? Is the ski tracking backwards or forwards?

-Jonathan
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Pierre Sorry Tom, gotta disagree with you. Pivots slips are a very good way of learning fine edge control and the effects of fore/aft movement as they apply to dynamic skiing. Remember, pivot slips are only an exercise and not "The Way to Ski" so going straight down the fall line is okay in my opinion. There are infinite ways of modifying the pivot slip to achieve a desired result. Pivots slips (independent leg steering) and modified pivot slips (pressure control/edging) are my prefered way of dialing in my own dynamic skiing.
No problem... I just hate pivot slips because I cannot offset my upper and lower body 90deg without ending up in the hospital . Seriously though, its a good drill but not an approach I would use for teaching anyone to ski. For skiers above the beginners level and instructors its a very good drill for many reasons. For me primarily because of its streching properties . BTW, I need to get a gym in my boat to keep fit during summer seaon..... have you taken that in account?
Smearing a turn or delaying the next turn are valid moves that involve some sort of side slipping. If you are having trouble with pivot slips do some traverses where you release and re-engage the skis. Your skis tracks should look a lot like a garland on a X-mas tree. Thus the term garlands.
Once you feel comfortable releasing the skis, don't re-engage them, keep them as flat to the snow as possible. Find out what the skis do in that situation.
Once you can do that just turn the legs by steering with your kneecaps as the skis release. As the skis skid, point your kneecaps towards the side of the run, then point them towards the other side of the run. While this is happening in the legs keep your belly button facing down the hill as much as possible. Voila, pivot slips.
Notice in the video that there is a subtle but necessary flexing and extending movement happening. This facilitates the edge release and contrary to what some have said it also creates a small amount of levering both fore and aft. Which is the secret to doing pivot slips in a narrow corridor. They really aren't supposed to be a shaped turn, just a change in the direction our legs and the skis are facing. Which is totally the point. It's a exercise that features good near flat edging skills, simultaneous but independent leg steering, and disciplined movement of the Core while simultaneously using the core as an anchor for the leg steering movements.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ron White The skier demonstrating is very much over his skis which is the first ingredient. A stable upper body that is balanced over the middle of the foot is the third requirement and the fourth requirement is being able to release both edges by moving the COM down the hill. RW
The skier is not only over his skis but he also demonstrates a proper athletic stance with the convex curvature of the lumbosacral and thoracic spine which in pivot slips relaxes the musculature making the counter rotation easier.

Quote:
 The second is being able to rotate both femurs in the hip socket which requires the down hill (or new inside) leg initiating the rotation.
In rotating the femurs in the hip sockets we are anatomically stronger in adduction (internal rotation) than in abduction (external rotation) so that we must compensate for the strength difference in our movements of initiating the new inside leg rotation for the skis to remain parallel. This is one of the advantages of pivot slips in that it helps to develop this discipline.
Quote:
 Who says pivot slips have no value if done correctly? They are much harder to do correctly than it looks.
I agree and think that anyone who says they have no value have been probably frustrated in their inability to do them. I know of a tech team clinic in which the better part of 2 days was devoted to pivot slips.
Thanks for the very informative and insightful discussion. I do realize that the video shows basic parallel turns with different degrees of leg turning, while sides/hockey/pivot slip is a pure form of exercise. I was hoping these exercises can help smooth my turns and get better control of lines.

My biggest problem so far is that the side slip often end up like snow shoveling and get stuck after a few feet, can never build up momentum from side slip alone. Maybe I'll try some easy parallel turns with minimum edge setting next.

Another issue I just remember is, when doing side slip, it seems easier for me to slip along the fall line when ski is at less than 90 degree angle. i.e. tip pointing slightly downhill when doing side slip, instead of completely sideway. Does that say something about my balance?
Quote:
 Originally Posted by whoever Does that say something about my balance?
No. It says something about your skills of perception; you have perceived it correctly. There is less resistance to sides slipping down the hill when your skis are not perpendicular to the fall line.

I found during my first few days on the hill that a little time sideslipping down the steepest portion of the icy black runs was all I needed to refine my edging skills. I don't need no schtinking pivot slips.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy One more point about pivot slips...they are one of the most popular drills and do no good whatsoever. There are other drills for edge feel and upper/lower body separation that are productive.
Got a couple of preferred examples to offer for comparison?
gcarlson,jasp, pierre and others,
Thanks for agreeing with me about pivot slips.

TDK6,
Quote:
 I just hate pivot slips because I cannot offset my upper and lower body 90deg without ending up in the hospital
Great point! 45 to 60 deg is plenty. No one ever said it has to be 90 deg.

RW
Quote:
 Originally Posted by whoever Watch the first minute of this video, how do they do the leg turning? I couldn't do it without some kind of jumping and jerky move. How can you move your leg smoothly without too much counter rotation/force in upper body?
Notice what happens BEFORE the rotation of the legs:
1. The leg that will be on the inside of the new turn is flexed.
2. and tipped on edge by moving the knee to the inside (In some of the turns you can see the inside knee tilted more than the outside one right at/after the transition to the new turn).
3. and pulled back until it's even with (or almost even with) the new outside foot.
4. Then the skis engage and start turning...you can't help it!
5. Then you can:
• rotate the skis to into a skidded turn (like some of the turns on the video clip)
• flatten the outside ski a little for a long skidded turn (without rotating the legs)
• flatten the outside ski more for a tighter skidded turn
• just stand on the skis and do a long, pure carved turn, or
• tip the skis to higher edge angles (by lifting the inside ski) and do a tighter carved turn
If you tip the (new) inside ski on edge, you'll turn whether you rotate or not. In fact you can do tight "skarved" turns without rotating your legs much if at all.

If you're flexing and tipping, pulling the foot back will make a big difference in developing a quiet upper body. Focus on getting correct movement at the feet and building up the kinetic chain.

Quote:
 I tried start with side slips, hockey slips and pivot skips Bob Barnes described in his book. I couldn't even get side slips going. It's either too much edge that doesn't move, or when it start moving, so much snow piling up under my feet and it got stuck soon. Am I missing something or it requires a perfectly packed smooth blue trail?
It doesn't require a perfectly packed blue smooth trail (but it's easier). If your difficulty is more basic and you're struggling to side slip, have your alignment checked. If you're riding your inside or outside edges it will be hard to side slip the skis together or edge them together.
That was some observation! Guess I spent too much of my time enjoy the music.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by RickS Notice what happens BEFORE the rotation of the legs: The leg that will be on the inside of the new turn is flexed. and tipped on edge by moving the knee to the inside (In some of the turns you can see the inside knee tilted more than the outside one right at/after the transition to the new turn). and pulled back until it's even with (or almost even with) the new outside foot. Didn't quite get this. Before the turn, isn't the would be inside ski already behind? What do you mean pull back? I thought it's just the opposite, it will catch up with the outside and lead when it becomes uphill. Then the skis engage and start turning...you can't help it! Then you can: rotate the skis to into a skidded turn (like some of the turns on the video clip) You mean in the video, they actually turned partially on edge instead of flattened? flatten the outside ski a little for a long skidded turn (without rotating the legs) No edge and no rotating? How does it turn? flatten the outside ski more for a tighter skidded turn You mean the flatter the ski, the easier it is to turn? But, same as above, don't you have to rotate your legs here? just stand on the skis and do a long, pure carved turn, or tip the skis to higher edge angles (by lifting the inside ski) and do a tighter carved turn If you tip the (new) inside ski on edge, you'll turn whether you rotate or not. In fact you can do tight "skarved" turns without rotating your legs much if at all. If you're flexing and tipping, pulling the foot back will make a big difference in developing a quiet upper body. Focus on getting correct movement at the feet and building up the kinetic chain. ... ...
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ron White gcarlson,jasp, pierre and others, Thanks for agreeing with me about pivot slips. TDK6, Great point! 45 to 60 deg is plenty. No one ever said it has to be 90 deg. RW
Thanks, that saves me a trip to the hospital .
Quote:
 Originally Posted by mogulmuncher Got a couple of preferred examples to offer for comparison?
There are other related drills that are good to practice before attempting the pivot slip that is not as easy as some may think. Im talking about skidding sideways downhill and moving the CoM forward and aft to see how it affects the skis. It was alredy mentioned here earlier if I dont remember wrong. Edge controll.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by whoever That was some observation! Guess I spent too much of my time enjoy the music.
Thats too much for me to comment on but I bet RickS will get back to you later (I also did not understand all of it).

Anyway, you need an instructor. He will help you out. In the video the instructor is using speed, up-unweighting and rotation to turn. Speed he needs for creating momentum, up-unweighting he does for reducing pressure on skis and rotation he uses for offsetting the tails of the skis into a skidd. By actively rotating his femures after the initial skidd he can speed up the turn by making his skis pivot faster. He can also do the same by over rotating his hips. The instructors approach is not a good one IMO. The reason for this is that he tries desperatly to cover up his true movements that are up-unweighting and rotation. Its very small but its there. Why try to cover it up? If you want to learn how to make non carved turns without up-unweighing you need to check out PMTS and the phantom move. Simply pivotting the skis like the guy in the video I see usefull as a drill only. For instructors and advanced skiers to try to isolate movements.
Someone mentioned athletic stance......looks to me like the end result of those pivot slips is a banking golf cart, with plenty of up movement to release.

Awful stuff!!
Quote:
 Originally Posted by gcarlson I know of a tech team clinic in which the better part of 2 days was devoted to pivot slips.