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Something I've been noticing lately........

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So, I go in to teach my step class, and every day, if there is someone new who I have not "brainwashed", its the same old same old.

When stepping on to a measly 6-10 inch platform, most people will never step to the middle, or bring their Center of Mass onto the bench. Usually they sort of drag their butts behind them. And they look down at the step.
In a movement called the pivot hop turn, some find the unweighting of the standing leg impossible.

My music is playing "My Blood Runs Cold, My Angel is a Centerfold", and as I watch all this "Groucho Stepping" going on, I say to myself "I don't think so".

Scene change: Ski slopes. Female skiers sometimes tend to drag their butts behind them. Eyes are on the snow instead of on the fall line. Some of us have a hard time unweighting the inside ski.

What the heck is going on?

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #2 of 10
This is the same move that women make when getting on the dreaded bathroom scale.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by milesb (edited August 28, 2001).]</FONT>
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
post #4 of 10
Are you saying most people or most women? What's involved in the "brainwashing" anyway?

Let's see: Brainwashing, Reeboks, black clothing... Are you following a particular comet? Keep us informed, but I might send someone else to the party...

"Oh shi*, I spilled my KoolAid!" (hmmm...at least it won't stain the black pajamas)
post #5 of 10
Do the women you're referring to have more weight behind, making it harder to lift that weight onto the platform?
post #6 of 10
I would never ever say I am an expert when it comes to women so this is a venture into the unknown.

It has been said a womans pelvic structure will relocate their center of mass slightly to the aft from a mans. Several years ago it was the "thing" to relocate a womans bindings, moving the binding forward as much as 1 1/2" relocating the center of mass to the middle of the skis running surface thus the "sweet spot" if you will. Simply center the woman skier better. There have been strong supporters of both. Harald Harb says he studied over a thousand women at Winter Park and found absolutely no truth to the idea that moving the binding forward did anything for a woman. Atomic manufactures a binding that does move; however the binding is actually for racing. I used the binding and it does make a difference and it only moves about 3/4". I can only venture to say if a skier can not initiate with their inside ski the skier could be back seated and unable to relax the weight on the ski and allow the ski to initiate. (I am assuming the skier knows how to initiate a turn at this point.) The skier is "tail weighted". Attempting to simply lift the ski off the snow in a moderate straight run may teach the skier all they want to know. If the skiers needs to stand taller to accomplish simply lifting the inside ski it the chances are good the skier is back seated. Standing taller would normally allow the skier to move their feet more underneath their center of mass, would help to take the skier out of the back seat, and now the skier should be able to lift the ski off the snow easily. Now set the ski back on the snow, maintain the same stance, and see if the skier can initiate the turn with the inside ski. This little exercise can also show if the skier is aligned properly which can also be a reason for the problem you pose. Only a simple look at one possible reason for the inability to use the inside ski.

Hop turns require a lifting of the foot/ski to initiate the altitude required and maintaining of an open upper body while looking downhill at all times. Also it helps to have large lungs, a good back, and actually to be subtle. Stepping up on to a block of wood I would think to be quite different since it is a forward motion by pushing off the opposite foot. (I have to say I hate hop turns except when I am skiing a steep slope. The steeper the easier. During certification the examiner likes to pick flatter terrain to make it much more difficult.) I also beleve to hit the middle of the block you would need to step to the middle of your body which would not be a natural "step". In a hop turn you do want to keep your foot underneath you or you fall down!

Looking at the wood is quite natural except for someone like you that has hit the wood many times. Looking down is also quite natural for all skiers so your observations of woman I think may be because you pay more attention to how they ski. I have noticed this habit in all skiers including top skiers. I politely corrected and examiner once, yes he did pass me an exclaimed he did have a habit to look down at times, since it was my responsibility to make observations of his skiing as well. The difference between lower level skiers and the upper level skier is purely confidence in "feeling" what their feet are doing. It is a habit skiers should not get into but with experience I believe will break. I remind students gently from time to time about hands and eyes. Both simple and yet very important to "feeling" your way down the hill. Find a safe spot and practice gliding wedges with your eyes closed. This will give you a good lesson on feeling your feet/skis without looking at them.

"May the force be in your mind and not your skis."<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Floyd (edited August 28, 2001).]</FONT>
post #7 of 10
Floyd, good post. I agree with the feeling what your doing concept. It's interesting, this summer in France our Italian instructor was good friends with the coach of Isolde Kostner. He sometimes has her ski with scratched up goggles to work on feeling the terrain and perceiving her movements.
(Talk about a character- the dude smokes while he skis! uses no poles- maybe it interfers with the smoking lol!)
post #8 of 10
After his slalom victory in Grenolbe over Karl Schranz in the fog, Killy was asked how he could ski the course without seeing. His answer was "the intelligence of the feet"

By the way Tog, I watched Helmut Giradelli put out a butt in his son's salad plate in, and down a shot in Keystone one November before they hit the hill.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Tog, the brainwashing refers to students who take both my Pilates and my Step classes, and know that good alignment does not end in the Pilates class.

Michelle, that is a "Chicken or Egg" question. Some yes. some no. But if someone does all their physical training with their butt hanging out behind them, well........

Floyd, cool, now I know who you are!
I cured myself of the looking down at the snow syndrome once an instructor explained to me that that was why I was getting motion sickness!

Tog, this reminds me of the conversation we had in the Boston Common on Sunday about my skiing better in whiteouts. If I can't see how scary it is, I'm less likely to bring about the Uh Oh Syndrome.

Glad you made it home okay!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #10 of 10
Motion sickness! Cool. Now you are educating me. I like it when a plan comes together! This is one I had never heard of before. "Don't look down because you will get motion sicknees!" Now that I think about it I felt queezy to the tummy when I looked down skiing in a whiteout. I also tend to look at the surface around me when I am on anything REALLY steep.

Great question. Made me think!

"May the force be in your mind and not in your skis."<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Floyd (edited August 29, 2001).]</FONT>
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