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# Inside Leg Extension Technique

It was requested that I present a description/analysis of the INSIDE LEG EXTENSION TURN TRANSITION TECHNIQUE. Keep in mind while studying that it’s only one of many techniques available for the use of an advanced skier, yet one that is not widely understood or practiced. Each individual technique carries with it distinct benefits and limitations, and I’ll discuss the characteristics of this particular technique later in the presentation.

I intend to present a step by step description of the proper execution of the technique but first I feel it necessary, after reading a most entertaining recent thread here on the definition of A TURN, to clarify how I’ll be using the term in this presentation. My personal premise is that a turn represents one complete arc, and that the beginning, end, and shape of a turn is solely identified by the direction of travel of the skis. The brief moment in which edges are disengaged and CM passes through neutral represents the transition period between separate turns and that transition can happen at any orientation to the fall line depending on the characteristics of the slope and intent of the skier.

With that in mind, the description:

 Skier is in the final phase of a carved turn, approaching turn completion. Skis are on their highest edge and CM is at its lowest and innermost point. The pelvis is at its most countered position and the inside foot is correspondingly at its most forward in relation to the outside foot orientation. The effect of centrifugal force and gravitational force (the turning forces) on the skier are at their greatest. The outside leg is extended, the inside leg is flexed, and the majority of the resistance of turning forces is being accomplished by the outside ski/foot. The primary point of pressure (the balance point) is the inside edge of the outside ski.

 To finish the prior turn and initiate the movement sequence that will take the skier through the transition period and into the start of the new turn the skier begins inside leg extension.

 As the inside leg extends the primary point of pressure (POP) is transferred from the inside edge of the old outside ski to the outside edge of the old inside (new outside) ski. This moves POP closer to CM which immediately alters the balance equation in the favor of the turning forces and allows those forces to drive CM back toward neutral (back over the feet). This flattens the skis, disengages the edges and brings the prior turn to a completion.

 This force driven movement of CM combined with the extension of the inside leg creates a lateral pendulum movement pattern of CM with pendulum anchor (swing point) located between the skiers feet. Simultaneously a rotational movement pattern occurs in the pelvis. As the forces drive CM back over the feet the pelvis recovers from its countered position and returns to join CM at a neutral orientation.

 With CM, pelvis rotation, and fore/aft balance returned to neutral, accompanied by the resultant edge disengagement we are prepared to begin initiation of the new turn. It should be understood that the described movement patterns do not stop and later restart at neutral, but move through it smoothly and uninterrupted. I only direct attention to the state of neutral because it represents a reference point for the coordination of important elements of the movement sequence.

 To begin the new turn CM is allowed to continue on its lateral pendulum movement path which takes it through neutral and inside the vertical plain of the feet allowing for the progressive engagement of pressured edge for the new turn. At the same time the pulling forward of the trailing hip that brought the pelvis out of counter and back to neutral is continued until that same side of the hip is projected forward introducing a countered position for the new turn. This forward projection of the inside aspect of the pelvis moves CM into a fore position in relation to the outside foot and serves to drive the outside (pressure bearing) foot into pronation which pressures the big toe side of the foot and locks the ski into solid edge engagement.

 The force driven movement path of CM is controlled by the skier to ensure a smooth and progressive development of carved edge engagement and platform creation in the outside foot for the efficient support of forces that will be created later in the turn. The introduction of counter in the pelvis is also progressive and is added in harmony with the inside movement of CM. This CM and pelvis countering movement sequence continues until the edge height necessary to produce the desired turn shape has been achieved, at which point the sequence terminates, and then at the appropriate time reverses.

TECHNICAL ANALYSIS:

This is a highly efficient technique that provides the best potential for continuous foot to ground contact of any available technique. To watch INSIDE LEG EXTENSION skillfully executed is to view beauty in motion, so clean and efficient as to appear in slow motion. The transfer of pressure to the new outside ski while the prior tuning forces still exist allows the skier to begin the progressive development of a new turn while rebound from the prior turn dissipates into the non pressured old outside ski.

The early pressuring of the new outside ski this technique provides allows for a very clean, gradual carved turn platform development. Having early dominant pressure on the ski that will ultimately harbor the forces of the turn allows the skier to have ultimate feel of edge development as those forces are created. Waiting for the forces to direct pressure to the outside ski later in the turning cycle, as some alternative techniques require, means not having a significant platform ready and waiting to receive those forces upon their birth and will inevitably result in a harsher edge development.

The negative aspect of the technique is the extra time gradual platform development requires. If tactics do not require a hurried turn and an ultra clean carve can be the primary goal INSIDE LEG EXTENSION is the best technical choice. But if time is of the essence and needed direction change is dramatic and must happen NOW other techniques such as retraction, weighted release, pivoting, and feathering may be better options.

VIDEO REFERENCE:

Sorry for the length of this presentation but it was necessary to completely explain the important aspects of the technique. For those who still feel a bit fuzzy and/or would like to see a visual demonstration of INSIDE LEG EXTENSION I would suggest you gain access to a video copy of this years World Championships. The best current example of the technique being executed clearly and consistently I've seen is the first GS run of Silver Medalist Denise Karbon. In a majority of her turns her execution is flawless and the technique is clearly visible. Gold medalist Anja Paerson also uses the technique in her runs but because she skis a more aggressive line which causes the movement sequence to become condensed the technique is less visible to the untrained eye.

DRILL:

The following is a drill I presented early on this forum. It will allow those interested to experience the feel of the movement sequence associated with this technique. While attempting it understand that the lack of turning forces acting on CM will detract from the feeling of CM being driven back over the feet, but supplementation from the support hand as extension is executed can compensate for this problem.

 Stand with feet about shoulder width apart, with right foot slightly ahead of your left foot and with a wall about 3 feet to the right of your right foot. Your shoulders should be perpendicular to the wall.

 Now lean into the wall and brace yourself against it with your right hand while you allow your pelvis to drop and counter (rotate to the left) into a high edge set. Your left (outside) leg should be extended, your right leg should be flexed, both feet should be on similarly high edges, weight should be concentrated on the left foot, and shoulders should be level. You are now in a simulated high energy carved turn body position.

 Now to simulate the move Rusty and I were discussing, begin to extend the right (inside) leg which should currently have very little pressure on it. As you do this you will feel pressure develop on the little toe side of your right foot, pressure begin to leave the left foot, and CM begin to rise and move left.

 As you continue extension of the right leg you will feel the pressure that movement applies to the right foot drive the foot flat, which helps pull the CM over the top of that foot. You will quickly return to a neutral balance position with pelvis rotationally neutral, CM over the right foot, and pressure concentrated on that foot.

 You are now in a position to begin the new turn. With weight still on your right foot step slightly forward with the left foot as you simultaneously counter (rotate it right) your pelvis and drop it left into the new turn. You should now be in a mirror image of position you were in while leaning against the wall to the right except your weight will be concentrated on your left (inside) foot. This is because you don’t have a wall to brace against which simulates the turn forces that moves the point of pressure to the outside ski.

 You can continue into a new turn by extending on the left foot and following the same movement sequence you just did and returning to the wall braced position in which you started.
Very well done, FastMan. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
So, FastMan, do you feel your extension of the inside leg taking weight off the outside ski in the preparatory move?

Would the result be different if you got weight onto the outside edge of the inside ski first through relaxing the outside leg?

I take it the extension incorporates no effort to maintain the edge pressure on the outside edge of the inside ski.
So is it the inside leg extension that initiates the new turn OR the projection of the CM into the new turn?

I venture that the projection of the CM is the primary movement and the (uphill)leg extension is the "balancing" movement which enables early edge engagement on "contempory equipment" to become the "steering" or "tracking" movement.

Oz
[quote]Originally posted by Kneale Brownson:
[QB]So, FastMan, do you feel your extension of the inside leg taking weight off the outside ski in the preparatory move?

FASTMAN:
Absolutely Kneale. You will feel the pressure build in the old inside ski and diminish in the old outside ski the moment inside leg extension begins. The extension is subtle, and the progressive transfer of pressure is coordinated with, and dependent on, the extension.

Inside leg extension should continue until pressure transfer is near total (which opens the kinetic gate allowing for efficient reorientation of the pelvis) and the new outside leg has reached a strong position for combating the new turning forces.

KNEALE:
Would the result be different if you got weight onto the outside edge of the inside ski first through relaxing the outside leg?

FASTMAN:
Somewhat. It would act to slow down the process. We want to develop a carve from an extended, pressured leg because it provides the best foot to ground contact, the strongest support mechanism, and the best feel for edge/carve development. Waiting for pressure transfer to occur before extending creates a 2 step process. By making inside leg extension the catalyst for pressure transfer we are melding 2 steps (extension and transfer) into one simultaneous movement.

KNEALE:
I take it the extension incorporates no effort to maintain the edge pressure on the outside edge of the inside ski.

FASTMAN:
Correct. The extension of the inside leg is the trigger that sets into motion the movement sequence that will complete the turn (disengage the edge) and carry us into the new turn. When we extend it means we WANT TO COMPLETE THE TURN NOW, so edge disengagement is the goal, not something we attempt to resist.
So, if you are pressuring the NEW outside ski as it becomes flat on the snow, what prevents the tail of that ski from skidding out?
Pulling that foot back?
This sounds like something Arcmeister started me on back in 88. I've been teaching something like it for a long time.
I'm not certain about the "movement of the CM". Doesn't inertia make it hard to change it's direction?
I usually think about the uphill ski carving uphill out from under the CM, then rolling over as the leg extends because of this. Moving the foot back engages the shovel and the ski redirects the CM like the ball rolling around the bowl.
Maybe I'm not tuned in to what you're talking about.
Could we hear from Arcmeister and Physics Man?
[quote] The pelvis is at its most countered position and the inside foot is correspondingly at its most forward in relation to the outside foot orientation.

As the forces drive CM back over the feet the pelvis recovers from its countered position and returns to join CM at a neutral orientation.

To begin the new turn CM is allowed to continue on its lateral pendulum movement path which takes it through neutral and inside the vertical plain of the feet allowing for the progressive engagement of pressured edge for the new turn. At the same time the pulling forward of the trailing hip that brought the pelvis out of counter and back to neutral is continued until that same side of the hip is projected forward introducing a countered position for the new turn. This forward projection of the inside aspect of the pelvis moves CM into a fore position in relation to the outside foot and serves to drive the outside (pressure bearing) foot into pronation which pressures the big toe side of the foot and locks the ski into solid edge engagement.

The force driven movement path of CM is controlled by the skier to ensure a smooth and progressive development of carved edge engagement and platform creation in the outside foot for the efficient support of forces that will be created later in the turn. The introduction of counter in the pelvis is also progressive and is added in harmony with the inside movement of CM. This CM and pelvis countering movement sequence continues until the edge height necessary to produce the desired turn shape has been achieved, at which point the sequence terminates, and then at the appropriate time reverses.

The early pressuring of the new outside ski this technique provides allows for a very clean, gradual carved turn platform development. Having early dominant pressure on the ski that will ultimately harbor the forces of the turn allows the skier to have ultimate feel of edge development as those forces are created. Waiting for the forces to direct pressure to the outside ski later in the turning cycle, as some alternative techniques require, means not having a significant platform ready and waiting to receive those forces upon their birth and will inevitably result in a harsher edge development.

QUOTE]

Fastman,

I first want to commend you for your hard work. The time and energy you put into your writing is to be commended.

What you describe are certainly elements of a dynamic turn. First and foremost I agree that the extension that you describe is a way to build early edge pressure.

The description as a whole seems to rely heavily on the outside ski as both a platform and seemingly as a turning mechanism. You make no mention of the inside ski.

I also contend that "counter" is something that we see less and less of in current ski technique. I know that you and I vehemently disagree. I see counter as almost a recovery movement or limiting movement. I think it can be a way to create edge angle as you describe. I think the inherent flaw is that it tends to eventually lock the outside leg. I think upper end skiers often use counter to impede rotary forces, to slow or impede a turn. In your description it is dialed into the equation. You state, "This CM and pelvis countering movement sequence continues until the edge height necessary to produce the desired turn shape has been achieved, at which point the sequence terminates, and then at the appropriate time reverses." I certainly can twist my hips in one direction and move my hips inside the turn in order to create edge angle all while my skis are going a different direction. I would argue this is an exceedingly vestigial movement that conjures visions in my mind of racers from prior times. I have been reading Joubert's 1978 text and there are plenty of pictures of "countered" skiers. I would respectfully argue for every racer or montage that you can offer as evidence there are skiers who's hip remain fairly square , evidence little counter or seperation and create edge angle and rotary forces with tipping movements and femural rotation. I wish I had the expertise to present montages, however, I think the pictures Bob presents here support both of our arguments;

http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...4;t=001736;p=1

In Bob's montages it is clear the early extension that you describe exists. To my eye I see skiers who's hips remain very square and exhibit little counter.

You make no mention in your eloquent description of any supination of the new inside foot. Again you state, "This forward projection of the inside aspect of the pelvis moves CM into a fore position in relation to the outside foot and serves to drive the outside (pressure bearing) foot into pronation which pressures the big toe side of the foot and locks the ski into solid edge engagement." Why have the forward projection of the inside aspect of the pelvis drive the foot into pronation? Why not let these movements build from the feet up rather than the hips pull the feet into any position? Perhaps the dynamic nature of the turn you describe makes this essential, however, as an ideal or standard I would still argue one foots supinating one foots pronating, two tib/fibs are tipping, two femurs are turning, and while all this is building from the ground up, the hips and upper body are moving inside the turn.

Again, what you have described certainly is a vehicle to create early outside ski pressure. In summary, I simply suggest any reference to counter as a desired mechanism to create edge angles and turning forces is limiting. I would go beyond that to argue our focus on inside foot steering (TIPPING AND TURNING) is the focal point in current ski teaching.

I salute you for intitiating the discussion and for presenting such a cogent description. I can live with the extension......it's just that doggone counter!
Quote:
 Originally posted by Kneale Brownson:So, if you are pressuring the NEW outside ski as it becomes flat on the snow, what prevents the tail of that ski from skidding out?
Kneale, the edging of the ski follows the lateral movement of CM. When the ski is flat it means CM is directly over the top so pressure straight down and there is no lateral influence. Pelvis is at rotational neutral at this point so there is no rotational influence either.
Quote:
 Only by driving the outside foot into pronation and the inside foot into supination could we hope to naturally engage the two ski edges through a naturally balanced and without supplemental leverage of the boot cuff. To do that we would have to have enough fore/aft separation in the feet that CM would be in front of the outside foot (pronation) and behind the inside foot (supination). And even if we did this a supinated foot is an inherently weaker mechanism for supporting weight then a pronated foot, and a flexed leg is inherently a weaker mechanism for supporting weight then an extended foot. This is why I focus predominantly on the outside foot as the primary support platform and turning mechanism. To me that would be an example of the tail wagging the dog. True balance comes from our core. If one wants to improve balance on skis they exercise their stomach muscles, not their feet. Balance is a matter of where we direct our CM in relation to our feet based on our intent and the forces involved at the moment. OK Rusty, I have viewed Bob's montages and I now know that our only argument on counter is one of perception. What you describe as "skiers who's hips remain very square and exhibit little counter," I see as an excellent example of the usage of counter. I have suspected for a while this to be the case. Take a look again at Bob's montage of Schleper in the GS course. Sometimes it is hard to identify in the hips because of shadows and picture angles but the shoulders and torso can give a clearer picture. In efficient skiing, and when not employing anticipation, the pelvis, torso and shoulders should function with in the same rotational plain so watch were the shoulders and torso are facing and you will know the orientation of the pelvis. Images 1 and 2 clearly show counter. Notice how the inside shoulder is driving forward and the torso is facing to the outside of the arc.
Fastman,

Again, I may not understand what you are trying to suggest, however, it seems you are advocating the hips as a mechanism to derive edge angle and the outside ski as a primary turning mechanism. I don't disagree that core stability and strength play a crucial role in balance. I would suggest ski teaching is moving away from skiers transfering weight to the ball of the foot and that skiers are seeking to remain balanced on the entire foot in the center of the ski. This can only be done by keeping the skeletal structure and pelvis "stacked" or aligned over the ski boots.

In terms of the montages, Ms Schleper may well be your poster child and I do see "counter" in the first two frames.

http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...4;t=001736;p=1

Contrast that with Pequegnot in frames 3,4,and 5 where there almost appears to be rotation! Contreras as well appears to be rotating his upper body in frames 1,2, and 3. My first question would be whether Ms. Schleper would like the pictures. I'm no race coach, however to my untrained eye in the "belly of this montage she looks a little "back" and her line a tad low/late.

I have to put all of this into practical terms. The bane of every intermediate skier is rotary push off or to add a little levity, rotary "push-ups" (sic) as an eatern european peer of mine used to say. Picture an intermediate or advanced student on the average blue run. They are tooling along at about ten miles an hour and g-forces are building up on their tired outside leg that, for them, are tantamount to those experienced by a world cup skier. It is the very extension of the old inside leg, that causes so very many problems in their skiing.

Get that skier to neutral (rotary, fore-aft, and laterally) at some point in the adventure and then get him or her to start experiencing inside foot steering and the whole endeavor becomes cathartic. It becomes a joy for the skier and a joy for the teacher.

Again, great discussion and while all my friends are off at A-Basin training, we'll sit here at the keyboard making turns and I'll rehab my tired old knee!

[ May 14, 2003, 06:09 AM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
[quote]Originally posted by Rusty Guy:
[QB][quote]

Again, I may not understand what you are trying to suggest, however, it seems you are advocating the hips as a mechanism to derive edge angle and the outside ski as a primary turning mechanism.

FASTMAN:
No Rusty, you do understand. Good balance and proper usage of ski mechanics is dependent on location of CM. I will not disagree that for learning skiers focusing on the tipping of the feet can be a good focus to help TURN ON THE LIGHT of comprehension and get CM moving in the proper direction, but in advanced skiing it leaves one playing an inefficient game of catch up and carries the potential of leaving the body in less than sound balance positions.

This is why for advanced skiing I advocate the concept of focusing on CM as the catalyst for initiating turns and redistributing pressure. Use what ever means necessary to get the developing skier to pry his CM from over his feet but then once you have developed an ability to function with CM in a different vertical plain devise a means to bring him back to a more efficient model. Let the dog wag the tail as it's designed to be done.

RUSTY:
I would suggest ski teaching is moving away from skiers transfering weight to the ball of the foot and that skiers are seeking to remain balanced on the entire foot in the center of the ski.

FASTMAN:
I too am advocating 3 point contact in the foot: heel, big toe ball (1st metatarsal) and little toe ball (5th metatarsal). To lose heel contact and balance on only the balls of the foot is to enter a less stable foot to ground balance position. CM should be moved far enough forward to drive the foot into pronation and engage the big toe ball but not so far as to lose heel contact. There will still be pressure on little toe ball, just diminished, but 3 point contact does in fact remain. The heel and the big toe ball serves as the main pressure support mechanisms, and the little toe ball serves as the balance stabilizing rudder.

This is desired because a supinated foot shifts predominant pressure support to the heel and little toe ball (5th metatarsal) side of the foot which is a much less efficient mechanism for supporting the type of forces encountered in skiing. This becomes quite evident when we attempt to perform inside ski turns. These turns require little toe side edge engagement and while they can be done it is quite apparent it is a more difficult skill to perform and ussally involves suplimental support through leveraging against the outside of the boot cuff.

Thanks for raising this issue so I could clarify my position. This is important stuff for the establishment of a truely foot to ground balanced stance.

RUSTY:
In terms of the montages, Ms Schleper may well be your poster child and I do see "counter" in the first two frames.

Contrast that with Pequegnot in frames 3,4,and 5 where there almost appears to be rotation! Contreras as well appears to be rotating his upper body in frames 1,2, and 3.

FASTMAN:
In slalom the existence of pelvic counter can be deceiving because skiers tend to use a degree of torso wind up to bring the outside hand over to clear the pole. The best place to discover if in fact counter is being employed is to observe the images below the gate. Remember I said that counter is something that is applied progressively, so the best place to look for its existence is at the end of the turn where it would be at it greatest. Do that in these to SL montages and you will clearly see that it is in fact being used.

Also in these montages both skiers are using a significant anticipation move, and with that technique lateral CM neutral and rotational neutral do not correspond as is clear here. That is predominantly a technique employed in SL and is not the edge engagement counter I am referring to be apparent in these skiers. The counter I refer to is observed a couple images back.

RUSTY:
My first question would be whether Ms. Schleper would like the pictures. I'm no race coach, however to my untrained eye in the "belly of this montage she looks a little "back" and her line a tad low/late.

FASTMAN:
Good eye. She is back at the turn transition point. If you look again at the SL montages you will see this in even greater evidence. All these skiers are using retraction more that inside leg extension as a transition technique. The extension you see is actually coming after cross under and is a lite pressured reaching for the snow move. That would be in contrast to true inside leg extension which would begin much earlier (before neutral) and would establish solid new outside ski contact much sooner.

The aft position you see is something that is common with retraction as it allows space for the legs to absorb the release forces. It also can be a purposeful usage of the tails of the ski for speed purposes as I described in the Bodie Miller thread. That is very apparently being done in the SL montages.

RUSTY:
I have to put all of this into practical terms. The bane of every intermediate skier is rotary push off

FASTMAN:
I have a couple thoughts here Rusty. The first is that this technique would not necessarily be contributory to rotary push off. In fact if performed properly I would think it would make rotary push off impossible because the first move, the extension of the inside leg, immediately removes the outside ski platform and leaves nothing to push off from.

Second, if rotary push off is a problem then the actual benefit of this technique (early new outside ski platform development and refined carve initiation) is not really the main priority and what ever means necessary to best resolve the rotary problem would be your best first line of attack. That could be a whole thread in itself.

RUSTY:
Again, great discussion and while all my friends are off at A-Basin training, we'll sit here at the keyboard making turns and I'll rehab my tired old knee.

FASTMAN:
Best of luck with that recovery Rusty. At least your making lemonade out of that basket of lemons you were handed. Some of my biggest conceptual advancements were made off snow. Keep at it!!

[ May 14, 2003, 09:22 AM: Message edited by: FastMan ]
[quote]Originally posted by man from oz:
[QB]So is it the inside leg extension that initiates the new turn OR the projection of the CM into the new turn?

FASTMAN:
Its a cause and effect thing. The extension of the inside leg initiates the movement flow that will take CM through neutral (completing the prior turn) and project it into the new turn. That inside projection of CM, as you suggest, is the mechanism that triggers the actual start of the new turn.

OZ:
I venture that the projection of the CM is the primary movement and the (uphill)leg extension is the "balancing" movement which enables early edge engagement on "contempory equipment" to become the "steering" or "tracking" movement.

FASTMAN:
If you were to include a statement on the stimulatory role of inside leg extension on CM projection to your contention it would be right on the money. The inside leg extension is a multi functional move. It sets into motion the pendulum movement pattern of the CM that will eventually project it into the new turn and initiate the new carve, but it simultaneously develops the platform to support early edge engagement and smooth carve development.
[quote]Originally posted by Rusty Guy:
Fastman,
I first want to commend you for your hard work. The time and energy you put into your writing is to be commended.

FASTMAN:
Thank you Rusty.

RUSTY:
The description as a whole seems to rely heavily on the outside ski as both a platform and seemingly as a turning mechanism. You make no mention of the inside ski.

as an ideal or standard I would still argue one foots supinating one foots pronating

FASTMAN:
When I speak of pronation and supination I refer to the active state of balance of the foot within the ski boot, as opposed to the tipping of the foot.

A foot pronates as CM moves in front of it and supinates when CM trails behind. Pronation in the foot drives pressure to the big toe ball (inside) of the foot. On the outside ski this serves to engage the inside edge. This is a good thing. On the inside foot pronation attempts to drive the ski off its outside (little toe) edge and to flatten the ski. If we are attempting to apply pressure to an inside ski this is a bad thing.

Only by driving the outside foot into pronation and the inside foot into supination could we hope to naturally engage the two ski edges through a naturally balanced and without supplemental leverage of the boot cuff. To do that we would have to have enough fore/aft separation in the feet that CM would be in front of the outside foot (pronation) and behind the inside foot (supination). And even if we did this a supinated foot is an inherently weaker mechanism for supporting weight then a pronated foot, and a flexed leg is inherently a weaker mechanism for supporting weight then an extended foot. This is why I focus predominantly on the outside foot as the primary support platform and turning mechanism.

RUSTY:
Why have the forward projection of the inside aspect of the pelvis drive the foot into pronation? Why not let these movements build from the feet up rather than the hips pull the feet into any position?

FASTMAN:
To me that would be an example of the tail wagging the dog. True balance comes from our core. If one wants to improve balance on skis they exercise their stomach muscles, not their feet. Balance is a matter of where we direct our CM in relation to our feet based on our intent and the forces involved at the moment.

RUSTY.
I also contend that "counter" is something that we see less and less of in current ski technique. I know that you and I vehemently disagree. I see counter as almost a recovery movement or limiting movement.

In Bob's montages it is clear the early extension that you describe exists. To my eye I see skiers who's hips remain very square and exhibit little counter.

FASTMAN:
OK Rusty, I have viewed Bob's montages and I now know that our only argument on counter is one of perception. What you describe as "skiers who's hips remain very square and exhibit little counter," I see as an excellent example of the usage of counter. I have suspected for a while this to be the case.

Take a look again at Bob's montage of Schleper in the GS course. Sometimes it is hard to identify in the hips because of shadows and picture angles but the shoulders and torso can give a clearer picture. In efficient skiing, and when not employing anticipation, the pelvis, torso and shoulders should function with in the same rotational plain so watch were the shoulders and torso are facing and you will know the orientation of the pelvis.

Images 1 and 2 clearly show counter. Notice how the inside shoulder is driving forward and the torso is facing to the outside of the arc.

Contrast that with 3 and 4 in which the shoulders/torso/pelvis are being pulled back toward neutral, and the image 5 in which she is back to rotational neutral.

Now for image 6,7,8,9 pay close attention to how the orientation of the shoulders maintain a constant directional orientation (to the outside of the arc) while the skis engage and turn into the fall line. Also notice image 9 how this upper body orientation is clearly combined with a forward projection of the inside hip. This is a great example of the progressive employment of counter I was describing and it can be found in most all high level carved turns. I'm not at all surprised to find it displayed in this montage, in fact I would have been surprised if I hadn't found it here.

Rusty, if this montage to you represents good skiing in regard to pelvis position then we have no real conflict in terms of counter.

Thanks for your contribution Rusty. You also put some time into your post and I appreciate the effort.
Quote:
 FASTMAN: If you were to include a statement on the stimulatory role of inside leg extension on CM projection to your contention it would be right on the money. The inside leg extension is a multi functional move. It sets into motion the pendulum movement pattern of the CM that will eventually project it into the new turn and initiate the new carve, but it simultaneously develops the platform to support early edge engagement and smooth carve development.
FASTMAN
Excellent presentation.

Sometimes it is hard (for all) to include the "movement" with the "technical". IMHO the “movement” sequence patterns are the important part of the equation for the majority of Epic Ski members. I am not sure “pendulum” is a good word to describe the “CM path” of recreation skiers. I do however, (as an instructor) understand your usage of the word and description of the movement sequence

Speed, slope, attitude & equipment will also play a part in whether inside leg extension to initiate a turn is a "successful" move.

If we look at Bode when he races we see "CM power" being the primary movement rather than inside (new outside) leg extension. If we ski a smooth “recreational” ski run then the CM would be “quieter” (more constantly in balance) than say a run in a racecourse and inside leg extension will have more “time” to become a “balancing\driving” movement.

Do we soften the outside leg or extend the inside leg? Are these identical “cause & affect” type movements (with intent as the trigger) of terrain, speed & equipment?

Are these movement’s identical "support" type movements for the primary balance of the CORE (or CM) throughout a "flowing" ski run?

These discussions always highlight to me that the turning of the skis can be achieved with many subtle variations of the same basic skills. I am against the mantra “one turn for all” in other than “technical laboratory” conditions.

Oz

[ May 14, 2003, 03:22 PM: Message edited by: man from oz ]
I was at the PSIA west convention and we were presented with the same concept by AJ Kitt 3 years ago and again this year by Chris Fellow. The difference this year is subtle but significant.

This technique was part of the National demo team presentation at Interski. Everything is sensibly the same as Fast Man described except that during the inside leg extension a movement describe as a corkscrew of the foot is introduced. This movement is similar to the twisting that you are doing when you crush a bug or a cigarette butt under the ball of the foot. This gradual twisting of the foot toward the turn (or internal rotation)as you extend the inside leg help modifiy and shape the turn radius. At the same time ,as the ski is edged again, that internal rotation of the foot drive the new inside tip edge into the snow. This make that manoeuver more suitable for all mountain skiing.
Frenchie, am I understanding your description of the cork screw movement in thinking that it is a twisting of the foot in which the heel moves outward during the twist, as opposed to inward?

This would introduce steering prior to establishing the carve. This would sacrafice clean edge engagement in favor of greater control of turn shape. In my presentation I was focusing on a technique for establishing earlier and cleaner carves, without the usage of steering. This rotary modification you introduce offers a variation of the technique that opens usage of inside leg extension to wider application parameters.

The technique can also incorporate a pivot which also offers greater situational usage, but for now I'll focus on clean edge engagement.

[ May 14, 2003, 08:16 PM: Message edited by: FastMan ]
After reading thru all this, I'd pose a couple questions.

1. Is the extension being discussed necessary as a value added result causing activity?

2. If so, what is attempting to be caused, that cannot be acomplished some other way more efficiently, or with less effort than extending against and in conflict with the CM's direction of flow?

3. Should the purpose of the legs extension really be presented as to move the CM up away from the slope, or maybe instead to keep the foot/ski in contact with the slope as the CM flow/path naturally moves away from it thru transition?

I ask these questions because as I read the detailed description my body was asking me, "why would you want to do that?" and "why not start to release the CM sooner, rather than hold it back until you have to push it up and over to catch up with the feet?".

We can extend before the transition for several reasons, some valid, some not so. To unload/unweight the skis to accomidate snow conditions and/or allow more re-direction in the transition, or simply because we choose to, and think it is fun to do, or because we have this movement pattern left over from skiing skis we had to unweight and re-direct. I think the first few are valid, but the last reflects a little bit of traditional movements justifying not evolving from those traditional movements, that are just not as efficient on the new gear as they were on the old.

Detailed analysis of older less efficient movements is cool if done in that context, but it makes them no less efficient, or old.

Modern skis have enabled the further evolution of more efficient movements characterized by releasing thru the transition into lateral extension, after the e/c (not before), engaging the skis high in the arc and creating the highest load in falline giving way to relaxing and releasing the flow of the CM as skis arc out of the falline. This shows a marked contrast to the classic extend before e/c creating an early float followed by late heavy turn belly from falline to finish resisting the CM's flow before pole vaulting it skyward up and over the transition. The trampoline of a carving reversed camber ski has moved from the bottom of the turn pushing against the flow and directing energy into a verticle plane, all the way back up to the falline, enabling and producing a much more lateral energy flow pattern.

Given the avaliable choices, I get more fun from the release and go first movements than the resisting and catching up ones.

:

[ May 14, 2003, 08:27 PM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
[quote]Originally posted by Arcmeister:
[QB]After reading thru all this, I'd pose a couple questions.

1. Is the extension being discussed necessary as a value added result causing activity?

FASTMAN:
Arc, if you were to inspect the vast amount of explanation I have already provided you would find the answers to your questions within that text. But you did make the effort so I will reiterate a response for you.

Answer to the above question: definitely.

ARC:
2. If so, what is attempting to be caused, that cannot be acomplished some other way more efficiently, or with less effort than extending against and in conflict with the CM's direction of flow?

FASTMAN:
It provides efficient and continuous foot to ground contact that can't be accomplished with other techniques. With this technique rebound has no unweighting affect on the skier and pressured new turn edge development on the ski that will eventually harbor the majority of the turn forces begins before other techniques will allow.

Inside leg extension does entail a bit of extra effort but the effort pays dividends in edge engagement efficiency. The extension is not in conflict with CM direction flow, it is the catalyst that triggers that flow. Extension effects the balance equation that immediatly sets CM into lateral motion. (review my past posts on this thread)

ARC:
3. Should the purpose of the legs extension really be presented as to move the CM up away from the slope, or maybe instead to keep the foot/ski in contact with the slope as the CM flow/path naturally moves away from it thru transition?

FASTMAN:
The move is multi functional and I have explained that it is intended to accomplish all the goals you present above, and others. Review my past posts.

ARC:
I ask these questions because as I read the detailed description my body was asking me, "why would you want to do that?" and "why not start to release the CM sooner, rather than hold it back until you have to push it up and over to catch up with the feet?".

FASTMAN:
This technique actually involves a very early release of CM and the tipping of the feet in fact move in harmony with the lateral movement of CM.

If you saw someone perform this technique well you would understand why you might want to do this. It is a beautifully simple, efficient, elegant technique. If you can review the video footage I suggested.

ARC:
We can extend before the transition for several reasons, some valid, some not so. To unload/unweight the skis to accomidate snow conditions and/or allow more re-direction in the transition, or simply because we choose to, and think it is fun to do, or because we have this movement pattern left over from skiing skis we had to unweight and re-direct.

FASTMAN:
Arc, this technique has nothing to do with unweighting, its purpose is the polar opposite. I think you are associating the extension term with the old technique of outside leg extension that most definitely had an intended unweighting effect. Inside leg extension eliminates unweighting and allows the skier to transition from one turn to the next with NO LOSS OF CONTACT.

ARC:
Detailed analysis of older less efficient movements is cool if done in that context, but it makes them no less efficient, or old.

FASTMAN:
Arc, for your own knowledge expansion don't be so quick to write this off as old school. I have spent much time analyzing world cup technique and have discovered proficiency at this technique to be one of the elements that separate the top racers from the rest of the pack. That fact would in itself define it as state of the art technique and the epitome of efficiency. Take a closer look and you just might find you like what you see.

[ May 14, 2003, 09:45 PM: Message edited by: FastMan ]
[quote] FASTMAN:
This extension of the inside leg can be read as two different movements.

1. Extend away from the CM (lateral) projection and onto a weighted uphill edge requiring a positive edge roll and possibly a small foot pivot to initiate early edge engagement. (parallel step without the step part)

2. Extend onto the new outside ski AS the CM moves laterally utilizing the ski characteristics to create early turn shape. (the extension part of retraction turns)

Item 1. Would entail a weighted edge roll FROM the new outside ski.

Item 2. Would entail a “balancing extension” AGAINST the edge of the new outside ski.

mmmmm "squash the bug" .... Where have I heard that before? I am glad foot steering is getting a mention again.

Oz

[ May 15, 2003, 05:41 PM: Message edited by: man from oz ]
1 is what I would do if SIMPLY told to extend my inside leg.... ooops I know NOW that I would feel it as 'not good' but until I had tried to learn 2 it was not so simple to define what 'better' felt like

2 was trickier to try to teach me... as it required MORE pieces to move & 'fit' together
OZ SAYS:
This extension of the inside leg can be read as two different movements.

1. Extend away from the CM (lateral) projection and onto a weighted uphill edge requiring a positive edge roll and possibly a small foot pivot to initiate early edge engagement. (parallel step)

2. Extend onto the new outside ski AS the CM moves laterally utilizing the ski characteristics to create early turn shape. (the extension part of retraction turns)
=============================================

Excellent Oz!! This is a very important distinction to make and for all to understand.

This technique is not a step up the fall line, and a maintaining of the uphill edge (outside edge of old inside ski) as some older techniques dictated. To do so one must also move CM up hill (away from the new point of pressure) to keep the balance equation intact.

In this technique the moment we begin inside leg extension the point of pressure immediately begins moving to the outside edge of the old inside ski, but we do not attempt to relocate CM to maintain balance on that new point of pressure, we leave it constant.

This results in CM suddenly being much closer to our point of pressure which disrupts the balance equation and causes the existing turn forces to immediately drive our CM over the top of our skis and into the new turn.

As Oz insightfully points out the continuation of inside leg extension takes place while this lateral projection of CM is happening. This serves to maintains pressure and develop a platform on the new outside ski that will support the new turning forces which will be created once the ski passes through neutral and begins edge engagement.

Thanks Oz.

[ May 15, 2003, 10:21 AM: Message edited by: FastMan ]
Quote:
 Originally posted by FastMan: FASTMAN: It provides efficient and continuous foot to ground contact that can't be accomplished with other techniques. FASTMAN: This technique actually involves a very early release of CM and the tipping of the feet in fact move in harmony with the lateral movement of CM. Inside leg extension eliminates unweighting and allows the skier to transition from one turn to the next with NO LOSS OF CONTACT. FASTMAN: Arc, for your own knowledge expansion don't be so quick to write this off as old school. I have spent much time analyzing world cup technique and have discovered proficiency at this technique to be one of the elements that separate the top racers from the rest of the pack. That fact would in itself define it as state of the art technique and the epitome of efficiency. Take a closer look and you just might find you like what you see.[/QB]
Fastman,

I guess I'm perplexrd at this point by a couple of things. I am going to be argumentative, however don't construe anything I say as being contentious.

My first concern are your references to foot to ground contact. Certainly, mismanagement of stored energy can cause a skier to rebound off the snow. I certainly would say it's not the inside ski that is prone to this issue.

I'm much more comfortable now that you describe the tipping of the feet "moving in harmony". Please correct me if I'm wrong, however, your early description talked about the pelvis pulling and eventually driving the feet in order to put the outside ski on edge. you made no mention of the inside foot, leg, or the role of leg steering. In fact your only reference to a steering mechanism was the outside leg.

I'm less concerned whether this is old school vs newschool and I think that is not a concern for Arc. I think we all are interested in what works in our own skiing and what is being employed in the top echelons of skiers. I am in the midst of wading through the writings of George Joubert and, simply stated, what you are describing has been talked about for decades.

I'm really confused by your last comment in which you posit, "I have spent much time analyzing world cup technique and have discovered proficiency at this technique to be one of the elements that separate the top racers from the rest of the pack. That fact would in itself define it as state of the art technique and the epitome of efficiency."

What fact are you speaking of, the time spent doing analysis or your discovery of proficiency? I don't get the nexus that makes anything "state of the art" or the "epitome of efficiency". You study and you see things. You report on them. I simply saying I'm not sure what you describe in your analysis is exactly what is going on.

My biggest concern is your original contention about the pelvis pulling and the pelvis countering. That cannot be described as "state of the art". Take a look at our friend Ott from a bygone era.

http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...c;f=4;t=001824

Any emphasis on countering, a pendulum swing of the pelvis, outside leg pressure, and outside leg steering are certainly items that are going to lead most folks to think "old school".
I think that when we talk about new school the emphasis is only on cutting clean carve turs which is nice in racing situation. We can modifiy the radius of a turn by modifing speed, the weight of the skier, the sidecut of the ski and the edge angle. But during most situation the weight of the skier and the sidecut of the equipment is a constant, and it is not always possible or desirable to modify the edge angle and speed quick enough to change the radius of the turn. This is where the steering or shaping of the turn get into play, those are skill valuable skills and the Canadian Ski Instructor association still put a lot of emphasis on it. Steering doesn't alvways means skidding heavily.
[quote]Originally posted by Rusty Guy:

My first concern are your references to foot to ground contact. Certainly, mismanagement of stored energy can cause a skier to rebound off the snow. I certainly would say it's not the inside ski that is prone to this issue.

FASTMAN:
Exactly, the ski that harbors the majority of the turning forces (the outside ski) is the one most prone to the disruptive effects of rebound. This is one of the beauties inside leg extension, it takes the outside ski out of the picture before rebound has a chance to disrupt, and allows those forces to dissipate into a unweighted leg.

RUSTY:
I'm much more comfortable now that you describe the tipping of the feet "moving in harmony".

you made no mention of the inside foot, leg, or the role of leg steering. In fact your only reference to a steering mechanism was the outside leg.

FASTMAN:
In this variation of the technique I am not introducing steering as an element of the movement sequence. From the stand point of the mechanics of a ski and how it is designed to function steering is inefficient in comparison to carving, and is ideally used only when the change of direction we would like to make is beyond the physical limitations of the ski to create through carving. The greatest benefits of this technique are derived in situations that fall with in those turn shape parameter limitations so I have made this my focus.

I think I have always been consistent in my assertion that CM, legs and feet should move in harmony to insure the strongest possible body positions. I would tend to believe that you would agree with the importance of the concept of structural alignment. I chose to describe the movement of CM as the catalyst for the entering of new edge angles because it is our balance core, and the target for the forces encountered in a turn. If this creates a mental block that is hard to get past and restricts your ability to comprehend the big picture then by all means use whatever mental trigger you need to set things in motion, but as an instructor do try to grasp onto the forces actually at work and that launches CM into its movement sequence.

RUSTY:
Please correct me if I'm wrong, however, your early description talked about the pelvis pulling and eventually driving the feet in order to put the outside ski on edge.

FASTMAN:
As far as the pelvis driving the feet, without the exact reference I can't be sure, but I believe it probably had to do with how the forward movement of the CM (combined with counter) drives the foot into pronation. This is an important concept for the establishment of well balanced foot to ground contact.

RUSTY:
I'm really confused by your last comment in which you posit, "I have spent much time analyzing world cup technique and have discovered proficiency at this technique to be one of the elements that separate the top racers from the rest of the pack. That fact would in itself define it as state of the art technique and the epitome of efficiency."

I don't get the nexus that makes anything "state of the art" or the "epitome of efficiency".

FASTMAN:
Rusty, my statement was meant to suggest that if the best guys on the World Cup are using this technique to win races then the technique represents a model of current technical efficiency.

World Cup technique is employed to harness the most performance out of the equipment with the least wasted energy and body motion. This is why it is commonly considered a proving ground for the core techniques that will be adopted by the masses.

RUSTY:
I simply saying I'm not sure what you describe in your analysis is exactly what is going on.

FASTMAN:
As long as you feel that way you will never buy into this presentation and my efforts, in your case, will have been in vain.

RUSTY:
My biggest concern is your original contention about the pelvis pulling and the pelvis countering. That cannot be described as "state of the art". Take a look at our friend Ott from a bygone era.

FASTMAN:
Rusty, don't confuse countering as a rotational turning mechanism as was its usage when Ott was on the equipment of that day. This counter is simply a body position that enhances balance and foot to ground contact. It is not intended to act as a turning force. Those visions of days of using counter as a turning force are why many today shun a very important element of advanced skiing.
Frenchie, because I chose to not focus on the steering skills in this presentation does not suggest that I disagree with your position on the importance of those skills in the development of a complete skier. In fact I could not agree more. I'm a card carrying member of the VERSATILITY IN SKIING club. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

The principle effect of extension as described by Fastman (myself in earlier posts) and supported by comments of those such as Frenchie is to start the flow of forces in the direction of the new turn. Eversion of the foot (pronation) and internal rotation of the stance leg are in phase with each other and in support of this objective in that they are both coupled and synergistic.

This being said the only flaw in the promotion of this technique is the tacit assumption that all skiers are able to actually perform this movement. This is not the case. The single biggest obstacle is the ski boot. Too much forward lean is the number one culprit. The use of footbeds that inhibit pronation and/or structures of the boot that interfere with the 3 dimensional movement of the joints of the foot in pronation being nunber 2. These issues more than any lack of physical and mental abililty will render attempts to use this movement ineffectual for the overwhelming majority of skiers.

welcome back David...
quick pass the foot powder ....

Quote:
 These issues more than any lack of physical and mental abililty will render attempts to use this movement ineffectual for the overwhelming majority of skiers.
Crap ... Your chickens appear to be born not laid.

It is the inability & unwillingness to flow the CM through a turn that inhibits development of balancing on the turning edge of the new outside ski.

Oz

[ May 16, 2003, 12:23 AM: Message edited by: man from oz ]
After the inside leg extension(steering,pressuring,edgeing)is started is it not helpful to adjust both skis through the turn? And what about stance width? Doesn't it also change? IMO keeping the inside ski stacked above my CM creates an early edge set on the inside ski and gives me the opportunity to make adjustments through out the turn. Something I key on is chin,shin and wrist.
Great picture Slider! I'm know race coach and no technician however I think this picture says a thousand words.
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