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Wanted : Good Drill for getting forward

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hi, I was wondering if someone could recommend a good drill for getting forward on the skis. I can get good shin pressure on the tongue of the boot when turning and I am able to lay down nice railroad tracks but I still feel like I am hinged at the waist. It's hard to describe, but I feel like I am forward but only because I am bent over. This tends to move the butt back. This position works for racing GS but for everday skiiing in varied terrain, it is not optimal. Plus it puts a strain on my back muscles more than my quad muscles when I am hinged forward. People tell me I look fine and can rip nice arcs but it just doesn't feel right for some reason. I think I need a drill to get my hips more forward. Any recommendations ?
post #2 of 53
Just bend your knees as deeply as you can while keeping your head up,(torso upright) looking far down the fall line.

Look to the end of your turns, not at the beginning.

Just an idea that woorks for me.

CalG
post #3 of 53
I saw a marvelous change a couple weeks ago in a really big, tall guy who liked to bend forward at the waist and reach forward with his hands, which meant he had to stick out his butt to be balanced on his feet, when he responded to advice to let his hands hang from his elbows with his elbows hanging from his shoulders (no tensing of shoulder muscles to raise the upper arms). The guy making the suggestion, a PSIA Demo Team member, advised the guy to hold his hands just out from his sides like he would if balancing while walking across a narrow board.
post #4 of 53
Focus on your hips staying forward. This may involve lowering your arms, BTW.

As a drill, use the hips (not bending the knees) to create pressure (not too much pressure) on the boot tongues.
post #5 of 53
Getting the hips up over the feet does require the knees to straighten as TomB said, but don't forget to flex them also. some movement needs to be happening in the ankles and knees to keep skiing fluid and versital. On groomers play with feeling the back of the cuff, just a little as you slowly straighten (extend) the knees and ankles, and then slowly flex the ankle and knees to feel the tongue of the boot. We can't move our hips forward if we aren't moving the joints below our hips.

I really like the tip to relax the shoulders also. This really helps myself along with my students. What I feel when I relax my shoulders and arms is that everthing is settleing onto my hips.
post #6 of 53
I recommend jump and hop drills. You can do these at home and on snow. At home, barefoot is best. Notice where your hips are as you prepare to jump and where they are when you land. Your body will find the right relationship of hips to ankles to do a clean takeoff and crisp landing. You might test it a bit by purposely jumping with the hips over or behind the ankles. I think you'll find that the hips just in front of the ankles is where you get the best propulsion and absorption from your feet and legs.
post #7 of 53
Skimore-Workless. First, I like the idea your name suggests!

In some of the students, I notice that when they stick their butt out and hinge at the waist, that it is due to a lack of flexing the ankles or dorsi-flexion. One of the drills I use is when they are riding the chair, to flex their ankle and to pull their ski tips up towards them, using only their ankles. I have also noticed in some of the students, that there is a fear of falling over if they lean too far forward on their skis. One of the things I try is to get on my knees in front of the ski tips and to have the student put their hands on my shoulders and to lean forward emphasing a strong bend at the ankles. I then ask them to let go of my shoudlers, and show them that they will not fall forward by flexing the ankles and leaning forward. I then adjust their stance by having them bend their knees and waist. This is a general statement, but I ask them to visualize the angle of their ankles, knees and hips as they bend to be similar.

After I get them in a fairly decent stance, I ask them to simple rock back and forth feeling the pressure fore and aft on their foot until they feel the pressure evenly distributed on their feet. I found that for most situations, a balance on the whole foot seems to work best. Once I get them in that situation, I then ask them to visualize as if a steel rod were running through their body, and that when they flex and extend, the joints should flex in unision up and down on that rod, similar to a shock absorber. I realize that this is a generalization, but it is a good starting point. I also ask them to keep their head up. I notice that when some people look down at their skis, they roll their shoulders forward and bend at the waist

If the student has trouble flexing their ankles and knees, I look at their boots. They might have too stiff a boot, or not enough forward lean to the boot. I would suggest a trip to a good boot fitter for any skier who wants to improve their skiing. I ask them also discreetly if their ankles hurt and if they might have had any problems in the past. A good strength and conditioning program, that includes stretching and flexibility excercises (see some of LISAMARIE's previous threads), would be advisable.

Without seeing you ski, it is hard to give you a cure all. Ask for a lesson that includes video analysis. The camera doesn't lie, and is a really good tool so that you can see what you are actually doing, and what needs to be corrected. And finally, if you really want to improve, go the the next epic ski academy. You will find some of the finest ski coaches in the country to help you!
post #8 of 53
As my race coach says, keep your bellybutton in front of your boots. That moves the hips forward into the turn and keeps you from "breaking" at the waist. Simple (and complex) as that.
post #9 of 53
one of the simplest is just to make some fairly easy turns on moderate terrain and be constantly searching for contact at the front of the boot while standing as tall as you can.

Try it first with some traverses on two feet. Then try the traverses on the downhill ski only, then the uphill ski only. You'll be amazaed at how tall you have to stand and how neutral/slightly forward when you do the traverses on the uphill ski only.

Focus first on getting tall. You'll be surprised at how this keeps you a bit forward. But, remember, not too far forward. No smashing against the tongue of the boot. Just light contact. You just want to feel it, not bang it.

Remember, BE TALL

bob
post #10 of 53
Have you tried skating! We all do it to move around on flat terrain. Try skating up a slight incline, If your ceter of mass does't move forward you will not make get up the hill. Try skating directly down the fall line of a flatter trail. And finally skate across the hill with the final skate begining a turn. If you can incorperate this movement into you skiing it will move you forward at the correct time, the start of the new turn. Good luck
post #11 of 53
One cure to bending over at the waist too much is to wear a ball cap with the brim adjusted down so that if you bend over too much all you can see is your ski tips. It forces you to choose between getting more upright or running into trees. This was suggested to me by an instructor at Alta. In two days I was cured.
post #12 of 53
Lots of good ideas here!

One drill I like for learing to be taller is to ski with your hands behind your head, elbows out to the side. No poles.

Another one is where, during the extension, I say out loud to myself, "Be five one." That encourages me to get tall, because in I'm really only 5'0".
post #13 of 53
Try skiing with the tip of the inside ski on the snow, and the tail two or three inches off the snow. It's hard to do this while in the back seat. If you are in the back seat, when you lift the ski, the tail will be on the snow, and the tip will be in the air.

Actually good skiers can lift the tip while forward, and lift the tail while back, but it works well for most skiers who are having problems getting out of the back seat. They will find it easier to adjust their position than to lift the tail of the ski while in the back seat.
post #14 of 53
Slightly loosen the buckles on each boot cuff, place a five-dollar bill in each cuff between the boot cuff and shin. Now ski with enough shin pressure on the boot cuff to keep the $ from flying out of your boot. If it doesn't work with a fiver try a twenty.
post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally posted by Phoenix:
Slightly loosen the buckles on each boot cuff, place a five-dollar bill in each cuff between the boot cuff and shin. Now ski with enough shin pressure on the boot cuff to keep the $ from flying out of your boot. If it doesn't work with a fiver try a twenty.
Hahaha.. I like this post. I, too, have a liltle backseat problem.
post #16 of 53
How about something a bit out there. The most immediately effective method I ever used for getting students into a perfect balanced through the foot stance was to have the group bring out their cross country touring skis and ski parallel turns on blue runs with them.

There's no cheating with this one, either your truly balanced or you don't stay on your feet long because there is no boot tongue or back to correct or lever against. Even had my group running gates.

This drill takes the unbuckling of the boots drill and ups the ante.
post #17 of 53
Skiing in Rondennay boots with the hinges unlocked has done wonders for me in the staying centered department.
Don't forget, it's easier to reposition your feet back than your body forward. (that doesn't sound like your problem though)
post #18 of 53
I note you asked about getting forward. imo this is really about 'not getting back', when it is the middle, balanced over the skis postion, that we need. Because the body and the skis follow different paths and experience different accelerations, there are times when you have to stay forward ), but really you are trying to stay centred, and not get left behind.

Jumping as you go helps, also try skiing on blades, you'll have to stay pretty centred. They have no backseat.

Once you are 'over them' on blades, I'm always surprised at just what you can take in the way of shocks/bumps etc because your body is able to make the right instinctive reactions, something the backseat prevents.
post #19 of 53
many great ideas....

I'd add two more thoughts to the mix

1) simply stand up

2) increase the delta angle in the bindings.
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally posted by Rusty Guy:
[QB]1) simply stand up
This sounds too simple to be true, but is great advice!! I'm amazed in my skiing and in those around me how the harder we try to get forward, the worse it gets. Reason: Most untrained skiers and many lousy instructors associate getting forward with bending at the knees and waist. once I got upright, stacked, and relaxed my shoulders, I was fine (and forward).

Great advice!! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #21 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone who has posted. This forum is great !!!! Can't wait to get out and ski. I think the posts about standing up will really help. If you think about it, standing up and bringing the top half of your body back will allow you to bring your butt forward resulting in a more centered skiing position.
post #22 of 53
Welcome to Epic and you're right this site is great. It's done wonders for my skiing. BTW, about the best instructional tip I can give you is to go in to the search function and do a search under Bob Barnes in the Instructional forum. Browse his posts and you'll be amazed at what you'll learn.

He has a stick figure with the various joints labeled which indicate whether their movements will move you forward or back. It will help you with the getting forward and understanding this issue if you can find it. If I find it 1st, I'll post it here for you.
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally posted by Rusty Guy:
increase the delta angle in the bindings.
I would want to see the person before recommending this. Often the inability to stand up is related to too much forward lean and or ramp angle. The foot and lower leg that are pitched too far forward cause the body parts above to compensate by tipping back.
post #24 of 53
[quote]Originally posted by nolo:
Quote:
Often the inability to stand up is related to too much forward lean and or ramp angle. The foot and lower leg that are pitched too far forward cause the body parts above to compensate by tipping back.
This is an interesting point of view, Nolo. Is what you are saying that most people are afraid of being forward, and when placed in a forward situation (i.e. by ramp angle or forward lean heel shims), they will try to get themselves backwards again by other means? If that is true, it doesn't really matter how much and which way the equipment is altered; they will simply compensate back to the back seat position. It also doesn't really matter how well and what technique you teach; they simply won't be able to asimilate? The true fix for these individuals is a mental/psychological adjustment?

I think my wife might be among this group. On very gentle slopes she exhibits decent technique. When caught off guard when the terrain steepens, she becomes totally psych'ed out. She then sits way back, reverts to a totally defensive wedge pointing straight down the hill, and unable to do much. Various instructors, probably seeing the apparent lack of progress in her responding to their teachings about getting forward, had suggested some equipment changes (e.g. heel shims, ramp angles, remounting bindings forward) to bring her back forward. Personally, (and because I know my wife), her core issue is psychological. Of course, recognizing the core issue still doesn't present a solution. Ideas, anyone? (Perhaps I should post this in a new thread).
post #25 of 53
josseph,

I understand the psychological issues your wife has. I've always had that problem. Basically I have some fear of heights, so steep runs make me get back or lean into the hill. I have to make a serious mental effort to stay forward.

After 13 years of skiing it is not very visible to an observer, but I have to fight my instinct every single time. Equipment and alignment won't solve this problem. It is a matter of confidence and experience.

It gets better every year.
post #26 of 53
Joseph,
I believe what Nolo was saying is that if there is too much ramp angle (platform the foot is standing on pitched forward with heel higher than toe) and/or forward lean in the upper cuff of the ski boot, then standing tall is not possible because the body will be angled forward and would fall on it's face.

With too much ramp/delta the body must compensate to stay in balance. It does so by bending the knees to move the hips behind the feet. It's the only way to stay fore/aft neutral.

An instructor can preach forward to this student till he's blue in the face and that butt just aint gunna move forward, it can't without putting the poor student way too forward. The student may try to appease the persistent instructor by flexing the ankles more, which drives the knees forward and levers the shin against the front of the boot even more. Or he may bend more at the waist, in an attempt to drive the shoulders forward. But both these strategies force the hips to be moved back even further to compensate for the resulting too far forward balance point. They also leave the body even more out of structural alignment.

In reality, the answer is to reduce the delta angle and allow the foot to stand on a platform closer to parallel to the ground. This allows the body to extend (stand tall) and not end up in a pitched forward, out of balance, position.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally posted by FastMan:
I believe what Nolo was saying is that if there is too much ramp angle (platform the foot is standing on pitched forward with heel higher than toe) and/or forward lean in the upper cuff of the ski boot, then standing tall is not possible because the body will be angled forward and would fall on it's face.
Fastman, I do agree completely with you and Nolo said. I just wondered how prevalent this issue is (e.g. too much ramp) among those people with the folded over stance and butt waving in the rear. I do see how excess ramp can result in an adjustment by sticking out the rear, I wonder if that kind of stance is more frequently due to the individual trying to lower their center of gravity by bending over in excessively stiff boots.
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally posted by TomB:
josseph,

I understand the psychological issues your wife has. I've always had that problem. Basically I have some fear of heights, so steep runs make me get back or lean into the hill. I have to make a serious mental effort to stay forward.
My wife is the same. She could not look down the hill from the gondola without shaking and sweating. Her solution was to learn how to make slow short radius turns FIRST! She is making a huge effort to learn essons and all.

Of course, the primary focus of the lessons is not the short radius turn, but I think that's just fine.

Thankfully, she ignores ALL my advice. I can't be blamed for anything.
post #29 of 53
Josseph,
If it's a fear thing, if a good stance can be achieved in non threatening situations, then the answer is really very simple: replace fear with confidence through skill development.

Fear thresholds differ for everyone. For those who possess a low tolerance for risk pushing them to overcome their fear can conversely end up just pushing them further away from their threshold. Better to relocate fear thresholds than try to just bull through them. By improving skill levels what was terrifying before suddenly becomes non threatening and fun.

Develop skills and build confidence in easy/non threatening environments. If the student is focused on the fear they can't focus on the task. Skills can't be developed under such circumstances, confidence will not grow, fear will not dissipate.

Take baby steps and ease Nervous Nellies along. If you grab them by the britches and toss them in they may never come near the water again. Sometimes a little push while standing at the brink is what's called for, but you'd better be right if you choose that course.
post #30 of 53
Big E, heh, my wife and your wife should get together.

I don't teach my wife anything. I leave that to the pro's. Better for marital bliss.

Dealing with fear and how to overcome fear is something that I feel is weak in ski school instructors. Most instructors are great in dispensing the finer points of technique, but most exercises are based on the assumption that the student's mind will let them perform those tasks. The only remedy I have heard practice by ski school instructors is to move the student to easier terrain. Surely there are other means, in addition to easier terrain, in helping the students overcome this mental hurdle.

My wife had the most terrible lesson out West two weeks ago. The instructor at first expressed frustration that my wife was having trouble doing a certain movement that she was telling her to do, finally said, "Why aren't you doing what I told you?" What kind of instruction was that? The instructor had no understanding of the hurdle and issues of her student. Later, that same instructor, upon seeing how well she could execute her turns in gentle terrain, suggested going onto a particular blue run. My wife balked, saying that she was not comfortable with the run. I agree with her... that was probably a **triple** blue run. To make a bad story short, the instructor convinced my wife to go on the run, saying, "I know you can do it". They went on the run. On the first steep pitch, my wife froze, did a face fall down the slope. She promptly took off her skis and stopped skiing the rest of the day. When I heard about it later, I was livid.

I like to think this experience is an isolated instance. However, I like to hear how different seasoned instuctors help their students overcome this fear issue.
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