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Matching Feet? - Page 2

post #31 of 44
Yeah, there should be as much tip lead as there is counter in the hips.

The week I spent with Shawn Smith was really interesting and informative. We spent the entire week working with stance/balance/alignment. He brought his laptop with him, and he had women's WC runs loaded on it, and a piece of software to do some detailed analysis. He really likes to study where racing is going, and how it relates to what recreational skiers do. He actually goes to some of the races and sits in the tv trailer and talks with a lot of the coaches of various national teams.

The focus of what we were talking about at the time was a strong, anatomical position over the outside ski. But as we would watch a turn where the skier was turning toward the camera, you would see the huge tip lead on the inside ski, and how far behind it the skier was. When we asked about this, Shawn's response was that racers need to do some things that are not all that efficient in the name of speed. If we talk about it in PSIA terms of Centerline, this is as far off to one side of that line as you can get. therefore, we would expect some aspects of the turn to be different from what we do in normal, recreational skiing. It's true that WC racing tends to lead where recreational skiing is going, and is usually a year or more ahead because they are developing newer, more efficient and powerful techniques, but just because they do something in their skiing that makes them faster, does not necessarily mean we should be doing it while cruising the groomers or skiing bumps or powder. Yeah, if you are trying to shave hundredths of a second off a run on race-hard snow, then you probably want to emulate them as closely as possible. The real trick is to be able to know when any why to use a certain technique, and have the ability to do it when you want.
post #32 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by JohnH:
[QB]Yeah, there should be as much tip lead as there is counter in the hips.

Exactly John, you've got the idea. In the saying "Don't get the cart before the horse" this should be viewed as counter rotation is the horse and tip lead is the cart. Counter is utilized to achieve the amount of hip angulation necessary for any particular turn. The greater the forces encountered (as dictated by the amount of speed and degree of edge) the the more counter required.
As David has explaned in his analysis of walking, when a step forward is taken the hips do not stay orientated to the direction of travel but instead rotate toward to side of the rearward foot. This principle of coarse works inversly. If the hip is countered the foot wants to move correspondingly. That is the basis of the horse and cart analysis I use. The hip (the horse) is purposely moved to accomplish a goal, the foot (the cart) just follows along. In training drills pushing the inside foot forward can be used as a task to introduce or enhance counter rotation skills, but in high level skiing foot position for the most part is not the skiers focus.
post #33 of 44
Fastman, yes the walk mechanism in the pelvis drives inside tip lead. Since a lot of readers do not seem to understand why I am stressing the importance of the center of force in the outside foot being under the ball I am going to start a separate thread later today or tomorrow called ‘Edging/Platform Mechanics’ that will explain how forces act on the ski.

The mechanics of hip drive are tied to the mechanics of the edging/platform underfoot. If you were to take a hypothetical slice across the ski where the ball of the foot sits (I said ‘hypothetical slice’) you would see that the foot is actually supported on an elevated platform. When the ski is on edge the edge underfoot (at the waist) becomes a pivot point for the platform to rotate about much like a teeter-tooter. When the skier weights the new outside ski of a turn s/he has to create forces that act to tip the ski into the hill. How the skier creates these forces determines what will happen as the skier comes across the hill. This is what I will show in the new thread.

As the skier comes across the hill the forces that act to tip the ski away from the hill will increase. The skier must counter these forces by increasing the forces that tip the ski into the hill. If the skier has caused the ski to tip into the hill with force under the foot then they must increase this force as the external forces increase. How? By using the forces acting to drive the foot down into the snow as a buttress or anchor to wind the pelvis around the outside leg. This action tips the foot harder into the hill and positions CM more aggressively in terms of driving the foot down in to the snow and into the hill.

To make this work the skier must set up the mechanics when the external forces are low and then use the external forces to solidify the platform and increase the forces that drive the foot into the hill. The skier does this by using the platform as an anchor point to rotate the pelvis about while progressively increasing flexion at the waist to use CM to load the foot. It is the muscle tension that pelvis rotation creates that drives the foot (an exaggerated form of the walking mechanism). The harder the skier rotates the pelvis the greater the tip lead. This is what counter rotation is about.

I hope I have explained this so it can be understood. I will get to forces on the ski later on the new thread.
post #34 of 44
I have as yet experienced the need to intentially counter my pelvis to get my skis to hold as they turn across the hill. I get the job done by simply increasing the intensity, and duration, with which I roll my feet to edge my skis (even as I may soften my legs to manage the increasingly compounded forces). I'd allow that what you suggest "doing" need only be allowed to be "recruited" as an effect of the kinetic chain engaged via the activity of the feet. It is not an activity that needs to be "caused" in normal skiing. Maybe WC racers gain extra the purchase they require in the mega energy environment of WC downhill racing, but for our application it simply needs to be allowed, if the body genus determines it necessary, not caused. I'd contend that using a primary focus of movment at the hips to create an effect at the feet is a very inefficient, although very traditional, approach to skiing. What you describe could be considered a compensating movement for not tipping the feet with enough intensity, or duration, to invoke an appropriate effect further up the chain.

Cause only what you need to, allow all that you can.
post #35 of 44
David,
Pretty sure I'm comprehending what your saying and it sounds like were on the same wavelength with this. We are just approaching our explanations from different places. The edge as a pivoting teeter tauter (I assume you mean lateral pivot) with the the skier dictating how the ski travels by how he moves his CM in relation to that pivot point, a
post #36 of 44
David,
Pretty sure I'm comprehending what your saying and it sounds like were on the same wavelength with this. We are just approaching our explanations from different places. The edge as a pivoting teeter tauter (I assume you mean lateral pivot) with the the skier dictating how the ski travels by how he moves his CM in relation to that pivot point, and rotating around the foot to affect degree of edge and allow for forward hip flexion is spot on. And I very much like your idea of establishing the pivot platform early when forces are low and then building on them from there.

Some thoughts for you and others:

* For this whole ball of wax to work the skier must have highly developed edging skills (the ability to carve clean arcs). When the clean edge carve is lost and steering occurs there is an immediate centrifigal force meltdown, CM must be moved back toward the skis, and new rotational techniques are incorporated.

* David, do your therories allow for the fact that these principles can be achieved with center of pressure over the heel of the foot as well as the ball? This is a technique utilized very effectively for speed purposes.

* Does weighting both feet during the turn conflict with your therories? With the increase in forces resulting from the new ski sidecuts this is something racers have begun doing to help deal with them by distributing them over two platforms instead of one.
post #37 of 44
Fastman: David, Pretty sure I'm comprehending what your saying and it sounds like were on the same wavelength with this. We are just approaching our explanations from different places. The edge as a pivoting teeter tauter (I assume you mean lateral pivot) with the the skier dictating how the ski travels by how he moves his CM in relation to that pivot point, and rotating around the foot to affect degree of edge and allow for forward hip flexion is spot on. And I very much like your idea of establishing the pivot platform early when forces are low and then building on them from there.
DM: Yes, we are on the same path. Lateral means outside, which would mean downhill edge. So, I would rather use a term like 'inside' or medial edge, whatever works best for everyone.

Fastman:
* For this whole ball of wax to work the skier must have highly developed edging skills (the ability to carve clean arcs). When the clean edge carve is lost and steering occurs there is an immediate centrifigal force meltdown, CM must be moved back toward the skis, and new rotational techniques are incorporated.
DM: Edging skills means the ability to tip the ski into the hill and then (really important) multiply the tipping force. To do this a skier must be able to load the mechanical point of the foot that is furthermost into the turn; the ball of the foot. And they must have the mechanical relation with the ski edge to make it work. However, once you lose it as described the game (or turn if you wish) is over. I will get into this on the new thread I proposed.

Fastman
* David, do your therories allow for the fact that these principles can be achieved with center of pressure over the heel of the foot as well as the ball? This is a technique utilized very effectively for speed purposes.
DM: No, the effect is different as are the mechanics. When the center of pressure is under the heel it is on the outside turn aspect of the ski edge. So, edging uses into the turn cuff force. This is why speed event skiers don't use counter rotation in long high speed turns. What you are describing involves steering and edging off the back of the ski and it is faster. If that is your goal do it. But the skill level of a world class downhiller or Super G skier is far beyond that of the recreational level skier. WC racers can ski like this in high speed turns with control.

Fastman* Does weighting both feet during the turn conflict with your therories? With the increase in forces resulting from the new ski sidecuts this is something racers have begun doing to help deal with them by distributing them over two platforms instead of one.
DM: No, it doesn't work. You end up with 2 unstable platforms which are prone to loss of edge angle. The skier must then respond with increased inclination. In some races this can work despite the limitations. But the physical math of the forces is a losing proposition. More angulation than the external forces require is never good.
post #38 of 44
FastMan, JohnH & David M

Thanks for the explanations. I think I understand how the extreme edging requires that the inside leg "moves out of the way".

I am not sure I get the exchange below. We see two footed action all the time, so there must be some advantage there. We all agree that "two-footed" does not necessarily mean 50-50 load, but dismissing the advantage of a strong inside foot is hard to understand.

Fastman* Does weighting both feet during the turn conflict with your therories? With the increase in forces resulting from the new ski sidecuts this is something racers have begun doing to help deal with them by distributing them over two platforms instead of one.
DM: No, it doesn't work. You end up with 2 unstable platforms which are prone to loss of edge angle. The skier must then respond with increased inclination. In some races this can work despite the limitations. But the physical math of the forces is a losing proposition. More angulation than the external forces require is never good.
post #39 of 44
John H is dead on when he states that there should be as much ski tip lead, as there is counter in the hips/ pelvis. That tells me he is "stacked" accurately.

Fastman uses the term counter-rotation, which it is not. CR is a turning force. What JH is referring to is a relative position between the torso and the skis. And to achieve this position, you steer, or guide to the counter by turning the feet/legs under a stable body. You do NOT "counter" to a counter (ie- move the torso in the opposite direction to the intended turn) to achieve this position.

Another aspect of counter in contemporary skiing- you don't want TOO much counter. If you do, the physiological strength of the body is actually reduced. The higher speeds, and tighter turns seen being executed by WC racers, will results in greater inward movements, as previously stated. This in turn creates greater counter/ tip lead. But again, use only the amount necessary, no more.

:
post #40 of 44
Yup! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #41 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by vail snopro:

Fastman uses the term counter-rotation, which it is not. CR is a turning force. What JH is referring to is a relative position between the torso and the skis. And to achieve this position, you steer, or guide to the counter by turning the feet/legs under a stable body. You do NOT "counter" to a counter (ie- move the torso in the opposite direction to the intended turn) to achieve this position.

Fastman responds:

Snowpro, don't get your panties all in a bunch over semantics. In my teaching methodology I use the term counter rotation to describe the moving of the body into position orientated to the outside of the arc of the turn because it best describes the action. I do not, nor did I imply in my description it be used as a tool for redirectiong the ski. The context in which you describe the term (a turning force) is an antiquated technigue that was born in the days of straight, long, skis and used as a means of compensating for the limited functionality of the equipment. Todays sidecuts make the technique of little necessity and I feel the usage of the term in such context should be driven into obscurity along with the equipment it road in on. To continue to promote these inefficient techniques does no service to the skiing public. This is not the first time in the history of skiing that equipment has changed the face of efficient skiing (remember Stein with his feet locked, and Stenmark with his predominant use of knee angulation) and there are always the dinosars with their feet stuck in the mud who resist the change, clinging to the past, but as the dinosars they must eventially either evolve or fade out of existance.

As to your comment on how a countered position is aquired, if you turn your feet under a stable body you are performing steered or pivoted initiation to the turn, you are not executing clean arc to arc turns as I was trying to describe in my responce to the question on the turns made by world cup racers. Yes they do sometimes begin the turn with a pivot, depending on the set of the course, but the goal is always arc to arc. And if you rotate the legs counter to the direction of travel you have in my mind counter rotated, at least it makes sence to my students. Also if you read my posts a little more closely you will find I said nothing of countering the torso but differentiated between the counter rotation in the lower body and the orientation of the upper body down the falline, has to be or you will quickly find yourself on your heels and inside ski, if not on you butt. And furthermore I spoke of graduating process of the counter rotation as higher edge angles were actively developed.

Distorting my comments just adds confusion to the educational purpose of this forum. "Counter productive"
post #42 of 44
Fastman, I am aligned with your views on counter rotation.

TomB has raised an issue re my statement on weighting both feet. I said:
"DM: No, it doesn't work. You end up with 2 unstable platforms, which are prone to loss of edge angle. The skier must then respond with increased inclination. In some races this can work despite the limitations. But the physical math of the forces is a losing proposition. More angulation than the external forces require is never good".

This statement needs qualification. It depends on what one means by ‘weighting both feet’. If it means simply standing with CM somewhere between the outside and inside feet then my statement is valid. However, if it means committing CM to the outside foot and then having some weight on the inside foot then it is not valid. What’s the difference?

Standing with CM between the two feet does not produce what I call a ‘clean edge’. The reason for this is that there are 2 forces applied by the body acting on the feet. There is one force applied under the foot and a second force applied into the hill with the leg pressing on the boot cuff. In this situation the force under the feet will be on the outside turn aspect of the inside edge of both skis. The force expressed on the cuff will act on the inside turn aspect of the inside edge of both skis. In effect, the two forces are acting in opposition to each other. Since I define balance as "a reflex response that brings the stability of ground up to the pelvis" then balance is ultimately a ground war that takes place between the foot and the snow. Force applied by the leg to the cuff is essentially an air war.

Earlier Fastman has concluded that in order to rotate or ‘wind up’ the pelvis as I have described a skier needs to be able to carve a clean turn. Using the boot cuff as a primary mechanism to overcome or correct the balance destabilizing forces acting under the foot produces what I call a 'dirty edge'. A dirty edge results in the ski percussing the snow. A dead give away here is splashes of snow emanating from the edge of either one or both skis.

I am not saying that there is no force applied to the inside turn aspect of cuff of the outside leg only that the force is small compared to the force underfoot. The situation with the uphill leg is different. Here edging force applied by the leg is necessary because there will be 2 opposing forces generated by the skier acting on the ski edge. However, this will result in a clean edge because stability is transferred to the inside leg through the pelvis from the outside leg.

In terms of the winding mechanism of the outside leg that serves to rotates the pelvis it is essential that the foot be rotated on its long axis into the hill and that the center of force be under the ball of the foot. The second strongest area of pressure must be under the heel and to the inside turn aspect. Again, I am not saying that there is no pressure under the rest of the foot. Clearly there is. But it is very secondary compared to the 2 key points.

Starting from a basic diagonal neutral position where the inside foot is slightly ahead of the outside foot the skier bends forward from the waist on the diagonal line across the toes. They then relax both ankles lightly to increase dorsiflexion with the inside ankle dorsiflexing more than the outside leg. This starts the pelvis rotating on an axis about the ankle of the outside leg. In this action the pelvis moves forward while rotating about the ankle so that the torso moves towards the outside of the turn. Resistive tension must be maintained in the ankle of the outside foot. As the tension in the pelvis progressively increases you should feel the outside foot rolling up onto the inside aspect of the heel and ball of the foot. The uphill knee should also be driven into the hill through the pelvis, creating an edge match with the outside ski. You should feel strong tension in the cheek of the inside leg. This may be why some skiers think of the inside leg as the strong leg in a turn.

Now try and reproduce this action by just standing between your two feet with no emphasis on weighting the ball of your outside foot. It probably feels like you are constipated. If so, then this is the right feeling.

Insofar as not wanting to get into technical issues in depth I would suggest that if you are an instructor you would do well to do exactly this. As nolo has alluded to earlier the safety factor in using your body as I have described vs. standing with CM between your skis is in the order of hundreds of percent safer, perhaps as high as 1000% safer in terms of protecting the body from injurious stress. This is hardly insignificant. I have volumes of research to substantiate this claim. Ignoring these issues, whether intended or not, tends to send a message that you do not care about your client's safety.
post #43 of 44
I'm late getting into this thread (off skiing last week - YEA!! , but just a couple comments:

The problem with the Craig article is that he paints a very static picture and gives the wrong message to skiers who are trying to improve, but for whatever reason don't get enough quality instruction to put the whole thing into context. I'm not taking potshots at the guy - he's not the first ski "professional" to give this advice, but I can tell you from personal experience that these little tidbits can get the skier way off track.

Regarding Nolo's "gas pedal" image for tip lead: A few years ago while trying to manage my excessive inside tip lead (which I thought was a good thing because it helped me face downhill! See what focusing on a "position" or movement in isolation does?!), I tried driving the outside ski to "catch up". It seemed to work, but I didn't have any professional eyes at the time to tell me if it was making me do something else weird. I've also tried holding the inside ski back and the "flex the toes" exercise that Jonlaw and others have discussed - both worked regarding tip lead. I'm looking forward to the ACADEMY to work on this and find the most effective way!!

As always, thanks to you pros for your insights. Just to hear the different perspectives on an issue is so helpful.
post #44 of 44
SusieSki:I've also tried holding the inside ski back and the "flex the toes" exercise that Jonlaw and others have discussed - both worked regarding tip lead.

DM: Flex the toes? Yikes! Careful with this sort of advice Susie. Doing things like this can mess up your balance big time. This is one of those dumb band aid solutions that does nothing to stop the source of bleeding.
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