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Push up or Push off!

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 
The recent leg extension thread (dawgcatching Feb 27) raises the issue addressed by fellow Scot Ian Beveridge in his Ski Tools CDRom. He maintains it is wrong to push up from the new outside ski as this is not part of the natural walking pattern.

Instead, he advocates the turn is completed by pushing up on the turning ski (the outside ski) which assists its grip and also allows a lateral projection if required, just as one completes a walking step with a push up of the standing leg. Stepping up off the old inside ski breaks this rhythm.

He acknowledges this 'correct stepping up' is a subtle difference and is actually very difficult to spot but it fits in with his holistic approach of a 'natual motion' based on walking and the myriad of instinctive biomechanical reflexes we are tuned to.

He distinguishes this movement from the sudden retraction of the old downhill ski which by default does engage the new one, but by dropping the hip to the inside void created by the retracting stance ski. There is no pushing up on the new ski until the very bottom of the turn. This eliminates the tendency to push out and skid this ski as the turn develops.

Ellen Post Foster concurrs with this push up (p75, Technical Skills for Alpine Skiing).

Yet as the earlier thread shows, pushing up off the new outside ski to start a turn is commonly accepted advice. It also works (up to a point). But if Beveridge is right it is the classic expedient which opens the way onto the intermediate plateau but also blocks the exit to higher levels.

Any thoughts on this?
post #2 of 72
daslider I do not have Scot'd CD but I do have EP Foster's book.

Be careful not to confuse exercises like the one on page 75 with skiing. We don't ski like the exercise. Also consider that the book is dated. We now talk in terms of weight being different from pressure. Weight goes in, pressure goes out in the turn. There is still a ton of good material in that book.

Not having Scot's CD I do not know exactly how he is advocating doing the extension off the outside foot or when he is advocating doing this. Our outside leg does get long in the top part of the turn.

From the apex of one turn (fall line) to the apex of the next turn, the outside leg becomes progressively shorter and becomes the inside leg at crossover. Its opposite on the inside foot. This is a slow pedaling action, foot to foot, with the body moving across the skis verses a long leg outside followed by an up motion to initiate the next turn.
post #3 of 72
Does it not affect pelvis which way you 'push off'? ie your hips will tend to follow through in a different manner?

I think you may find Fastmans extension is not a super fast shove & so allows for natural pelvic rotation..

- I'm just guessing with sort of how it 'feels' when I start the turn with good extension & hip movement... because none of the descriptions quite feel 'right' yet... maybe I just don't get it...

When I do my better turns I sort of step 'off' the old outside ski - as in I start to decrease pressure - while I am starting to 'feel' the outside edge on the new outside ski... when I have the edge I am 'extending' off that as I change edge - only I don't have to PUSH to extend because the ski is sort of going away & the other leg is still coming closer... (I have trouble with the 'extension & flexion part' because I don't know where legs are - only how skis feel on snow... I am NOT pushing on any ski if I do well... only keeping the pressure on the snow as even as I can throughout the turn)
post #4 of 72
Thread Starter 
Pierre

thanks for that, you are right to distinguish exercises from the full Maccoy of skiing itself.

Beveridge's cdr is still available and well worth a look, full of ideas both written and in video form. I think his 'natural motion' approach is interesting, its premise being that there is intrinsic natural beauty in skiing and that the very act of strapping plastic boards to your feet is not totally unnatural as it can invoke natural movement responses.

He argues for a positive push up on the stance ski towards the end of the turn and not a push up off the new ski.

The crux here is whether the lengthening of the stance leg is as much 'caused' by pushing it out or 'effected' by the body's move to the inside. Beveridge tends towards the latter view and insists that the extension should be the end of the turn and not the beginning (as in walking).

What interests me is whether 'stand up onto the uphill ski' or similar advice is intrinsically wrong although expedient - it could be the start of a bad habit. The infamous plateau is a land inhabited by such creatures.

He might take exception to the implication in your last paragraph in that you suggest the extension is to initiate the next turn whereas IB might argue it is an intrinsic part of the current turn which then facilitates a choice of projection/traverse/turn as required.

Clearly the 'continuous turning' school doesn't allow for this hairsplitting, but from IB's perspective the 'natural motion' is vitally important.

He goes onto argue that great skiing is instictive and reactive in a way that requires reflex actions that need a 'natural motion' as their basis to realise full biomechanical potential. Correct movement patterns, (as discussed), posture and breathing make this possible. Its a big picture.
post #5 of 72
Quote:
He might take exception to the implication in your last paragraph in that you suggest the extension is to initiate the next turn whereas IB might argue it is an intrinsic part of the current turn which then facilitates a choice of projection/traverse/turn as required.
Whoow daslider, an extension is never done to initiate a turn. An extension is done to move the center of mass into the new turn and maintain an athletic stance (pressure control).

Walking is very natural and when applied to skiing results in natural defensive skiing movements. Most intermediates are trying to walk all over the place skiing. 99% of all skiers use and teach these natural walking movements that are self taught.

EP Foster on page 75 is not advocating this as you suggest.
post #6 of 72
daslider, I have reviewed again what I wrote and what EP Foster has written. In both cases you have miss interperated what was actually written. Are you sure you are not also miss interepating what Scot is saying in his CD?

Better examine whether you have a pre conceived right and wrong way in mind that is preventing you from interperating what is actually there.

You mention stance foot. Do you also have Harb's books as a reference?
[img]smile.gif[/img]
post #7 of 72
How do you push up on the ski? I understand pushing down on the ski, but isn't it the ground that pushes back (up)?

The way I see it, I do want to press the new outside ski down against the snow and I do want to release pressure on the old outside ski.

Regarding walking and skiing, I think that there is positive transfer between walking and skiing. Of particular interest is the unconscious competence (most of) us have walking: wouldn't we all like to ski with as much unconscious competence as we walk around every day?
post #8 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:
Weight goes in, pressure goes out in the turn.
I like that a lot!

I often ask my students to imagins it's summer and they are standing in the back of a pickup truck tooling down the interstate with a cold one in hand at 55 mph. An exit is coming up that cloverleafs to the right. The driver takes the exit.

I then ask....which way is your weight going on the exit?

You'd be amazed how many times I have to say....no,no, which way IS your weight, your center of mass, which way is John Q Skier in fact going?

Once I get the RIGHT answer I then ask which way does it feel like you're going?

Then we talk about how we managed what we felt via concentric, eccentric and isometric muscle usage with the left leg and whether any of our favorite carbonated bev spilled.

Pierre, I'm slated to join Ott on Friday at Copper for a day of turns and it will be the highlight of my winter.
post #9 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:
From the apex of one turn (fall line) to the apex of the next turn, the outside leg becomes progressively shorter and becomes the inside leg at crossover. Its opposite on the inside foot. This is a slow pedaling action, foot to foot, with the body moving across the skis verses a long leg outside followed by an up motion to initiate the next turn.
Pierre

Do you look at the up motion to initiate the turn as a concious "up motion" of the upper body, OR as a resultant "up motion" caused by the extention/retraction of the legs during the slow pedaling action?
post #10 of 72
The issue of which leg is actually extending at the end of the arc in Ian Beveridge's CD is confusing. He talks about bending the legs at turn initiation, with a progressive down movement, keeping the outside leg under pressure with a push up from the bent leg through the end. In the accompanying video segment, it appears to me that he is extending from the old inside (new outside leg). He says it's like walking or skating in slow motion. I've sent him a message to see if he can provide some clarification.
post #11 of 72
Thread Starter 
Pierre

you wrote above: "This is a slow pedaling action, foot to foot, with the body moving across the skis verses a long leg outside followed by an up motion to initiate the next turn."

Sorry Pierre, but I took this to mean that this was the purpose of the upmotion, i.e. to initiate the turn. IB's take is that it isn't, it's an integral part of the turn, a new turn being only one of the available following options.

Having read many of your interesting contributions here, I would really be interested in your comment on the real thing (IB) rather than my inadequate interpretation. The possibility of inappropriate "a pre conceived right and wrong way in mind " is just why I look in here so thanks for your help!

Re your later comments on my sources, it is possible I have understood Beveridge's CD, which is why I invited comment in the light of the apparent support here for stepping off the inside foot (Dawcatching's thread). You are right about EPFoster, while she does suggest a push up on the old ski, she is not as exclusive as Beveridge is; they have differing approaches.

You mention HHarb. Interestingly his phantom move follows quite closely on Beveridge's prescription in that both allow the new foot to develop the arc without forcing it (which is what many people told to stand up onto the new ski will do).

So do you advocate pushing up off the new ski?
post #12 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by HarveyD:
The issue of which leg is actually extending at the end of the arc in Ian Beveridge's CD is confusing....In the accompanying video segment, it appears to me that he is extending from the old inside (new outside leg).
Thanks HarveyD. IB does concede the difference is subtle and difficult to see and even makes some criticisims of his own demo, but the one I have trouble with is the one of Jo Public getting it wrong! The more I look at his other demos, the more I think he has an important insight here. Clearly many Pros are happy teaching the opposite.

Whereas cycling imo is only useful as a rudimentary analogy and doesn't bear too literal an interpretation,(ok for right, left, right,etc sequencing). Walking is an imbedded pattern with which our bodies have evolved. It's fundamental.

Such 'natuarlmotion' does allow our instictive reflexes to take over when the going gets tough and we can't fully rationalise our skiing strategy. The only hope I have of pushing my envelope is when I am sufficiently relaxed to 'just do it'.

Interesting to see IB's reply to you.
post #13 of 72
Thread Starter 
Nolo

yours is a paricularly interesting reply.

Of course your question highlights the semantic nightmare of describing physics over the internet! Yes, 'pushing up' is the resultant of actually trying to push down onto your ski, just like the 'press up' exercise raises the body by pushing the arms down.

Your comment on walking precisely makes Beveridge's point. "wouldn't we all like to ski with as much unconscious competence as we walk around every day" is why he advocates a basis of 'natuarlmotion' so that our movements can be truly instinctive when necessary (can you really rationalise every muscular reponse to a mogul field?).

The question remains whether pushing up off the new ski, although expedient, isn't counter to the proposed naturalmotion pattern as Beveride insists.

What do you think?
post #14 of 72
Personally, I don't like the analogy of "pushing" anything. I really like Pierre's statement about the outside leg being long at the apex (fall line), the gradually shortening as you release the turn, go through the transition from one turn to the next, making it the inside leg, and continuing to get shorter until you hit the fall line again.

My big hang-up with pushing is the inefficiency of the move, and the problems created if the skier moves up in the wrong direction (vertically, or into the hill). It has the effect of increasing pressure to the snow, and if you do it in the bottom third of the turn, when the forces are already the greatest, you overpower the skis, followed by not having enough pressure during the first third of the next turn, because your body's mass takes time to settle back down.

Someone earlier gave the visual of standing in the back of a pickup truck as it enters a turn. This really hit home to me, but from a different vehicle. When I'm on a train or a bus (usually going out to terminal B or C at an airport), I will stand with feet apart. When the train turns left, for example, how do I keep my balance? Do I extend my right foot? No. Why? Because if I do, it takes more effort, is slower, and raises my CM higher, increasing the tendency to get thrown to the right, and losing my balance. If I do nothing but relax my left leg, it takes a lot less effort, is much quicker, and creates a more acute angle in relationship of my CM to the floor, moving my CM further inside the turn with less movement. The lowering of my CM also has the added benefit of increasing stability (balance).

-John
post #15 of 72
Can someone please comment on what all this 'pushing-off' skis does to pelvis rotation...

Nolo?
post #16 of 72
Thread Starter 
JohnH

"Personally, I don't like the analogy of "pushing" anything. I really like Pierre's statement about the outside leg being long at the apex (fall line), the gradually shortening as you release the turn, go through the transition from one turn to the next, making it the inside leg, and continuing to get shorter until you hit the fall line again."

IMO one is an attempt to impart an instruction on how to do something, the other merely an observation on what is achieved. I am not sure quite how helpful it is to tell someone their leg should be getting shorter, don't they need to know how to do it?

I suppose it comes down to teaching methodology. 2 intructors can agree on leg lengths as they know what it means and importantly how to do it. But how else do you initiate a novice other than by getting them to do certain actions?

Actually, I am not sure I understand what you are saying here with Pierre's quote. At what point does the leg extend again and by what mechanism? And by apex do you not mean the high point of the turn i.e. its top or its start (which is also its crossover)rather than the fall line which is its midpoint?

Now if you are saying that deliberately shortening one leg is the best way of lengthening the other, then I think you're on to something. But this all started with the suggestion, refuted by Beveridege, that we start turns by pushing up off the new ski.
post #17 of 72
Coach13
Quote:
Do you look at the up motion to initiate the turn as a concious "up motion" of the upper body, OR as a resultant "up motion" caused by the extention/retraction of the legs during the slow pedaling action?
I am not sure how you interperated what I said. The pedaling motion has very little up component. each leg is lengthening or shortening to complement the other so the upper body moves horozontally yet diagonally into the new turn. This motion is not used to intiate the turn. It is used only to keep you in a strong athletic stance so you can easily initiate the turn.

A more inefficient movement pattern using a pole touch, push off-up unweighting motion or vertical motion contributes to a turn initiation through flattening the skis and rotation.
post #18 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by daslider:
He acknowledges this 'correct stepping up'
Stepping up does not equal pushing off... if that was the words used then it is closer to Fastmans retract the inside leg - you 'step up' stairs by lifting the leg - not pushing off the floor (or at least I do) in order to lift that leg & still go up you need to extend the other.... you don't really push off that one either do you?

Hmmm - but then again you could 'step up' like the stair climber gym junkies - who just keep bouncing on their calves...

I guess it depends how you interpret 'step up' I read that bit & thought of climbing stairs that are high (or 2 at a time).... I tend to be slightly flexed & then lift one leg while stretching the other out....

Yes just checked that again... I think this works for me because my trunk gets thrown around very little - so my balance is less challenged
post #19 of 72
daslider asked:
Quote:
So do you advocate pushing up off the new ski?
Yes but not in the same way as most skiers would interperate that. I also advocate and active shortening of the old outside leg at the same time. The result is a deliberate diagonal horozontal movement into the new turn with the whole body instead of an up motion and weight transfer to the new outside ski. The weight moves towards the new inside ski/old outside ski instead of towards the new outside ski/old inside ski. Pressure builds under the new outside ski because of turn forces not weight transfer.

This is different that what Harb advocates for learning which is pressure and weight to the new outside ski. Harb does modify this to what I am saying with his weighted release.
post #20 of 72
Thread Starter 
thanks Pierre

I like the sound of that alot. The engagement of the new ski is gentle at first but increases as it comes across the path of the skier's momentum. I think Coach13 and I both misunderstood the 'verses' in your first posting. 1.40 am here, shutters time.
post #21 of 72
Don't push, not never, don't do it!!

I let the skis do the pushing, using the force that they generate to move me where I want to go.

yd
post #22 of 72
awwwh Ydnar I kin think of some activities where I wana PUSH. : [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #23 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by JohnH:
When I'm on a train or a bus (usually going out to terminal B or C at an airport), I will stand with feet apart. When the train turns left, for example, how do I keep my balance? Do I extend my right foot? No. Why? Because if I do, it takes more effort, is slower, and raises my CM higher, increasing the tendency to get thrown to the right, and losing my balance. If I do nothing but relax my left leg, it takes a lot less effort, is much quicker, and creates a more acute angle in relationship of my CM to the floor, moving my CM further inside the turn with less movement. The lowering of my CM also has the added benefit of increasing stability (balance).
[/QB]
I love to fiddle with this on the subway at DIA. As it leaves the main terminal it makes a slow snaky turn and I try to maintain my balance.
post #24 of 72
Extension is old school. Im a current fis level racer and the way its done is to dive ahead of your skis down the hill. Instead of wasting that energy moving upward you move forward keeping that momentum going down the hill. Remember your upper-lower seperation, staying square and always stay level. Try the pole-tip drill where you keep both pole tips dragging on the snow at all times while skiing down. Dont cheat the drill by just doing it in your shoulders, make the movements.

I'm Out,
BIGsmooth
post #25 of 72
Pierre has it best I think. At the top of the turn (where you cross the fall line (the apex I suppose)) is where the ski's switch. What is missing in the discussion is how does the CM move best to the inside of the new turn about to develop.

A couple of key points to this discussion, at the moment of this transition from old to new turn you are in fact not turning. Thus, if you put weight on the new outside ski (the ski up the hill as you pass the fall line) this tends to move your CM up the hill which is the wrong direction. It is best to collapse in a controlled fashion your old stance leg which rather instantly moves your CM accross your skis and down the hill where the CM needs to go. The resulting switch in the tip of the ski's will start the new turn. Turn forces will develop and with the turn forces the uphill leg/outside leg will have the most weight on it as it extends.

Many will use as a teaching excersize shifting weight to the uphill ski (new outside ski) at the fall line, but it is contrary to the final goal. (Eric's book All Mountain Sking for instance has this drill) These types of drills are of a transition nature used to help people learn not to twist their skis to turn. Ultimately the weighted release as HH describes or the soft release as Lito describes or the above description as Pierre describes is accurate and best from what I have experienced in my own sking ladder climb.

The ski tips excersize is also great as the prior post states. When I did it they had me hold my skis poles below the handles so I had to be even lower. In my case it kept my body still and going down the hill while my lower body was carving the turns back and forth. (I really liked that drill, if you haven't tried it it's great) With greater Flexion the tipping actions are much easer to produce and flow rather naturally.

[ March 03, 2004, 08:57 PM: Message edited by: John Mason ]
post #26 of 72
Okay.

There's a whole bunch of you here who are very high-level instructors, trainers, and testers...

All I can glean from this thread so far is that there's almost no agreement amongst you about what *seems* to be a relatively straightforward question. Like it or not, this is the kind of discussion that makes us non-instructors want to wring our hands and cry "arrrrggghhh!". Arcane arguments in which the basic assumptions can't seem to be agreed upon, much less the conclusions.

For whatever it's worth (or not), I (as a non-instructor) feel that daslider's initial postulation makes more intuitive sense from a pure, practical, skiing standpoint than left-tip-left-to-go-left ever did.

Bob

Who's very dense.
post #27 of 72
"Can someone please comment on what all this 'pushing-off' skis does to pelvis rotation..."

I'm not sure I understand your question, Dis. When I establish a stance foot, my pelvis anchors to that foot, which allows the other side of my pelvis to "swing" --schwingen the hip, schwingen the leg, schwingen the foot. There's no point in saying that stance gives swing its power or that swing gives stance its power. The relationship of the lower extremities in skiing is entirely co-dependent. As in walking, one side is busy leaping while the other is busy landing.
post #28 of 72
YES nolo... so can you simplify for poor brain like mine if there is a difference in what Fastman was on about vs the stuff that started this thread vs Pierre's stuff in how the pelvis will move.... ie Does the sequence really change & if so does it alter the pelvic movement.... If I put tracking spots on me & stuck me on video would I see the same or different with each of the above movements?

Obviously we know where it needs to head....
Sorry just when we worked out my poor alignment at foot was causing hip rotation problem (pelvis rotation) it sort of helped fix the problem (I could be aware of it) yet only 2 (maybe 3??) instructors that have seen me ski have even noticed it.... although many see the 'side effect' of the lack of rotation....
post #29 of 72
Bob Peters said:
Quote:
Bob Peters
There is not as much disagreement among the high level instructors as might appear here. There is much more a confusion of the ususal terms. The apex of the turn is where the skis are pointed down dah big hill eh.

dasliders question does center around one of the last things that a high level skier will master and therefore really understand. I don't see all that many instructors skiing it well or explaining it well. That makes it even more difficult to understand for most.

Bob, you really don't do this transition the way that I have described it here. Its much more applicable to hardpack, ice or a race course than BC, extreme steeps or off Piste. That's not to say that it doesn't work off piste, its just that it doesn't shine as much in those conditions and therefore, there is far less incentive to master it there. Much of where you ski, I will fall out of using the transition as I have described it and more into defensive mode. Even if my brain is screaming otherwise [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #30 of 72
BigSmooth said:
Quote:
Extension is old school. Im a current fis level racer and the way its done is to dive ahead of your skis down the hill. Instead of wasting that energy moving upward you move forward keeping that momentum going down the hill.
This is really showing the state of rising to the level of unconcious competence. I can just imagine the look on the faces of a group of new womens discovery skiers after giving that advice. :

BigSmooth you are doing what I have described to a very agressive level with the gas pedal to the floor. [img]smile.gif[/img]
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