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Functional Tension - Page 2

post #31 of 56
SO TRUE!!! This is why any dryland training program which focuses exclusively on either strength or flexibility, without adding any component of movement education, will only have minimal benefits for skiing.

Quite often, people have pretty decent balance skills, as well as edging biomechanics of the feet. But if they are more accustomned to muscling their movements, they will utilize either their quads of their upper body for movement iniation, even though they don't really need to do that.
This is where feedback from an instructor becomes crucial! Not to exhibit too much machisma , but when I am overusing my quads, I will not feel the pain that "normal" people feel.

I need someone to say "OUCH, it hurts to watch you do that!"
Of course, I discover that for my self going down a steeper, narrow trail, where a sharp turn iniation will bring me dangerously close to the trails edge!
post #32 of 56
Thread Starter 
Well... you have all been busy here. I just spent 4 days at Bachelor with the PSIA-NW Divisional Academy. We actually had an alpine Park & Pipe group. Bachelor was a more than pleasant surprise this week... the reports of rain and all, but all it did was snow. I saw some parts of the mountain I'd never seen and was impressed. The northwest area, traversing waay out west was incredible.

Quote:
Originally posted by TAMSki:
Roto,

If it's not intruding, when you say Katie gave you some suggestions to give you focus, what did she say. That might help the rest of us incorporate FT into our programs. That's certainly an area I need to work on, changing terrain and snow conditions throws me around like a ride on a wild pony.
Well first she asked me to slow down a bit(heh heh) to a speed where I could make adjustments more accurately.

Next she talked to me about staying over my feet, and let me know that if I focused on turning/guiding my feet under my body more actively it would help me stay balanced..

(I was tipping in and turning my torso from the fall-line down, not quite staying over my feet)

From there we talked about functional tension on the chair a couple times. I wasn't calling it functional tension at the time, but referring to it as 'muscle tonus' and the idea of creating enough to keep a good stance.

Katie gave me the concept of functional tension, "a tension we can move within."

The nice thing about the national teamers (in my experience) is that they don't over-coach, or over-teach. They have a keen sense for how much feedaback, focus, teaching or coaching people need.

[ March 17, 2003, 10:18 AM: Message edited by: Roto ]
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by nolo:
Reading this I got an image that might be helpful: jumping off a roof or a high wall or down from a tree limb. The right amount of give in the joints and tension in the muscles.

Does stretch reflex fit in here somewhere?
post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by Warren:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by nolo:
Reading this I got an image that might be helpful: jumping off a roof or a high wall or down from a tree limb. The right amount of give in the joints and tension in the muscles.

Does stretch reflex fit in here somewhere?</font>[/quote]You betcha! A ski jump is the ultimate plyometric exercise, and plyometrics make use of the stretch reflex.
Muscles can be thought of as elastic tissue that can shorten when contracted. When stretched, it can develop tension due to the elastic resistance to that stretch. As stretch is increased, the velocity and tension of the shortening is increased. The stretch reflex becomes active when a muscle lengthens quickly, causing muscular contraction. Voluntary muscular contraction {function tension} can cause a more powerful reflex, enhancing speed and power.

Back in the 1970s, when I was teaching yoga, we used to think of the stretch reflex as "evil", since it worked against static flexiblity. But for sports, it is a crucial component to peak performance. Static stretch to the point of minimalizing the stretch reflex can actually impede athletic performance.
post #35 of 56
Yes, Warren, I think the stretch reflex is part of sticking the landing. Roto, what you and others are saying about "tension you can move within" is quite fascinating to me. I'll only see most of my students one more time. The last lesson is the hardest: how to best wrap up a 20 hour class? Functional tension would be a nice holistic focus to bring together all of the separate threads we have explored this season.

My students owe a lot to the instructors on EpicSki. Because I get all the credit, I thank you.
post #36 of 56
bump. 'cause this is a great thread to remember and take into the upcoming new season. Would also be interested in hearing more of our best descriptions of and insights into how this feels and can be worked on in personal day to day skiing. It's close now, I'm beginning to smell snow, getting very restless..........

joel

P.S. Thanks to Tom/PM for remembering and including this link in the "Stiffness of boots as related to performance" thread. Good one! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #37 of 56
Joel, Thanks for dredging up the thread. I think the best way for us to learn more and get better is to pick out a few ideas and get out there and play with it. If you don't have snow to play on yet, cross country running is a good substitute, costs nothing, and is available everywhere. I think Roto nailed the description with "an even tension throughout the body that I can move within..." That's a great mantra.
post #38 of 56
Thread Starter 
Wow, What a great reminder here entering the new season. It's nice to be brought back to some real good days and feelings as I am in somwhat of a morass of bad ju-ju at the moment.

I have been spending some time revisting this idea lately, doing a series of indoor biomechanics lectures(some have been real good, some not-so).

Anyway I had a brief exchange with a fellow names Juris Vagners who offered the idea of experimenting with "internal biomechanics" by using sport cords. I ended up with those thera-bands and have been using them with groups indoors to apply forces in different ways so people can experience how muscle tension can affect joint range of motion. Invariably we have ended up in the Functional Tension zone doing this. Again, amazing how much masterful teachers/coaches can communicate through so little interaction.

One interesting thing we have done is to tie the thera band around our waists with a long tail, then flex deeply, place the tail underfoot and go through some flexion-extension series. Amazing the difference when the tail is in the front and under the ball of the foot as opposed to the tail in the back and under heel. Even though the position of balance is not visually different (as far as hips-over feet) the muscle tension is way different and really has an effect upon the ability to flex-extend.

Also it is real easy to cue movements of specific muscles and joints simply by moving the band around. You don't have to say anything about body parts at all, place the band, apply a little tension and the people can move against it instinctively.

Someone asked me if I had ever used them on the snow. I haven't, but I might this year!

For some of you still looking for ways to experience and help others experience functional tension try this:

stand in a basic skiing stance, then have someone (with a thera-band) reapeatedly pull against various body parts in various directions and forces. Your goal is to MAINTAIN the stance, i.e. NOT be moved out of it. This way you can experience not only the tension, but the varying tensions as the amount and direction of pull changes

It's pretty cool. Lots of info about stance widths, balancing and edging movements from different parts of the body and more come to light very quickly.

On second thought.. don't do it yet
WAIT I haven't patented, trademarked and copyrighted it. nunna you PSIA robo-theives better steal MY super secret rubber-bandski...uhh errr Vagnerian Technique!

[ November 04, 2003, 02:31 AM: Message edited by: Roto ]
post #39 of 56
Sorry Roto! National Academy of Sports Medicine Trainers have been using the sport cord, theraband trick for a long time. Its still pretty darn good, though! I actually have a chapter on that in my ski fitness book {Now if my potential publishers can only give me a darn response!}

Functional tension is subtle. As Weems described at the Academy, its support, but not bracing. Check the "At last I fell better topic" in Health and Fitness.

[ November 04, 2003, 06:50 AM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #40 of 56
We discussed functional tension at the PSIA National Academy last April. The best definition I got was "don't get knocked around". The point was to resist the forces that were trying to get you out of position.

To use the jump example, it's not trying to land stiff legged (which is risking injury). You land with flex, but use your strength to resist the flex and reduce the movemment.

Similarly, excess hand movements after pole plants and excess upper body movement in the bumps can be reduced by tensing the muscles to fight the movement.

One of the FT examples we had occurred while skiing through 6-8 inches of crud. Our trainer asked, "Are your skis chattering? (getting knocked around). His solution: "Don't do that". Of course, he did follow up and say that more forward pressure would allow us to increase control over the tips of our skis. But his main point was that consciously trying to resist the chatter would create a functional tension that would be helpful.

Although functional tension in the "core" (trunk) muscles has the biggest payback in improved technique, the concept can be applied to all muscles. The concept appeared to work for many Academy groups. Expect to see more "print" on this topic from PSIA.
post #41 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
Sorry Roto! National Academy of Sports Medicine Trainers have been using the sport cord, theraband trick for a long time. Its still pretty darn good, though! I actually have a chapter on that in my ski fitness book {Now if my potential publishers can only give me a darn response!}

Functional tension is subtle. As Weems described at the Academy, its support, but not bracing. Check the "At last I fell better topic" in Health and Fitness.
For fitness yes, but biomechanics instruction? anyway it was TIC, given that the idea came to me throught someone else. Just a little HH oriented sarcasm, k?
post #42 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roto View Post

In the last month I have had the good fortune to ski with Ron Kipp(U.S. Ski Team Physiologist/coach) for a day, and Katie Fry (National D-Team) for a day. Between the two of them my mind has been opened to an entirely new sport. Even though I'm on the same skis, the same slopes etc. evrything is suddenly so much smoother, more powerful, and more fun.

To narrow it down as simply as possible...

Functional Tension.

Once a good stance is acheived, create enough tension throughout the body to maintain that through turns, terrain changes etc. It is a tension one can 'move within,' and it isn't tiring to maintain that tension as it is 'even throughout the body,' not overly focused in one muscle group or another. Simply amazing.

Last Thursday morning we started the day with Katie, skiing fast and hard in 17 inches of fresh. I was having fun but working hard and getting tired. Steep bumps were rocking my world a bit, and so were the changes from deep pockets to windblown hardness. Katie didn't offer me any coaching until I sought it the one run before lunch. A couple words of focus were all she gave me. After lunch she let me ski the focus a bit until I got over my feet more consistently. a couple more words of focus and we went back to the terrain that had been rocking me earlier. The exact same terrain suddenly felt groomed beneath my feet. By the end of the day I had more energy, strength and stamina than I had just prior to lunch, even though we skied just as hard, just as much terrain etc.

On Friday I was coaching a hard-charging group of trainers who were launching into the third-day-in-a-row-dump-pow. Late into the morning we moved into the 'functional tension' thing as a way to land airs that scare us, or push our envelope.
I had a first. A big jump I launched often, but usually butt or hip checked, bounced back to my feet and skied on. I hit it with more speed than ever before, went waaay farther, in the air I put my body into the position I wanted for landing, and then tightened everything like 'a rock' (or as close to that as my out of shape bod can get) Fifty feet after I landed I was wondering what had happened since nothing had touched the snow except my feet and I was laying down some simple gs-size turns, I had stomped it on my feet alone; something I had seen others do, but never really believed I could do.

What Katie had done was wait to hear an idea Ron Kipp had given me, gave me some focus with it, and developed it for me with some simple words of focus. Later in a brief conversation with her, she let me in on a significant teaching philosophy, that the knowledge and expertise participants bring to the situation is more relevant/important that what she brings to the group. Hmm. A revelatory week this has been. A jumping off point for the next couple years of skiing and teaching development for me. Life is Soo good.

Of course four days in a row of Phat Pow tends to make life that way


Boom baby!

post #43 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

The best way to enhance FT is to become aware of it. Because of this, I generally approach the topic through Guided Discovery. Weems taught Tog and me an exercise from Tom Crum's Journey to Center Workshop at the 2003 Academy. (I have made a mental note to ask Weems to do an evening presentation at the next Academy, because I got so much out of his mini tutorial.) The gist of it was that we can move the center up and down. If you carry your center free-floating high in the torso you will be easy to knock down. Bring it down into the pelvis and let the energy flow downward to connect to the ground and you will feel increased stability and power.

The tension also moves side to side. I think of the tilt-o-meter in a sailboat when I visualize tension moving side to side in a series of turns. The bubble moves to the outside of the turn. In relaxing my inside half in preparation for a new turn, I remove tension and weight off that new inside foot and up the body. I want the weight and the tension to flow to the outside half.

[ March 12, 2003, 06:18 AM: Message edited by: nolo ]


Ooo, that's good.


Edited by Crud Buster - 12/5/13 at 5:41pm
post #44 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy View Post

At a clinic with the SSD from Copper, Burt Skall, he discussed FT and described it as being from the "waist up" and went so far as to suggest it would create a relaxed lower body.

I suffer from "small mountain syndrome"!!! When I go to big mountains and ski hard in variable terrain I get tired. At speed I am bounced around, all the while, creating disfunctional tension in all the wrong places. The biggest symptoms are tired quads and "breaking" at the waist in order to deal with terrain vagueries (sp?)

I have tried most everything to deal with what "feels" wrong. I must say I would love to find a solution because I don't "have it" as we speak.

 

Did you ever find it?

 

Does this sound familiar?  

 

I'll be honest that I've come to the recent realization that I've been co-mingling "modern" skiing and "old school" with my tips here.  I'm sorry for that in the respect that I was still in discovery mode to some extent on the modern.  I have the skills, new and old, but I just didn't put it together until yesterday.  Today in my contemporary skiing clinic I lost "IT" again.  The thing is, I had a taste of the real deal.  I'm in no way bragging about my skiing (if you saw my turns today you would understand that).  I'm not going to look back at my previous posts, but if you do I'll bet that all of them lead to this very thread, started by Roto.  Read the initial post if you don't believe me.


I can't believe how little discussion and interest in this there has been. Sorry for all of my edits - some for spelling, but mostly because putting 40 years of skiing into typed words isn't easy. 


Edited by Crud Buster - 12/5/13 at 9:28pm
post #45 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roto View Post

In the last month I have had the good fortune to ski with Ron Kipp(U.S. Ski Team Physiologist/coach) for a day, and Katie Fry (National D-Team) for a day. Between the two of them my mind has been opened to an entirely new sport. Even though I'm on the same skis, the same slopes etc. evrything is suddenly so much smoother, more powerful, and more fun.

To narrow it down as simply as possible...

Functional Tension.

Once a good stance is acheived, create enough tension throughout the body to maintain that through turns, terrain changes etc. It is a tension one can 'move within,' and it isn't tiring to maintain that tension as it is 'even throughout the body,' not overly focused in one muscle group or another. Simply amazing.

Last Thursday morning we started the day with Katie, skiing fast and hard in 17 inches of fresh. I was having fun but working hard and getting tired. Steep bumps were rocking my world a bit, and so were the changes from deep pockets to windblown hardness. Katie didn't offer me any coaching until I sought it the one run before lunch. A couple words of focus were all she gave me. After lunch she let me ski the focus a bit until I got over my feet more consistently. a couple more words of focus and we went back to the terrain that had been rocking me earlier. The exact same terrain suddenly felt groomed beneath my feet. By the end of the day I had more energy, strength and stamina than I had just prior to lunch, even though we skied just as hard, just as much terrain etc.

On Friday I was coaching a hard-charging group of trainers who were launching into the third-day-in-a-row-dump-pow. Late into the morning we moved into the 'functional tension' thing as a way to land airs that scare us, or push our envelope.
I had a first. A big jump I launched often, but usually butt or hip checked, bounced back to my feet and skied on. I hit it with more speed than ever before, went waaay farther, in the air I put my body into the position I wanted for landing, and then tightened everything like 'a rock' (or as close to that as my out of shape bod can get) Fifty feet after I landed I was wondering what had happened since nothing had touched the snow except my feet and I was laying down some simple gs-size turns, I had stomped it on my feet alone; something I had seen others do, but never really believed I could do.

What Katie had done was wait to hear an idea Ron Kipp had given me, gave me some focus with it, and developed it for me with some simple words of focus. Later in a brief conversation with her, she let me in on a significant teaching philosophy, that the knowledge and expertise participants bring to the situation is more relevant/important that what she brings to the group. Hmm. A revelatory week this has been. A jumping off point for the next couple years of skiing and teaching development for me. Life is Soo good.

Of course four days in a row of Phat Pow tends to make life that way

 

Good skiing never goes bad.  I don't know Roto, but I can bet this is still a top priority  before he makes his first turn everyday.   Without it, everything else is "searching". 

My search of "functional tension skiing" on Youtube found this (go figure):

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uk4sqUBhks

 

- All terrain / any conditions

-Free to choose line and speed...with economy of effort

-Maintain strength and flow

-Arc to Arc

-Loading and deflection

-Steering Versatility

post #46 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrudBuster View Post

....

I'll be honest that I've come to the recent realization that I've been co-mingling "modern" skiing and "old school" with my tips here.  I'm sorry for that in the respect that I was still in discovery mode to some extent on the modern.  I have the skills, new and old, but I just didn't put it together until yesterday.  Today in my contemporary skiing clinic I lost "IT" again.  The thing is, I had a taste of the real deal.  I'm in no way bragging about my skiing (if you saw my turns today you would understand that).  I'm not going to look back at my previous posts, but if you do I'll bet that all of them lead to this very thread, started by Roto.  Read the initial post if you don't believe me.


I can't believe how little discussion and interest in this there has been. Sorry for all of my edits - some for spelling, but mostly because putting 40 years of skiing into typed words isn't easy. 

Hey stop that.  No apologizing allowed!  (I take the cake for number of edits after the fact.)

Your posts are great.   

Revision is good.  It's all good.  Winter has started!

post #47 of 56

Crud, what perturbation training do you find works best for you?

post #48 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post
 

Crud, what perturbation training do you find works best for you?

 

This thread is still sinking to the bottom, which doesn't really surprise me. Thanks for asking Jasp, because it forced me to sort through all the words, thoughts and feelings so I don't get side-tracked from my goals. 

 

- Became more aware of my pelvis.  Example:  squeeze your glutes as hard as you can and watch what happens to the vulgas in your knees. 

 

- Learned to create tension in my pelvis and understand that you can keep that tension while still moving your legs and upper torso .  But, if the get to far outside your functional within a safe bubble without loosing that tension. 

- Understand and find my own functional stance with certain drills like rotating my femurs on a slick tile floor and BUS SURFING!  (I'm gonna do this everyday to the hill this year).  

- Activated these feelings and muscles before I went skiing.  My favorite is this -


- before I started downhill I was creating tension through extension, just like the lady is ABOUT to do when she becomes tall. 

- I held that tension in my pelvis while maintaining balance by standing over the center mark of my boot and ski and keep the functional stance.

- I thought of nothing but keep that functional tension and stance. 

- My first turn sensation wasn't really a turn at all, the terrain simply changed as I balanced.  Long leg / short leg ocurred due to the terrain and no other reason as if my boots were clamped on a roller coaster or a dynamic version of bus surfing.

- While still maintaining pelvic tension I realized that it was very easy to allow the BUBBLE to move outside.  The bubble is the tension moving back and forth through the pelvis, I think.  Still trying to discover that.

- I was surprised how I could keep this tension because I don't use these muscles enough and other muscles are compensating, making matters worse.  That's why I had to initially focus and be aware.

- After a few runs of conscious focus on the pelvic tension it became instinctual.  This reminds me of Master Wu skiing.  It's been known for years that your pelvis rules the center.  The exercise above is named the Sumo and Sumo's have amazing power.

- Once the tension was instinctual and I was still standing over the boot mark, still in a functional stance, everything but my pelvis became loose.  I felt like my pelvis was hanging in a harness in that same place in space as I was before I headed downhill - long and strong (Pilates).  This made my skis and legs feel relaxed.

- Since I've been consumed with pure arc to arc skiing the last few years and I was on a groomer I tipped my feet. 

- Found that instead of the roller coaster dictating where I go, I was now able to create my own roller coaster line right in front of me. 

- Speed was dictated by my line.

- Sharper turn, higher edge.  Shallow turn, flatter ski.  It wasn't a question of needing more or less, it was a question of choosing where I wanted to go without disturbing my bubble. 

- The more runs I got the more I challenged my pelvic strength.  Notice I didn't say balance?  Remember the pelvic tension comes first, THEN you balance.

- The more runs I did the better my timing became.  With that I could change my intent with duration and rate of tipping. 

- Pressure and rotary were created by a tipped ski that I controlled.  I simply controlled it, or "managed the pressure.

- My upper torso is loose to accept the force the tipped ski that I control, while I'm keeping pelvic tension.  Almost if my body had three sections instead of two.  We always say upper or lower body rotation.  Think about counter.  Our feet and torsos are twisting opposite of each other.  Where is the fulcrum that these to sections are rotating against?  The pelvis. 

- The next thing you know I'm using the exact same moves for deep pow on 185 Hell and Back (98mm, straight tail, little tip rise, reactive, camber) as I was in the bumps and on steep groomers with snow-gun blazing down low.  It didn't matter. And it was my first day back in a 2008 Nordica Doberman WC150, 93mm last and the last run of the day it was 3 below at the top and +2 at the bottom.  I weigh 155 lbs. 

- You are not stronger than the combination of gravity and centrifugal force.  However, you are smarter. 

- The next two days in my contemporary skiing clinic I lost "IT".  (If you still don't know what IT is feel free to pm me).   I was doing all the same stuff. 

- The first day I was stiff as a board and not even skiing my old turns well.  This bummed me out because I was literally craving those turns again. 

- The second day I remembered how loose I was while skiing with pelvic tension.  My clinic leader said, "Yeah, you're loose".  This is really funny now because I had no pelvic tension.  Everything was loose, but I was still doing the same-old-same-old.  At the time I didn't take it personally because I knew it wasn't the same feeling.  I told him it was the best clinic of my life and he said, "let me know why sometime."  Well, it's because he was a guide in self discovery. 

- I was up most of the night thinking about this and probably deleted 10,000 words already. 

- Now I'm going to go activate some pelvic tension before I surf the bus on my way to the best turns of my life. 

- My self discovery has lead me to this moment.  I have to go ski and see if I'm right, but I feel more confident than ever that I am. 

- Part of the reason I lost "IT" again is due to the way we learn and how memories are insulated.  It takes time to build new pathways and unwrapped the old pathways.  We had a seminar last week where a navy seal talked about this very subject, which I will attend next week. 

- Another reason I lost "IT" is probably because the day after I skied most of the my sore muscles and stiffness were in places somewhat unfamiliar to me.  My hamstrings were tight vs. my quads.  My knees didn't hurt due to better alignment of boots and pelvic tension.  My abductors weren't as tight.  My stomach was a little tender down around my pelvis, not up high. 

- I can only imagine what can happen when I actually start doing Tai chi, yoga, or Pilates; have better nutrition, rest, spirit and confidence? 

- I'm a level one ski instructor

- But if you put my success rate into percentages I'm a Level .00021789 skier.  That means I get to make 105,985,231 more turns until I become a level 10.  SWEET!

P.S. If this works all future advice will only be provided by me through the Aspen Skiing Company at the private request rate.  :D


Edited by Crud Buster - 12/7/13 at 11:42am
post #49 of 56

here you go crud, this might shine some light.

 

http://www.biotensegrity.com/hang_in_there.php

 

Fun thread to read, people gaining awareness of how dynamic we are.  I would contend though that it has even more to do with our spines. The interest will be minimal I think because most of us have developed such amnesia to ourselves the thought that you could attend to multiple movement sensations all at once is completely foreign and worse frowned upon in some instances. human movement and development is almost completely backwards from the paradigm of training we have developed 

post #50 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrudBuster View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post
 

Crud, what perturbation training do you find works best for you?

 

This thread is still sinking to the bottom, which doesn't really surprise me. Thanks for asking Jasp, because it forced me to sort through all the words, thoughts and feelings so I don't get side-tracked from my goals. 

 

- Became more aware of my pelvis.  Example:  squeeze your glutes as hard as you can and watch what happens to the vulgas in your knees. 

 

- Learned to create tension in my pelvis and understand that you can keep that tension while still moving your legs and upper torso .  But, if the get to far outside your functional within a safe bubble without loosing that tension. 

- Understand and find my own functional stance with certain drills like rotating my femurs on a slick tile floor and BUS SURFING!  (I'm gonna do this everyday to the hill this year).  

- Activated these feelings and muscles before I went skiing.  My favorite is this -


- before I started downhill I was creating tension through extension, just like the lady is ABOUT to do when she becomes tall. 

- I held that tension in my pelvis while maintaining balance by standing over the center mark of my boot and ski and keep the functional stance.

- I thought of nothing but keep that functional tension and stance. 

- My first turn sensation wasn't really a turn at all, the terrain simply changed as I balanced.  Long leg / short leg ocurred due to the terrain and no other reason as if my boots were clamped on a roller coaster or a dynamic version of bus surfing.

- While still maintaining pelvic tension I realized that it was very easy to allow the BUBBLE to move outside.  The bubble is the tension moving back and forth through the pelvis, I think.  Still trying to discover that.

- I was surprised how I could keep this tension because I don't use these muscles enough and other muscles are compensating, making matters worse.  That's why I had to initially focus and be aware.

- After a few runs of conscious focus on the pelvic tension it became instinctual.  This reminds me of Master Wu skiing.  It's been known for years that your pelvis rules the center.  The exercise above is named the Sumo and Sumo's have amazing power.

- Once the tension was instinctual and I was still standing over the boot mark, still in a functional stance, everything but my pelvis became loose.  I felt like my pelvis was hanging in a harness in that same place in space as I was before I headed downhill - long and strong (Pilates).  This made my skis and legs feel relaxed.

- Since I've been consumed with pure arc to arc skiing the last few years and I was on a groomer I tipped my feet. 

- Found that instead of the roller coaster dictating where I go, I was now able to create my own roller coaster line right in front of me. 

- Speed was dictated by my line.

- Sharper turn, higher edge.  Shallow turn, flatter ski.  It wasn't a question of needing more or less, it was a question of choosing where I wanted to go without disturbing my bubble. 

- The more runs I got the more I challenged my pelvic strength.  Notice I didn't say balance?  Remember the pelvic tension comes first, THEN you balance.

- The more runs I did the better my timing became.  With that I could change my intent with duration and rate of tipping. 

- Pressure and rotary were created by a tipped ski that I controlled.  I simply controlled it, or "managed the pressure.

- My upper torso is loose to accept the force the tipped ski that I control, while I'm keeping pelvic tension.  Almost if my body had three sections instead of two.  We always say upper or lower body rotation.  Think about counter.  Our feet and torsos are twisting opposite of each other.  Where is the fulcrum that these to sections are rotating against?  The pelvis. 

- The next thing you know I'm using the exact same moves for deep pow on 185 Hell and Back (98mm, straight tail, little tip rise, reactive, camber) as I was in the bumps and on steep groomers with snow-gun blazing down low.  It didn't matter. And it was my first day back in a 2008 Nordica Doberman WC150, 93mm last and the last run of the day it was 3 below at the top and +2 at the bottom.  I weigh 155 lbs. 

- You are not stronger than the combination of gravity and centrifugal force.  However, you are smarter. 

- The next two days in my contemporary skiing clinic I lost "IT".  (If you still don't know what IT is feel free to pm me).   I was doing all the same stuff. 

- The first day I was stiff as a board and not even skiing my old turns well.  This bummed me out because I was literally craving those turns again. 

- The second day I remembered how loose I was while skiing with pelvic tension.  My clinic leader said, "Yeah, you're loose".  This is really funny now because I had no pelvic tension.  Everything was loose, but I was still doing the same-old-same-old.  At the time I didn't take it personally because I knew it wasn't the same feeling.  I told him it was the best clinic of my life and he said, "let me know why sometime."  Well, it's because he was a guide in self discovery. 

- I was up most of the night thinking about this and probably deleted 10,000 words already. 

- Now I'm going to go activate some pelvic tension before I surf the bus on my way to the best turns of my life. 

- My self discovery has lead me to this moment.  I have to go ski and see if I'm right, but I feel more confident than ever that I am. 

- Part of the reason I lost "IT" again is due to the way we learn and how memories are insulated.  It takes time to build new pathways and unwrapped the old pathways.  We had a seminar last week where a navy seal talked about this very subject, which I will attend next week. 

- Another reason I lost "IT" is probably because the day after I skied most of the my sore muscles and stiffness were in places somewhat unfamiliar to me.  My hamstrings were tight vs. my quads.  My knees didn't hurt due to better alignment of boots and pelvic tension.  My abductors weren't as tight.  My stomach was a little tender down around my pelvis, not up high. 

- I can only imagine what can happen when I actually start doing Tai chi, yoga, or Pilates; have better nutrition, rest, spirit and confidence? 

- I'm a level one ski instructor

- But if you put my success rate into percentages I'm a Level .00021789 skier.  That means I get to make 105,985,231 more turns until I become a level 10.  SWEET!

P.S. If this works all future advice will only be provided by me through the Aspen Skiing Company at the private request rate.  :D

 

I like this red part.  

post #51 of 56

Crud as a alumni of S3 of Aspen I agree that everyone should spend some time working and training there.

As far as grasping for the words to explain the maneuvers you did, well my advice would be to not worry about that until you gain more competency with those moves. Try focusing on recalling the verbal and movement cues you were given that day. If you are struggling with that, try contacting the coach and review this stuff with them.

post #52 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by chad View Post
 

here you go crud, this might shine some light.

 

http://www.biotensegrity.com/hang_in_there.php

 

Fun thread to read, people gaining awareness of how dynamic we are.  I would contend though that it has even more to do with our spines. The interest will be minimal I think because most of us have developed such amnesia to ourselves the thought that you could attend to multiple movement sensations all at once is completely foreign and worse frowned upon in some instances. human ovement and development is almost completely backwards from the paradigm of training we have developed 

Thanks to everyone.

 

  Chad, I just saw this post and it will take a little time for me to read and absorb later this eve.  I think my two broken backs and severely dislocated shoulder injuries are catching up with me.  I'm very fit, but not so from an alignment standpoint and I now understand how important this is...especially at my age. 

post #53 of 56

they aren't catching up crud, they have always been a part of you.

 

I will gladly translate some of that for you, enjoy the journey into yourself. I will only add it is not so much about holding one area tight more than another, its is more about feeling how you can distribute the energy of our movement through your whole self. 

post #54 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by chad View Post
 

they aren't catching up crud, they have always been a part of you.

 

I will gladly translate some of that for you, enjoy the journey into yourself. I will only add it is not so much about holding one area tight more than another, its is more about feeling how you can distribute the energy of our movement through your whole self. 

 

What I picked up from reading that is we did not develop as rigid structures.  We can take loads from many directions and still not collapse because your structures have give and take, which describes my idea of functional tension.  Is it that if my spine is aligned then my sacrum can distribute forces more evenly from the "bicycle hub" through the spokes?  Better posture = more efficiency of loads? 

 

I would appreciate some translation from a skiers perspective.  Thanks, again.

post #55 of 56

not just the alignment of spine for the spine can shape into a variety of "postures" and still maintain  a balanced torque with a minimum of muscular effort because the forces can be distributed across so many muscles/tissues.  What constitutes "good" posture is the ability to balance the two components, the compression force(bones) and the surrounding tissues(tension). 

 

Relative to skiing you can  imagine and feel, whether in the crux of a turn, managing the compression loads, or in the transition phase, relatively unloaded, the tension sleeve of the tissues around the bones will distribute the forces to allow for a minimum of effort/energy expediture.

 

You have a history of spinal issues, imagine how the loss of mobility, or the preference for one motion over another can create imbalances or the dynamics between the bones and the surrounding tissues,  all of these factors are already understood by your nervous system making fully dynamic movement in all the planes of motion more effortful or non existent in some cases.

 

The OP found by increasing the force of the tension elements around the bones he could land with ease.  In that context it made sense to elevate the support around the bones to increase the management of compression in the landing.  However, watching a slalom skier like MS you can see how that same elevated tension would be a detriment to being able to quickly alter the "posture" needed to balance the compression and tension and minimize the effort of the muscular system.

 

While the control of the pelvis is important if you have lost that sensation, it is not always about maximizing stability.  :)

post #56 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by chad View Post
 

not just the alignment of spine for the spine can shape into a variety of "postures" and still maintain  a balanced torque with a minimum of muscular effort because the forces can be distributed across so many muscles/tissues.  What constitutes "good" posture is the ability to balance the two components, the compression force(bones) and the surrounding tissues(tension). 

 

Relative to skiing you can  imagine and feel, whether in the crux of a turn, managing the compression loads, or in the transition phase, relatively unloaded, the tension sleeve of the tissues around the bones will distribute the forces to allow for a minimum of effort/energy expediture.

 

You have a history of spinal issues, imagine how the loss of mobility, or the preference for one motion over another can create imbalances or the dynamics between the bones and the surrounding tissues,  all of these factors are already understood by your nervous system making fully dynamic movement in all the planes of motion more effortful or non existent in some cases.

 

The OP found by increasing the force of the tension elements around the bones he could land with ease.  In that context it made sense to elevate the support around the bones to increase the management of compression in the landing.  However, watching a slalom skier like MS you can see how that same elevated tension would be a detriment to being able to quickly alter the "posture" needed to balance the compression and tension and minimize the effort of the muscular system.

 

While the control of the pelvis is important if you have lost that sensation, it is not always about maximizing stability.  :)

 

Awesome.  Thanks, Chad!

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