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Where's the Separation?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was re-reading a thread from a few years ago titled *Activities for upper/lower body separation because I had vera's question:

Quote:
 
Which segments compose the upper body and which ones are the lower body?

Later she asked some more questions:

Quote:
 
Ok, so I have some questions for us all as we try to generate accurate upper/lower body separation exercises for learn2turn.

So far in this thread I see different points of view on where upper/lower body separation should occur.

Some believe it's at the waist.

Others think separation occurs at the hip and femur.

What are the purposes for each?

No one ever answered her questions. Wouldn't you like to know the answers? I still wonder, Where's the separation? 

Is the pelvis part of the upper body or the lower body? Or both?



*Recommended reading. It showcases the wit and wisdom of late, great vlad, a very knowledgeable and creative ski instructor who got lost out of bounds.  
post #2 of 20
The pelvis is the strongest point to create separation from. When creating separation from the pelvis by definition it would be the lowest part of the upper body.
post #3 of 20
If you separate at the waist (above the pelvis?), you do not have as solid a stabilization point as you do when you separate at the at the hip joint (below the pelvis?).  I think you generally need to incorporate the pelvis as part of the torso assembly for the greatest good effect.
post #4 of 20
 I've always heard the term of active legs below a quiet upper body, thus the separation to me is where the femurs meet the pelvis.
post #5 of 20
Nolo, when you counter do you include your pelvis?  If yes, where must rotation take place?  (hint: read post 3 & 4)
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hmm. I agree that we want the legs (lower body) to turn more than the upper body. However, as I myself ski and watch others skiing, it seems that the pelvis can't stay square to the upper body and smoothly articulate with the lower body. In other words, if the legs turn 10 (on a scale), the pelvis turns not 10 too, but 2-5. That leads me to the idea of the pelvis as the linkage between the upper and lower body, that which connects and articulates between the two. If not, one's alignment lacks resiliency.
Edited by nolo - 2/15/10 at 7:15am
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

However, as I myself ski and watch others skiing, it seems that the pelvis can't stay square to the upper body and smoothly articulate with the lower body. In other words, if the legs turn 10 (on a scale), the pelvis turns not 10 too, but 2-5.

Are you talking about rotational separation or lateral separation?
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
What's the distinction between rotational and lateral separation? 
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

What's the distinction between rotational and lateral separation? 

Rotational = Counter
Lateral = Hip Angulation

They work in different planes of motion, thus are two different movements despite their similarities.
post #10 of 20
Why settle for two parts, when you can have more?  Separation at the hip AND at the waist.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Why settle for two parts, when you can have more?  Separation at the hip AND at the waist.

I don't want to get too far into why people should ignore this post, but the short of it has to do with what I wrote in my first post on the topic. One is a weak point to create separation, and the other is a strong point to create separation. Creating upper body separation at another point other than the pelvis implies that the separation at the pelvis is insufficient.
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
So there's lateral and rotational separation. How about vertical separation?  
post #13 of 20
Hip angulation?
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

How about vertical separation?  

Not entirely sure what you mean by that. The only place in ski technique I have seen that term applies is having to deal with the components of stance.

So far we have defined two of three planes of movement. The last one has as you say - a "vertical" component - but it is not limited to vertical only (also fore/aft). The body can't move up and down without being able to compress and stretch the spine. We can break at the waist and move in the fore/aft plane which also moves the upper body vertically I suppose, but IMO the more important part of that plane of motion is the fore/aft component.

As an aside: When I teach this stuff I stick to only lateral and rotational movement when talking about the upper body. I combine the fore/aft movements of the upper [and lower] body with release techniques... if that makes any sense...
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoMan View Post

Hip angulation?

I prefer calling it counter balance; but it is essentially breaking at the hip laterally to allow balanced edge angles to be maintained. Some call it a balancing movement, others call it an edging movement... in context both are probably right. I like to think of it as a lateral balancing movement though.
post #16 of 20
Lateral separation is about balance.  Rotational separation is about enhancing lateral separation.  

Common Instruction prompts for lateral separation are, "Keep your shoulders level to the snow",,, "Lift your inside shoulder",,, "Don't lean in". 

Common instructional prompts for rotational separation are, "Keep your body facing down the falline",,, "Zipper points downhill".   . 

The vast majority of recreational skiers pivot/push the start of their turns.  Too much rotational separation represents a major obstacle in eliminating it.  Facing down the falline through the transition encourages a pivot.  I keep saying this, and I'll continue until the message gets out.  The cure to rotation powered pivoting is not to  promote the anticipated position resulting from "zipper down the falline".  That just results in a pivot born of a different power source.

I look forward to the day I get to work with students who have many years in the sport, and many lessons under their belt, and I don't have to right off the bat show them how to eliminate their default pivot entry.  Currently, it's very very very rarely the case.  Prior "face down the falline" lessons have much to do with that.  It's building a sport full of perpetual pivoters, regardless of the terrain they're on.  .   
post #17 of 20
Each skier brings different amounts of flexibility to the slopes so I think the amount of blending between hips and waist varies from skier to skier. This might explain why there is so many opinions.   

In my own case I do not have a lot of ankle flexibility so in short steered turns I run out of the ability to keep light pressure on the boot tongues without rotating my hips in the direction of the turn.  When that happens I tend to add in a little twisting in the waist to build in some anticipation in order to reduce the amount of movement necessary to get things going in the opposite direction again.
 
For the most part I think separation should occur at the hip joints but that is not written in stone for all circumstances.
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Back to "vertical separation," which generally is thought of in terms of vertical separation of the feet on a slope: doesn't the pelvis have to accommodate that vertical separation too (as in lifting the inside hip)? So the pelvis is sliding laterally and fore-aft, lifting vertically, and very slightly rotating, according to individual morphological factors, to accommodate much more pronounced rotation of the femurs in the hip sockets. 

That's articulation in all the planes of motion.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

Back to "vertical separation," which generally is thought of in terms of vertical separation of the feet on a slope: doesn't the pelvis have to accommodate that vertical separation too (as in lifting the inside hip)?

Ah - I see what you're saying. I consider that to be part of lateral balancing movement.
post #20 of 20
Love the way these threads make me think differently.
Quote: from Rick
 The vast majority of recreational skiers pivot/push the start of their turns.  Too much rotational separation represents a major obstacle in eliminating it.  Facing down the falline through the transition encourages a pivot.  I keep saying this, and I'll continue until the message gets out.  The cure to rotation powered pivoting is not to  promote the anticipated position resulting from "zipper down the falline".  That just results in a pivot born of a different power source.

 
Never thought that changing from "upper body initiated turns" to "lower body from a stable upper" was changing the power source of the same movement at the skis before but you're right!
Don't think I would be using these excercises to work on curing a pivit entry either but I can certainly see how these could reinforce the pivit.

Rick, can we coax out some of your thoughts on how to cure that pivit entry?  Perhaps a new thread?  The ones that come to my mind are more edging, releasing and movement of the CoM into the turn leading into "lateral seperation".  And a significant step up the skills ladder for most.
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