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creating and maintaining a strong outside leg?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
How is a skier to create a strong outside leg? Know of any drills to work on this skill? Even though I am angulating a fair amount, I still notice that my outside leg is bent nearly 45 degrees when carving. I think that the problem lies in the transition-I am not initially creating a strong outside leg when my CM heads down the fall line during the release. How do I initially create the strong outside leg during the transition? When my CM is crossing over my skis and I feel my weight coming onto my new outside ski, do I stiffen that leg? Do I shift weight to my old inside (new outside) leg at the beginning of the transition (Inside Leg Extension Turn, thread by Fastman) which will create pressure on the new outside ski immediately, instead of waiting for it to come to me as a result of my CM heading down the fall line? Or, will the straight, strong outside leg naturally happen if I do the right things during the transition? What are those things?

Speaking of the "Inside Leg Extension Turn" is this the primary move that elite racers use in GS? It always seems that in a drawn out (not rushed) transition, the old inside (new outside) leg gets pressured at the start of the transition (probably coupled with relaxing of the old outside ski), so much that the old outside (new inside) leg often comes off the snow. At this point, the tipping of the new inside ski begins, and the new outside ski follows. Does this allow for an immediately strong new outside leg, or is there more contributing to this position?
post #2 of 24
Think of it like pedaling a bike. As the new inside leg shortens the new outside lengthens and goes behind your CM. Just as the pedal goes down then starts to go back and around.

[ November 24, 2003, 06:59 AM: Message edited by: SLATZ ]
post #3 of 24
One thing is for sure, if you don't get that outside leg extended very early in the turn, it's never going to be extended very much. But not every turn needs a strong outside leg, it should something done in anticipation of big forces.
Keep working with extending that outside leg right after initiation. When done right, it has allowed me to carve the top of the turn even in steep chutes (scary!).
post #4 of 24
Dawg, sounds like you're trying to "muscle" a "strong" outside leg. The leg should be extended as the pressures build so that the skeleton supports most of the pressure. You generally do not want an all-at-once full extension of the new outside leg at the initiation of the turn. I like to think of the extension as keeping my ski in contact with the snow rather than as driving the ski into the snow. You need a strong muscular activity, but not a tensed set of muscles.
post #5 of 24
Good comments. We certainly want to stack our skelaton as much as possible...which may point to some pre-requisites.
If your trying to ski from the front of the foot, or if you have too much lead change...which not only places your inside foot too far ahead...but also places your outside foot too far back and doesnt allow you to use your skelaton,
Also...how are you attempting to edge the ski? If you're focusing too much on knee angulation...keep in mind the the knee has to bend (and rotate )substantially to angulate...which makes it tough then to lengthen.
Believe it or not...many of the answers to being soundly stacked (= strength) with the outside ski lie in first an accurate stance (whole foot),little-no tip lead,and using the inside leg to determine amount of edge angle of both skis.
Try this....When you start the turn,from a slightly flexed (think ankles), and very even stance (meaning no tip lead!) tip the inside foot/ankle and think of rolling the inside femur into the mountain. See if this edges the skis and allows you to lengthen your outside leg...but only as/after the skis are tipped.
Sorry...kind of long-winded.
Stay warm...watch your backside on the slopes!
momski
post #6 of 24
I consciously pull my inside foot back to accomplish even feet (no scissoring) and parallel shafts and skis. Your inside ski travels a shorter distance in the turn and if you don't pull your inside foot back your skis will end up in the undesirable flying "V". In other words diverging skis.

This also allows me to lower my hips to the inside early and have my body far inside of my skis allowing me to have an extended outside leg. Itt also helps your fore a/aft balance on your skis since it pressures the fornt of your boot. You'll notice most photos of upper level racers show a very distinct point created by their knee of their inside leg. The lower you allow your hips to move inside of your skis the more this is evident and the more extended your outside leg becomes.

Does this make any sense?

[ November 24, 2003, 04:26 PM: Message edited by: Atomicman ]
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Atomicman:
I consciously pull my inside foot back to accomplish even feet (no scissoring) and parallel shafts and skis. Your inside ski travels a shorter distance in the turn and if you don't pull your inside foot back your skis will end up in the undesirable flying "V". In other words diverging skis.

This also allows me to lower my hips to the inside early and have my body far inside of my skis allowing me to have an extended outside leg. Itt also helps your fore a/aft balance on your skis since it pressures the fornt of your boot. You'll notice most photos of upper level racers show a very distinct point created by their knee of their inside leg. The lower you allow your hips to move inside of your skis the more this is evident and the more extended your outside leg becomes.

Does this make any sense?
How do you "lower your hips" into the turn? Do you drop them by pushing them down during the turn, by tipping your inside foot/knee? or by generating low hips during the crossover?
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by dawgcatching:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Atomicman:
I consciously pull my inside foot back to accomplish even feet (no scissoring) and parallel shafts and skis. Your inside ski travels a shorter distance in the turn and if you don't pull your inside foot back your skis will end up in the undesirable flying "V". In other words diverging skis.

This also allows me to lower my hips to the inside early and have my body far inside of my skis allowing me to have an extended outside leg. It also helps your fore a/aft balance on your skis since it pressures the fornt of your boot. You'll notice most photos of upper level racers show a very distinct point created by their knee of their inside leg. The lower you allow your hips to move inside of your skis the more this is evident and the more extended your outside leg becomes.

Does this make any sense?
How do you "lower your hips" into the turn? Do you drop them by pushing them down during the turn, by tipping your inside foot/knee? or by generating low hips during the crossover?</font>[/quote]I feel I ski more controlled when initiating a turn by tipping my inside ski to the little toe side which I do. Then I try to let my hips naturally drop to the inside of turn as I increase inclination. Another way to put it is trusting your edge and creatting extreme angles.

I have also heard the crossover referred to by very high level coaches as "THE VIRTUAL BUMP". Your torso stays level and your feet come up underneath you to the opposite side.

Maybe I am getting too esoterica. Maybe a better suggestion would be : Stand on your outside ski, stay forward and go like hell!

Some if not all of his issue with inability to extend his downhill leg could be too much forward lean in his boots. Also could be a combination of ramp angle in his bindings and boots and to much forward lean or any one of these.

[ November 24, 2003, 09:20 PM: Message edited by: Atomicman ]
post #9 of 24
Where in the turn is your leg at 45 degrees? If you think of the turn as a C and this is at 9 o'clock, is it possible you are late in developing your carve, ie not developing maximum pressure until later, ie the point in the turn that you are already giving it up to cross over to the next? I don't claim to have an answer for you although I might suggest playing w/ developing pressure early. A couple years ago when I was still on the "straight" slalom skis I played a bit with very early leg extension after crossover in order to create a bend in the skis well above the fall line. Having experimented with this, it was then very easy to dial the timing forward or back. It also occurs to me that your knee flex results from a tendency to want to over control the ski at this point, I mean not letting go in order to let the ski arc its course. At this point you should have made the moves that commit the ski. I associate a bent leg with what it can accomplish ie dissipate edge pressure, allow power to leg rotation. Consider the possibility that you are an accomplished skier and you are unwittingly utilizing your resevoir of skills to accomplish something that, tactically, you do not actually wish to.
post #10 of 24
Dawgcatching, something I came up with to help myself with this is to think of pulling the feet apart along the center axis of the body. One foot extenting away straightening the outside leg, and one foot pulling up under the butt (heel towards butt) shortening the inside leg, simutaneously, keeping both feet moving. This isn't a quick move for me but slow and continuos. What I feel is early edge engagement of the out side ski for a very stable platform, and good structural support. The inside foot activety allows the inside ski to move up out of the way and still keep it engaged, giveing good balance feedback, also allowing the hips to movenaturaly into the turn. The further you get feet apart in this plane, the more inclined the lower body (strong edge angle) gets and the straighter (stronger) the outside leg will get. The positives I feel from this focus are I don't get static (stop moving), my inside half stays strong (I'm long from inside shoulder to outside foot), there are good angles created between feet, hips, and shoulders, tip lead is only as required for the mechanics to happen, and the upper body is free to angulate as needed.

You can demonstrate this to yourself by using your arms and hands. Put your arms up palms facing away and bent about 45 degrees. Now slowly push one hand away from your shoulder and at the same time pull one back into your shoulder. Slow and steady. One arm lengthens, one shortens, and the shoulders (hips) are moved into a complementary angle with the hands(feet).

Play with this and see if you can feel a diference in strength versus effort, and funtional movement versus pushing and holding. It's helped me. [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ November 25, 2003, 06:21 AM: Message edited by: Ric B ]
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by arcadie:
[QB]I don't claim to have an answer for you although I might suggest playing w/ developing pressure early. A couple years ago when I was still on the "straight" slalom skis I played a bit with very early leg extension after crossover in order to create a bend in the skis well above the fall line. QB]
How did you develop pressure early in the turn? Was it by extension during crossover, instead of waiting for pressure to build?
post #12 of 24
I just want to say it's nice to see momski participate. To those that don't know her, IMHO she is;

1) One of the best teachers in the Rockies
2) The best bump skier in the Rockies
3) One of the nicest folks on the face of the earth!
post #13 of 24
Rusty,
How much do I owe you for that one? [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by dawgcatching:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by arcadie:
[QB]I don't claim to have an answer for you although I might suggest playing w/ developing pressure early. A couple years ago when I was still on the "straight" slalom skis I played a bit with very early leg extension after crossover in order to create a bend in the skis well above the fall line. QB]
How did you develop pressure early in the turn? Was it by extension during crossover, instead of waiting for pressure to build?</font>[/quote]Yes, exactly. Ideally its a lateral extension during crossover but its difficult to do without getting some vertical component hence racers often appear to be rising at crossover. Its critical that your stance on the old inside/new outside ski be right on at crossover. If you have much inside lead you will be backseat on the new outside ski at this point and the effective engagement of the ski will be delayed.

The idea seemed to be to create the turn shape early and just ride the arc thru the remainder.

For what its worth, I had been watching a really good boarder carving almost conbtinuous arcs, stitched together by only the slightest intervals. I decided to try to get a similar carve and minimize the crossover interval. Its fun to experiment this way, identify the variables, play with modifying them. You can teach yourself a lot this way as opposed to always trying to do it "right".

Its almost unfair, the bad snow advantage we have here in the East. Some years, some of the slopes are almost like a World Cup racing surface throughout much of the season. [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ November 26, 2003, 05:09 PM: Message edited by: arcadie ]
post #15 of 24
*bump*
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by milesb:
One thing is for sure, if you don't get that outside leg extended very early in the turn, it's never going to be extended very much. But not every turn needs a strong outside leg, it should something done in anticipation of big forces.
Keep working with extending that outside leg right after initiation. When done right, it has allowed me to carve the top of the turn even in steep chutes (scary!).
Ummmm - what about retraction/extension turns?????
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Ric B:
. What I feel is early edge engagement of the out side ski for a very stable platform, and good structural support. [img]smile.gif[/img]
Which edge????
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by momski:
Believe it or not...many of the answers to being soundly stacked (= strength) with the outside ski lie in first an accurate stance (whole foot),little-no tip lead,and using the inside leg to determine amount of edge angle of both skis.
What she said....

I'm a fat middle aged female & even my porky legs can deal with the pressure if I stay stacked....

If I stuff it up however.... [img]redface.gif[/img]
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by dawgcatching:
How do you "lower your hips" into the turn? Do you drop them by pushing them down during the turn, by tipping your inside foot/knee? or by generating low hips during the crossover?
I find even thinking about 'lowering' results in poor hip position.....

I tend to focus on "increasing angulation" until I am ready to "decrease angulation" .... if I think about increasing the angulation then my hips automatically go where they should as I run out of lower angulation options.....

Hmmmm - maybe that is because I have been trained to respond to that verbal cue that way.....

BTW - when I am thinking about it I am usually trying to make my core area strong to achieve this... sort of like pelvic floor exercise...
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by disski:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Ric B:
. What I feel is early edge engagement of the out side ski for a very stable platform, and good structural support. [img]smile.gif[/img]
Which edge????</font>[/quote]That would be the inside edge of the outside ski. Disski I think is one of the real hard things for many of us as we go to short carve skis and high G force carved turns. How to move progresively into a strong and long outside leg position and still keep a strong inside half. Just droping the hips inside doesn't do it for me either. We have to have those good complimentary angles of the feet, hips and shoulders. When we do this our angulation is efectively focused over our outside ski, amd our inside foot and leg is free to help us along.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Sagely posted by momski:
Believe it or not...many of the answers to being soundly stacked (= strength) with the outside ski lie in first an accurate stance (whole foot),little-no tip lead,and using the inside leg to determine amount of edge angle of both skis.
Try this....When you start the turn,from a slightly flexed (think ankles), and very even stance (meaning no tip lead!) tip the inside foot/ankle and think of rolling the inside femur into the mountain.
I think the important key to strengthening the outside half of the body in turns is strengthening the inside half. As my inside half get stronger my outside half also gets stronger. Conversely, when I find I am having problems with my outside ski doing what I want it to do I look to the inside half for the solution.

To take it a step further I find that I need to be neatly stacked throughout my turns and transitions in order to maintain the strong inside (and outside) half.

I do refer to halves of the body as opposed to legs or skis because discipline of the core and upper body are just as important as the lower body and feet.

Aar
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Ric B:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by disski:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Ric B:
. What I feel is early edge engagement of the out side ski for a very stable platform, and good structural support. [img]smile.gif[/img]
Which edge????</font>[/quote]That would be the inside edge of the outside ski. Disski I think is one of the real hard things for many of us as we go to short carve skis and high G force carved turns. How to move progresively into a strong and long outside leg position and still keep a strong inside half. Just droping the hips inside doesn't do it for me either. We have to have those good complimentary angles of the feet, hips and shoulders. When we do this our angulation is efectively focused over our outside ski, amd our inside foot and leg is free to help us along.</font>[/quote]Funny - I find I am "strongest" on those few occassions when I manage to really get balanced & on the outside edge of that outside ski(really early) & then just roll the whole body thing over.... I'm just not very good at balancing on that outside edge .... YET.....
post #23 of 24
Seems the only way to have a long outside leg is to get the skis way up on edge and the CM way inside of the skis. Now if this is the case there will be lots of pressure at the end of the turn and the turn will tighten because of the increased edge angle. (Fishhook.). Also the skis willl flex a lot. Good skiers release this pressure by letting their feet run forward (for/aft pendulum). This makes them almost weightless for an instant. They use that moment to initiate the next turn by letting their upper body fall down the hill while their skis come around on a longer arc. They will regain weighted status by extending their legs (leg) and land (so to speak) on their tips (start the for/aft pendulum). The greatest hindrance to a long outside leg is a ski boot with too much forward lean (which includes about 75% of boots on the market) and the concept of having to stay balanced on the same spot throughout the turn.
post #24 of 24
The more I develop a strong INSIDE half, the more I find that I start the turn on the inside ski and the pressure on the outside developes gradually and progressively as centrifugal force and gravity take over. I feel that I use flexion and extension to regulate pressure as the turn progesses.

[ December 21, 2003, 03:12 AM: Message edited by: Blizzard ]
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