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moving hips forward - Page 2

post #31 of 44
Not at all, I agree with you. I was only alluding to the idea that often (maybe more often than otherwise) it is not equipment alignment but insufficiently developed basic skills that hold back progress.

Thank you for the kind welcome. I have really enjoyed this site the past few weeks.

Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

Well without a doubt, properly aligned equipment is no substitute for proper technique, but the two certainly go hand in hand.  Having poorly aligned equipment will make some skiing movements impossible.  Feel free to challenge that notion if you like.

Welcome to  Epicski HardDaysNight!   
post #32 of 44
As a tennis player I certainly see why you want to think about stance through that filter. Although I wonder about the ready position you described. A static ready position features more flex because the ability to explode in any direction involves extension of your legs in a way that will accelerate you in that direction. Said another way the objective is different because were talking about the body moving from a static stance to a dynamic stance. For that to happen the primary motive force originates in the legs, glutes, and core muscles. Contrast that to a serve and volley split step where your already moving forward. Running forward you don't stay that low, and if you drop down that low with your split step you end up settling into that spot instead of simply changing directions.
In skiing we're really not too concerned about chasing down a lob, or backing up like a basketball player playing defense. We're simply changing directions and trying to balance in the very near future as we move forward. This is why I avoid the comparison of a static stance to a moving stance.
IMO, the fact that you are getting bounced around when you adopt a taller stance is another issue entirely. I suspect that the amount of muscle tension you are using is the main issue. The short version is that you are more than likely using too much muscle tension to allow your legs to act like the suspension of a car. Someone else pointed this out earlier and I couldn't agree with them more. Relax your legs muscles enough to keep your skis on the snow as you absorb bumps. A good drill for this is to traverse a bump field while keeping your head level and at the same height through the entire drill. As you gain more range of motion seek out deeper bumps to expand that range even further. Or go a little faster (notice I said a little). Done correctly this drill will help you gain insight into stance height while in motion and how important it is to not get stuck in a static "position" that is too high or too low.
Hope that helps.
post #33 of 44
LOL. I just tried both of your in home positions, in office in my case :-). You are spot on and that is something that I have been working on to stay more vertical and getting my hips forward.

Originally Posted by therusty View Post

PSIA talks about a tall stance. We want to see the upper body above the hips close to vertical. I like the concept of lower leg angle = spine angle. In ski school we see a lot of intermediates bent at the waist. It is sometimes described as the "protect the genitals" position. If you try to get in this position at home and bend your ankles, you'll find it to be damn uncomfortable. If you try to bend over with normal ankle position and then stand up by unbending the waist without changing knee or ankle position, I'll bet you start falling backwards. There's a lot of talk about the benefit of vertical femurs (vs horizontal) while skiing, but for a reference stance "Tony Knows how to ski" (toes, knees and nose in vertical alignment) means slightly non-vertical femurs. So yes, unbending the waist naturally should make the femurs more vertical. And yes, the goal is to get some pressure on the tongues, but not a lot. My experience has been very few skiers with bend at the waist and enough pressure on the tongues. The main point here is that the knees and ankles can be used to offset excessive bending at the waist. We can't correct excessive bend at the waist without increasing knee and/or ankle flex.

Another benefit of this goal can be demonstrated at home. Try comparing the range of possible ankle extension between bent at the waist and a vertical upper body. When you're bent over, you almost have to launch youself forward to extend your ankles. You can only go part way before you start to topple. With a more upright spine you can get full ankle extension by going vertical and remaining in balance. New outside leg extension is a secret trick for initiating turns without a vertical pop. Starting from a more flexed position with a more vertical spine makes this much easier to do.
post #34 of 44
  We can't correct excessive bend at the waist without increasing knee and/or ankle flex.
I  respectfully disagree with this  blanket statement.  First  we can fix the fore/aft plane alignment issues  if they  are the cause  (no sense in trying  to change someone's stance if the equipment is determining where they must stand  to  find equilibrium).  Second, if the equipment alignment is not a factor and  the boot cuff neutral lower leg angle  is good for the skier,  flexing  the  ankles  more is not necessarily going to achieve  the desired  "hips over the feet" goal.   The concept of keeping the hips over the feet is a dynamic movement throughout the turns rather than a static position.  When  discussing a position or neutral stance I am  referring to a position passed through when skis  are  flat on snow. This  position (of open hip joint) is passed  through in a flexion/extension type turn where  we are extending  to change  edges,  rather  than  the retraction  end  of the spectrum,  where we are  flexing  as  we change  edges, However; the goal is the same, to keep the hips  moving forward over  the feet. 

I spent  three days last week  skiing with 5 different members of  the PSIA  Alpine team and all were focused  on this topic of keeping the hips over the feet  through the turn as opposed to:  allowing the hips to drop back and in, extending vertically, stalling during  turn completion.  While  I  agree  with HDN above that moving the  feet  forward  or  aft using  the ankle  will  have substantial affect  on  the  cg location,  and is certainly one way  of re-centering  after  edge  change, the concept of keeping the hips moving down the hill all the time is a difficult  concept to explain and relay. One can extend the hips forward or think of pulling the feet back during extension, either can get the hips over the feet.   In either case the goal  should be to extend the legs with hips over the feet by the apex of the turns.  Also, understand while we  are  inclined  and  angulated to the inside of the arc  to balance against the centrifugal  force, the hips should  still be over the feet in that balance axis.

I was able to make a slight adjustment to my stance over these three days  that amounted to just an inch or so.  I would find it difficult to explain here  without being  able  to  demonstrate,  but in essence the mind set of keeping the skis turning through the  completion of  the  arc as you  simultaneously reduce the  edge angle toward the  edge change  while  moving the hips forward is  the sensation we should  experience.  Most  skiers keep  moving  inside  until they  decide  to change  edges and  as  they  release their edge  hold  they  release  the  turn immediately.  If we  think about  holding  that anticipation  tension just a bit longer  during the edge release/change and move the hips forward  and  across  before releasing  the muscle tension we allow the hips to continue moving  forward over the feet.

I really don't believe this concept requires thought about flexing the ankles.
Edited by bud heishman - 1/14/10 at 2:37pm
post #35 of 44
Damn Bud, you took the blanket off the bed! That statement was meant taking equipment issues out of the equation (I thought I covered this earlier in the thread - but there are so many threads on this topic going I may have gotten cornfused).  Second, "Not necessarily" and "and/or" mean the same thing. We're not in disagreement here. I didn't even know that thinking about flexing the ankles was possible until after I'd been repeatedly abused with a virtual South Park cattle prod (O Holy night .... zzzzzzt).
post #36 of 44
not sure what that means Rusty?  Perhaps I didn't read carefully enough?  Just didn't see how flexing the ankles would project the hips forward.  

Note: I have found through extensive testing that a delta angle which is too steep (and many have no idea if it may be) will dramatically inhibit the ability to move the hips forward, pressure the tongue while skiing on one foot, or open the hip joint.  A few millimeters difference in toe or heel height will have a very noticeable affect on this.   Try skiing on one ski without a ski on the other foot and see how easy it is to transition to the little toe side or ski in a tall stance with pressure on the tongue.  Then experiment with some 3mm shims under the toe and then heel between boot and ski and see how this affects the ability to balance and ski on one ski.  It will be an eye opener!
post #37 of 44
 Many rental customers in stiff vertical boots will have to ski bent over at the waist because they CAN NOT flex their ankles.  You would have to ski like this too if you were on the same equipment.


Skiers in boots with too much forward lean and/or too much delta angle will find themselves in an over flexed position with the hips counterbalancing this affect by moving aft.


Those skiers in an appropriate angled boot, and flex, and delta will find themselves standing relatively tall with the lower leg angle matching the spine angle with slight pressure on the tongues and in a comfortably balanced position able to pressure the ski shovels at the top of the turns with ease.  "Hips over the feet" will be the easiest to attain from this set-up throughout the turns.

Too many skiers assume their equipment set-up is fine for them and fail to optimize their stances for ease of balance.  They just adapt.  Well those adaptations are robbing them of endurance and power and balance.  Instructors, as a whole, need to understand this relationship between equipment and technique, to better identify the needs of their students.
post #38 of 44
Back to the idea presented by the OP though. Why would a taller stance make him get bounced more? Tension is IMO the most likely culprit. It sounds like he's fighting the skis instead of riding them.
post #39 of 44
 Probably because he is trying to hold a position instead of allowing a long leg/short leg to develop?  Remember, though the outside leg is long, the hips move inside the turn as the inside leg shortens.

I agree, he may be holding too much tension and remaining static rather then moving in and forward with the hips?

I liked your last post #32 JASP !
post #40 of 44

I have a photo montage of Mike Hafer, Mike Rogan, and Doug Perini I would like to share here to offer some visual references but do not know how to get the files from my desktop to this post?  Can anyone offer help?
post #41 of 44
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

I have a photo montage of Mike Hafer, Mike Rogan, and Doug Perini I would like to share here to offer some visual references but do not know how to get the files from my desktop to this post?  Can anyone offer help?
At the far left of the "Reply" function is a small yellow icon with a mountain. Click on this and you will get a window which lets you transfer your images from your computer. 
Hope this helps.
post #42 of 44
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

not sure what that means Rusty?  Perhaps I didn't read carefully enough?  Just didn't see how flexing the ankles would project the hips forward.  

I was talking about straightening up people who skied bent over at the waist. Sure, flexing the ankles alone won't necesaarily project hips forward when you're already centered. But if you're bent too much at the waist, you're likely not bent enough at the ankles and knees. If you try the drill where you start from a bent over position and try to stand up without bending knees and ankles you'll see what I was trying to say. I agree that if you're bent over at the waist and only bend knees and ankles, this will not force the hips forward or to an unbent position..
post #43 of 44
Mike Hafer PSIA Alpine Team 
Montage of Mike Hafer, PSIA Alpine Team member.
post #44 of 44

Michael Rogan, PSIA Alpine Team     (note the tassel unweighting phase!)
Edited by bud heishman - 1/16/10 at 9:40pm
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