Originally Posted by gcarlson
we and I shouldn't make generalizations when discussing counter rotation and how it applies to our skiing. We need to be more specific as to the radius of the turn and the amount of counter rotation as it applies to that turn.
Exactly. Which is why I prefer to refer to anticipation as anticipation, rather than calling it counter. In order to distinguish it as a seperate concept, which it is. Also, a countered stance is not the same as counter-rotary movements, though the movements are sometimes neccessary to establish the stance.
My concern is that one can misunderstand the full scope of a term as it relates to a movement in skiing and accept that as gospel. They then adapt a misunderstood movement into their skiing which later can become an obstacle to further development of efficient skiing.
Absolutely. The problem really started a while back when people started trying to come up with alternative ways of labeling certain movements that would sound less technical for their clients. This has led to overlapping and conflicting terminology, as well as loss of key concepts in the minds of people teaching and learning how to ski.
As an example, this is a clip from the popular Sofa Ski School video which shows a marked amount of counter rotation in a long radius turn.
It is obvious that counter rotation here is moving the CoM back
which is detrimental to efficient skiing.
we can take your word for it that this was a long radius turn and in such a case I would agree that its exagerated more than neccessary. But that does not negate the need for SOME early turn counter in longer radius turns. This looks more like an exaggerated instructor demo than something you typically see anyone doing on the hill in medium/long radius turns. Its much more typical to see skiers without any counter or worse yet, some upper body rotation.
Otherwise, you more typically see this pose in someone that is trying to keep the upper body down the fall line because someone told them to do that.(assume the camara is looking down the fall line). In that scenario I don't view that as too much early counter, but rather too much anticipation at the end of the turn, ie...skiing too much into counter, turning their legs under their body too much. UNLESS they specifically wanted to create some anticipation because their next turn is going to be short for some reason. This skier has no poles. Its probably an instructor student doing a deliberate drill to learn a concept.
Adapting this type of counter rotation into ones muscle memory bank will quickly cause unforeseen problems. Yet some will take this amount of counter rotation out of the context of arcing and apply it to their overall skiing with predictable bad results.
Which type are you referring to now?
I have seen more problems in students applying counter rotation to the beginning of their turns resulting in the CoM moving back and to the inside of the turn rather than minimizing or eliminating counter which facilitates moving the CoM forward and inside as desired in our directional movement into the turn.
Definitely do not agree here. But I agree that early counter is a high level skill and should be emphasized only after other fundamentals are mastered. Also, obvious cases where someone doesn't have a handle on the DIRT aspect of their counter-rotation movements and is going too far with it, definitely have to be identified and resolved. However, that does not entirely negate the usefulness for early counter. it only identifies a need for more finese.
So, if I were to generalize about counter rotation I would state that our upper body should face in the direction of our intended travel. This places us square or perpendicular to our skis in a long radius turn where our direction of travel is towards the apex.
In short radius turns it aligns our body down the fall line requiring much more counter rotation.
Short radius turns primarily benefit from the anticipation you are describing because most people use a little pivoting in their short radius turns. The anticipation helps to generate that pivoting action without having to muscle it. Also, the tempo of short radius turns is much faster and its just more effective to think of holding your upper body stable and letting your legs do a lot of turning underneath you.
Most people do not feel this kind of skiing as actual counter-rotation. They feel it as holding their upper body steady and turning their legs underneath them. Most visualizations that are effective involve those kinds of mental models for teaching. However, the skier is without a doubt activating counter-rotation related muscles in order to keep the upper body from following the skis.
This is more about anticipation, rotary and keeping the upper body quiet.
I think that the purpose of counter rotation is to facilitate rapid leg/ski turning under a stable upper body so that we don't create unwanted momentum in the body which then creates problems requiring compensatory movements.
Ooops, should have read this first. yep!
When we are in a long radius turn where there is no rapid turning of the legs/skis as relates to the upper body, a squared up stance is more anatomically efficient and requires less muscle action than a counter rotated stance.
Don't agree. One of the main purposes of counter is to make it easier for your body to angulate and establish outside ski dominance. It lines up larger muscle groups in such a way that you can angulate using those larger muscles to support the forces normally being transmitted to your outside hip. Angulating without counter is LESS anatomically effecient, not more.
Another aspect is that early counter establishes a gait mechanism, which our bodies are designed to do at birth and provides all kinds of good stuff for skiing.
The villianization of early counter by many is just as evil, in my opinion, as the villianization that is perpetrated by some people in the ski community against rotary skills. Boo to both camps for different reasons. You're both talking dogma.