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Hip Angulation/How Hip are you?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I need some help from those of you that are better at Movement analysis. I was reading the latest Skiing magazine (I know, why?) in the private lessons section Barbara Sanders and AJ Kitt talk about hip angulation. Check me on this if you have read the articles and looked at the pictures.

It sounds like according to this article that they are suggesting that to get more edge angle when carving to "counter the hips a little" or as put in the article "her inside hip drops forward and to the inside"

I think I am trying to break this habit? per my last lesson with Scott Mathers and Lyle Stewart.

I am aware this is a blue/black instruction but am I right in my interpretation of this "private lesson" article?
post #2 of 23
Hi dchan, when I took a lesson last friday the guy (Dan) said to "drop my downhill shoulder" which has a similar effect of pushing my hips uphill and forward while effecting more edge on the ski. Would that coincide with what you are reading?
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Let's see, Downhill shoulder, hips move up hill/forward. I would think that gives you less edge angle. but keeps you ahead of your skis or at least on top of the skis. Nope. different affect than the article. Your tip received is good for keeping you moving down the hill instead of getting in the back seat and your skis moving faster than your CM (I think)
post #4 of 23

I haven't received the mag because I moved, and they didn't fix my subscription.

Anyway, when they say drop the hips forward and inside the turn, they are not saying twist the upper body (counter rotate), which, if I recall correctly, is what Lyle and Scott were working on with you. What they are saying is keep the hips forward so that you don't sit back, and drop them to the inside of the turn. Ryel's comments about dropping the downhill shoulder will work for angulating the hips. We had talked about an exercise somewhere around here a short while ago, where we talked about dragging the downhill pole. This gets the downhill (outside) shoulder down. To get the feeling while hanging out in front of the keyboard, go lean on a wall, with a shoulder on the wall. Now make your hip touch the wall. See if you can get your shoulder off the wall while your feet are pretty far away from the wall. This is hip angulation. Do this in what would look like a dynamic, skiing position. Get your knees bent, outside foot taking most of the weight, hands in front, upper body parallel to the wall, feet way far away from the wall. Feel the pinch between your lowest rib and your pelvic (hip) bone. Memorize that feeling, and try to re-create it on the hill. It will greatly increase the amount of edge angle you can get because you can get your legs at a higher angle without having to get your center of mass quite so far inside the turn. It also helps keep your weight on the outside ski.
post #5 of 23
i really hate those AJ Kitt, Barbara Sanders articles. utterly worthless. they always say the same thing with more pictures of her akward movements and overly-weighted inside leg.

They always stress angulation at the hip (a good thing, at least), no matter what the article is officially about. the goal is to achieve greater angulation, tighter carved turns, better edge grip, and higher speeds. some of the people who have responded so far are have talked about instructors who had them change upper-body positioning. a highly angulated stance needs a bit of counter, but not too much; your body needs to be relatively square and upright from the waste up. at the same time, you need to have a wide stance and better than 50-50 weighting (i have, guessing, 80-20). just keep your body pretty much square and your arms stable in front of you is what the instructors are saying, essentially. that is crucial to achieving good, high-powered angulation. once your upper body is set in a solid position, your legs can really swing way out from under you and bend those skis.

It's not bragging if it's true - Mohammed Ali

There are two reasons for everything, the good reason and the real reason
-J. Pierpont Morgan

If life was easy everyone would be successful.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks. tried that. You're right and...
I think I'm already there. I suspect I may be reading too much into the article. they write "her INSIDE hip drops forward and to the inside" The picture of AJ Kitt looks more like what Lyle and Scott were trying to show me but I can't tell in the picture of Barbara. That's why I was hoping someone with a better eye could tell me from the pictures. Figure 2 looks almost like she is countering a little with her hips to get more edge angle and corrected in figure 3. It may just be the way the photos were shot too, This is the part I'm trying to fix and get my edge angle with the hips square but way over to the inside.
post #7 of 23
I did not read the article (so I can not really comment on how akward Barbara Sanders is) but I can add a few words about heap angulation.

You can not achieve good hip angulation without counter-rotating your upper body.

The mistake some people make when trying to counter-rotate is moving their inside foot forward. That actually straightens their inside knee and moves the inside hip back. What you actually want to do is lead forward with your inside knee, while keeping pressure on the front of the boot (makes you bend your ankle). When you do that your hips will come into a nice counter-rotated position without you thinkning about them. All is left to do to make a clean powerful carve is lead with your inside shoulder into the turn (BUT DO NOT DROP IT!!!) and outside shoulder driving DOWN. Your arms should always be infront.

Second BIG misconseption is equal weight on both skis. In a tight powerfull carve you can not do it period. With good angulation the outside leg is almost straight while the inside is bend as much as your knee allows. Straight leg is MUCH MORE powerfull than the bent one and it supports most of the weight through the turn. The inside ski is just tracking along, which is not always the case:

Anyways, dchan, too much counter does not cause as much problems (the only one I can think of is: you start loosing power on your outside ski when you start exagerrating counter-rotation) as no counter. Personally, I think it helps to get the rest of the movements right when you overdo the counter-rotation. You can always back it of later when the rest of your technique is solid.

And answering your original question: "How Hip am I"...... http://www.epic-ski.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000132.html ...compared to the pictures above, still need ALOT of work!!!


Speed does not kill, the difference in it does...
<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by VK (edited March 01, 2001).]</FONT>
post #8 of 23
Another common problem (I know I did this), is not letting your whole body drop inside the turn. I was concentrating so much on keeping my upper body over the downhill ski I wasn't coming inside the turn with my lower body. Check out Hermann in the picture from VK. If you don't drop inside, you'll never get out from over your skis and get those huge edge angles. Once I started letting myself fall in, I started really carving and getting out from directly over my skis. To me, that's how you hip angulate, fall in!
In racing I was told to put your hip into the gate. Freeskiing it's the same move.
Of course you still need to keep your upper body upright, slightly countered, hands in front, etc.
post #9 of 23

Be careful with "just falling in". That usually leads to what we call "banking", which is sort of the opposite of angulating. It means getting inside the turn without angles. In those (amazing) pictures that VK posted, Herman doesn't get a whole lot of angles because he is going so fast that he needs to get his mass as far as he can inside the turn. Plus, any more edge angle, and he would have too much edge angle, and the edges would start to blow out of the turn. In a lot of cases, racers can't ski the way you or I would on a hill because they are carrying too much speed, and need to do other things to maintain that speed.

So, while those are cool pictures, I don't think that they can be directly related to the way the rest of us ski (recreationally).
post #10 of 23
This will probably sound strange, but I agree with both VK and John H. There are situations, racing and high speed carving, where the inside hip needs to inside and forward with a certain amount of countering. I cannot hold a carve/edge with the forces involved if I don't use these tecniques. However, I don't use a lot of inside and forward movement(hip) and countering for most recreational skiing.
Like VK, I would rather err on the side of too much inside/forward hip and countering and learn to back it off than to not know how to do it correctly. I think the other danger to good skiing is to become static in any of these positions.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Lucky (edited March 01, 2001).]</FONT>
post #11 of 23
JohnH, WC racing and good recreational carved turn would have the same motion pattern. The difference would be in the amplitude of motion, power and angles of the body, which are derivatives of speed and athletism.

Alfred Hobart, 63 (I get a pleasure to see him ski once in awhile):

Lucky, good point about being dynamic. However let me argue that counter-rotation is one of the steps to dynamic skiing. Especially for beginners, who are locked on their skis. Doing counter-rotation drills teaches to separate upper and lower body and be more fluid from turn to turn.

VK<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by VK (edited March 01, 2001).]</FONT>
post #12 of 23
JohnH, I totally agree just falling inside can lead to banking. When I let myself fall in, I know at least my lower body is doing what it's supposed to do. You still have to be aware of what the upper body is doing. You most definately have to break at the hip and have upper/lower body seperation. The picture of Hermann clearly shows his upper body is relatively upright and countered.
post #13 of 23
Gravity, that picture is taken form Al Hobart's web site. I pulled it just to demonstrate my point to JohnH that at any level the motion pattern for a carved turn is the same. In the sequence depicted Alfred demonstrates one of his drills (check www.shapeski.com for Al's teaching method and his background) - that is why A-frame (transition from snow-plow), head dip (helps bring the outside shoulder down), etc.

When he is in a GS course he is still about 200 USSA points skier.


PS: talking about the "Stevie Wonder" head dip... check this out: http://www.fis-ski.com/mediaworld/image.sps?id=2004734 <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by VK (edited March 01, 2001).]</FONT>
post #14 of 23
Gravity, I agree that when neck is the only part of a novice's body that angulates, it does look ridiculous and should be corrected.
However at high level carving/racing not only I do not see any harm in tipping head to the outside of the turn, but believe it helps driving the outside shoulder down and keeping shoulders parallel to the snow.

VK<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by VK (edited March 02, 2001).]</FONT>
post #15 of 23
I was hoping someone would bring up the motion sickness thing. Looking at that last photo, I almost had a touch of it.
I used to get that all the time while skiing. A gal up at Sunday River did a simple change in my neck alignment and it was gone. And I should know better.
Another thing about that last photo. I never thought of neck injuries as a highly common ski injury. But looking at that neck alignment, combined with the weight of the helmut, my only hope was that one day that guy never takes on a job where he has to be at a computer or talk on the phone all day!OUCH!

John H.: Thanks for that wall exercise. In one word, it felt, logical. Now lets see if I can apply it to the hill this weekend.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #16 of 23
I did not read every post completley but 1 thought of concern is that there is pro and con to counter. The more countered you are the less edge angle you can hold because as your upperbody twists against the lowerbody it causes the femurs to twist the opposite direction which is not the way you are going and flatens the ski. This is desirable in short turns where the change in direction is happening quickly but not in longer turns where the edge change is slower and with higher speeds you are stronger with less counter because your legs are not trying to roll off the edge.
post #17 of 23
Here here, Bob!

This discussion is about what one would do if they were going 50 mph + or more. I doubt that the contributors in this forum ski around at those speeds all the time, if at all. I think what your post describes is what we should be thinking about in our skiing as mere mortals. Good discussion though!---------Wigs
post #18 of 23
I have Hobart's tape. The picture from his website and the images on tape are exaggerated to get the person trying to learn to feel what it's like to really tip the ski up on edge. As he goes through a progression (wedge, open parallel, gorilla turns etc.) the movements and the "look become more refined.
post #19 of 23
Bob, thanks for clarifying the terminology. Wherever I said counter-rotation I meant countering

post #20 of 23
Bob- You mentioned "too much countering and lead with the inside foot". I fall victim to this habit and feel as though I can't get my outside leg caught up and/or my hips squared. I have had some success closing the angle of my inside ankle in an effort to combat the problem. In addition, I would enjoy hearing your thoughts about when tipping begins to decrease in the course of a medium radius medium speed GS type turn. I sense I'm trying to tip the ski far too long past the "control phase" of the turn.
post #21 of 23
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
This from Scott Mathers, in a response to an email I sent him.

"I do not espouse moving your hips
with your hips. I prefer to concentrate on lateral/diagonal movements of the
legs that also move the hips in the same direction. I find more finesse in
skiing from the legs vs skiing from the hips. As far as "counter" goes, I
feel that the inside half of the body should always lead through a turn and
the torso/hips should always be directed in the general direction of travel.
In a short radius turn down the fall line the torso points down the fall
line. As soon as the turn pulls the center of mass out of the fall line then
the torso should be directed in the general direction of travel."

Scott, if you should see this I hope you don't mind.

I'll keep working on it. I just wish I had a video of myself skiing and someone to point out what I'm doing. .. someday...
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
I finally got some footage of myself. Now I'm working on cleaning it up but if you want to see what I'm trying to fix,

If you right click on the link and save target as... you can download instead of try to stream into your browser..

No great images like ONS but my humble beginnings of a web site.
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