EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › leg extension/flexion like pedaling a bicycle?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

leg extension/flexion like pedaling a bicycle?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am still having trouble developing a strong outside leg "early" near the top of the turn.

When flexing/extending the legs, is pedaling a bicycle a good analogy? Should I think about extending one leg as I flex the other, until I come into the belly of the turn and the process reverses itself? The legs should always be in motion-never static-the length of the turn determines the rate of relaxation/extension? Or, is this a bad analogy-should I be focusing only on relaxing the downhill leg and letting the outside leg extend as a result of inside leg flexion?
post #2 of 23
Dawg: If you cant extend your outside leg nine times out of ten its the boot. Most likely you have too much forward lean or too much of a ramp angle. Its not too hard to change.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Biowolf:
Dawg: If you cant extend your outside leg nine times out of ten its the boot. Most likely you have too much forward lean or too much of a ramp angle. Its not too hard to change.
No, my boots are OK. My tech has me very upright (I know what you mean by excessive forward lean/ramp angle though). It just seems that relaxing and tipping that old outside leg is dropping me into the turn, but it still seems like my outside leg isn't as powerful and straight as I would like to see.
post #4 of 23
I always had trouble with the extension/flexion as an action.... my instructor told me to try to keep the pressure on the snow even - to not push on the snow harder or softer anywhere in the turn.... apparently this worked for me - but then again I use the 'feel' of my feet/skis so much it was more like I want to ski - while I have no idea what my legs are doing really...
post #5 of 23
Personally, I have trouble with the analogy of "pedaling a bicycle". In pedaling a bike, the downstroke (e.g. extension) occurs with your extending food forward. The same motion in skiing will get you in the backseat. A more apt analogy if you want to stick with bicycling is pedaling bicycle pedals backwards, as someone mentioned here once. However the bicycle pedaling still promotes a lot of feet suffling, which is really not what you want while skiing.

Perhaps a smooth continuous alternately extending/contraction movements like what you would do on a stairmaster is more apt?
post #6 of 23
I think the bike analogy is perfect. The reverse happens at the edge change. The movements should be fluid, and fell connected through the hips. Part of the analogy suggests keeping the feet clipped to the pedals (boots connected to the snow). This way the edges change easily.

In some ways it's less like pedaling, but more like moving the inside pedal of a turn to the top of the crank so it doesn't hit the pavement.

Keep the butt on the seat (hips forward).

Mostly I'd say keep away from dropping the inside handlebar, although this works in powerful carving.

The powerful pulling up of the shortening leg, releases the downhill ski and helps it find it's turning edge. The powerful pedaling down of the lengthening leg helps pressure the outside ski and connect it to the snow as the body comes forward and across.

I think that this is like the mother analogy.
post #7 of 23
Know what would make the bicycling analogy work for me? Sprinting on a bike out of the saddle. Your hips are more forward, directly over the downstroking (extending) foot. A good out of the saddle sprint is also a smooth continuous lower body movement, with minimal upper body movement.
post #8 of 23
cool
post #9 of 23
Try just tipping the inside leg into the turn. That will pull your whole body into the turn. That will move your body away from the outside ski. That will cause you outside leg to get longer. No active/conscious movement needed.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by weems:
In some ways it's less like pedaling, but more like moving the inside pedal of a turn to the top of the crank so it doesn't hit the pavement.
Weems

This was key for me. Early on in my instruction I was given the "pedaling" analogy and that alone doesn't work for me. I think that most people, when given the "pedaling" theory, would tend to focus on the strong, downward, extending movement necessary to power a bike, and I did too. Problem was, everytime I focused on just a strong extension on the new outside leg, I put myself in the back seat and had to fight balance issues at the beginning of each turn.

My my mind, I look at this as a "soft pedal" initiated as you've described above, coupled with gradually extending the new outside leg as pressure on that leg builds. Nothing real deliberate with that leg, just a reaction to the forces as they build. These movements, along with tipping the inside ski and a quiet upper body, seem to work well for me.

That said, I know everyones movement "triggers" are different and what works for me may not make sense to others. I hope I've at least described this well enough to give you an idea of where I'm coming from. Feel free to provide feedback.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by Coach13:

Problem was, everytime I focused on just a strong extension on the new outside leg, I put myself in the back seat and had to fight balance issues at the beginning of each turn.

[/QB]
Just a couple hints here for you coach, and the rest of you who might be exploring this move.

As I said last year, extending the old inside leg (new outside leg) as a means of completing the prior turn and beginning the new turn is a tremendously efficient turn transition, and when performed properly it offers a flow from one turn to the next that can't be matched by any other technique. I've introduced it to coaches on the staff here this season, and their immediate reaction was to rave about the continuous contact to the snow it provides and the instantaneous turn initiation it provides.

A few things to keep in mind:

1) The extension of the old inside leg is the move that serves to end the prior turn. It immediately transfers weight from the old outside foot to the old inside foot(new outside foot). No preliminary relaxing of the old outside leg or tipping of old outside foot is needed.

2) The extension should not be an explosive move, it should be subtle and controlled so that the momentum of the extension doesn't unweight the new outside ski. This gains importance as the hill steepens.

3) As you extend don't attempt to move your center of mass up the hill. If you do it correctly and allow the CM to remain where it is laterally you will immediately feel the new outside ski begin to roll off it's uphill edge and back to flat, and the CM fall into the new turn. This can only happen if you don't move your CM laterally up the hill as you extend. If you do move CM up hill you will remain balanced on the uphill edge and in an arcing traverse, a new turn will not begin, and you will be condemned as having performed a "negative movement".

4) The extension should occur in the knee only. This is key to producing a forward extension and quickly getting forward into the new turn. Ankle extension and hip extension are joint articulations that move CM back, knee extension moves CM forward. Didn't know that? Prove it to yourself, stand up, isolate these joints and try it. If the extension happens in the ankle and hip along with the knee you will end up in the back seat like coach reported.

5) Now this is very important. The extension should be combined with a forward drive of the old outside hip and foot.

At the end of a turn the hip is slightly countered and outside foot is correspondingly back. As soon as old inside leg extension begins the old outside foot becomes immediately unweighted and this allows for the old outside hip and foot to be driven back thru neutral until they are leading into the new turn. It feels and looks like your making a forward step.

This move quickly drives the skier into a forward position, positively engages the inside edge of the new outside ski, and puts the pelvis in an orientation that allows for effective angulation of the hip when and if needed.
================

Give it a try folks, if you haven't tried this turn transition technique yet you don't know what your missing. This will be the way PSIA will teach in years to come because it is just now becoming understood and emulated on the World Cup level. It's my gift to those on this forum who would like to get ahead of the curve.
post #12 of 23
Works for me, Fastman.
post #13 of 23
The bicycle pedaling image I've found helpful for some active bikers is to think of using a bike with a huge sprocket in a high gear (so it's a looooong push - pull action). I'm going to add the inside pedal/pavement thought. I'd already included the stand-up (unseated hips forward) pedaling because a client once said something about sprint mode making sense to him.
post #14 of 23
Quote

Originally posted by Fastman
2) The extension should not be an explosive move, it should be subtle and controlled so that the momentum of the extension doesn't unweight the new outside ski. This gains importance as the hill steepens.

World Cup skiers make this move explosively to a degree that their skis come off the snow. They also use it to let their (feet and skis ) shoot forward while their COM moves down the hill. The effect is that their skis come around in sling shot fashion. Not only do they accelerate out of the old turn but they keep accelerating in the beginning phase of the new turn.
post #15 of 23
Bio, anytime contact with the snow is lost so is control of the ski and thus control of the new arc. The only times you will see world cup racers lose snow contact is when a pivot is required prior to initiation of the new arc (typically on a steeper section of the course where turns are more off set), when the terrain causes it, or when unintended.

On the more moderately pitched sections of where turns are straighter and pivot is not require their skis will be locked in contact with the snow. These are the turns neophytes of this technique should be trying to emulate.

Speed does not come by allowing the stored energy in the ski to toss you up in air, it comes from coordinating the release so that the stored energy propels the skier forward. It's one of the hardest things to teach, and it's certainly not something we need to focus on for non-racers just beginning to explore a new turn transition technique.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by FastMan:

Give it a try folks, if you haven't tried this turn transition technique yet you don't know what your missing. This will be the way PSIA will teach in years to come because it is just now becoming understood and emulated on the World Cup level. It's my gift to those on this forum who would like to get ahead of the curve.
While I am not a well versed instructor or racing coach I enjoy your comments and posts very much. In reading both last year and in this thread about the inside leg extension I can't help but wonder if this is that dramatically new. Certainly lightening and tipping, if accompanied by a retraction of the old outside leg, is a different movement sequence but with time I have found that concept leading me to play with what you describe. The place where I've really experienced this best is in steep terrain where I have (at least on a couple of occasions) thought about the "pedal carve turn" that the DesLauriers (and I'm sure others) have described in some instructional articles in Skiing magazine. In any case, the moment I think about pedaling I start to play with different variations of retracting the old outside ski and extension of the old inside ski. As I don't spend all that much time on the groomed and perhaps I don't have the same experiences as most racers, I don't think I've discovered the extent of advandatage you refer to but I do think I have recognized how I can use initiation by inside extension more, in terrain ranging from steep off-piste to the groomed.
post #17 of 23
Fastman - can you explain better why the 'even pressure' type thing works better for me....

I know that the extend & flex each leg opposite just got me tied in knots & the even pressure on skis seemed to work... yet I truely have no idea why or what I did to make the pressure stay more even...

Yet both instructors seemed happy with the outcome & I was no longer asked to do the extend/flex bit.... :

I seemed to understand more about how I skied before last season... last season I just seemed to be asked to try stuff & did what I could - but mentally had less grasp on what I did & why... Everyone seems happy with my skiing - but I feel as though I have somehow lost 'control' of what I am doing....

Sorry - probably summer frustration setting in - I want to try stuff on snow...
post #18 of 23
Pierre

How does Fastman's perscribed movement(s) compare to what you recommended to me, in terms of turn initiation and old inside hip projection, in the Transition-Getting To The Front of the Boot thread a little while back? I've been working with your recomendations. I was hoping to get up to Seven Springs last week and get a visual check on this, but that didn't work out for me. Thanks.
post #19 of 23
Fastman's moves are the same thing only from a more agressive, gimmme more speed, view point. What would you expect from a fast man.

So are the things that weems described in the "Don't lean on the fronts of the boots". Weems focus is more on the inside half but the same moves.

So is the moves described here in pedaling.

Its all a movement forward into the direction you want to go. Keep in mind that these movements work in a wider stance and not as well in a narrow stance.
post #20 of 23
Thanks Pierre, this confirms what I was thinking. Sometimes, for a rookie like me, these theories/descriptions tend to sound alike whether they are or not. So...I thought I double check with someone who would know for sure. Thanks again.

BTW, no worries here on the wide stance issue. I ski naturally in a pretty wide stance.
post #21 of 23
Interesting coincidence: I was just talking to Bob B. about this very sensation: the feelng that you extend/dive downhill off the old uphill ski to help the turn begin. It definitely is a useful analogy, inasmuch as anything that commits the skier DOWN the hill is helpful. It's a breakthrough when students accept: 1: the concept that safety and security in skiing steeps lies in moving (in effect, "diving") the body more downhill and 2: how much easier skiing virtually all terrain becomes when they can actually make themselves do it! (I call it "the leap of faith.")

Other analogies that can sometimes make it clear:

An image of your body as a pendulum: Imagine the moment in a turn when your knees/ankles are flexing and your skis are turning uphill; if, at the same time, you are ALREADY beginning to extend/move your body across the tips and diagonally DOWN the hill, your skis will automatically flatten and begin rolling over to begin their new turn. To help students experience this, I sometimes suggest they imagine their skis coming up over their heads and traveling in an arc behind them as they are diving down the hill!

The feeling of beginning the movement down the hill by a diagonal, effortless, SKATING extension. This image will click with some folks. What these images all have in common is an attempt to engender the commitment of moving the whole body, starting with the feet and knees, diagonally across the ski tips in the direction of the desired travel.

Another component is ingraining the concept that there is no "beginning" or "end" to a turn. It is a continually flowing movement. (A good image is that they are continually "moving to the future.") As they are feeling one movement up, down or across the hill, they are always feeling that they are moving into the next! Imagine two jet fighters making continual banked turns. The jets are your feet, constantly rolling over and moving forward together, in a circular pattern, in space. Because many skiers tend to keep their skis flat and traverse the hill at the "end" of a turn, a useful analogy is that their knees are liquid and constantly rolling diagonally forward across their skis. This often encourages them feeling their feet rolling over as well. Anything to encourage constant movement and flow! No park and ride!

Anyway, I hope there is a consistency here that makes sense. I find introducing these concepts often helps engender the flow and effortless dynamic skiing we all aspire to.

Try some and see how they feel!

All the best,
Mike

[ February 27, 2004, 06:23 PM: Message edited by: mike_m ]
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:


Its all a movement forward into the direction you want to go. Keep in mind that these movements work in a wider stance and not as well in a narrow stance.
Exactly.
post #23 of 23
Quote

Originally posted by Fastman

On the more moderately pitched sections of where turns are straighter and pivot is not require their skis will be locked in contact with the snow. These are the turns neophytes of this technique should be trying to emulate.

Rick: Even in a Nastar race one will encounter a
variety of terrain not to talk about skiing top to bottom. I also have the feeling that it is not so much the skier that gets propelled forward after the release as it is the skis, while the COM gets propelled down the hill. Of course I am talking about World Cup skiing.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › leg extension/flexion like pedaling a bicycle?