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Anyone else turn better to one side? - Page 2

post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by majortato View Post

bud, I completely agree with the importance of being properly aligned.  I think in most cases, it would help tremendously. 

 

However, I think you underestimate how much our natural tendencies have regarding the use of our legs, regardless of alignment.  boot alignment can only bandaid our inperfect bodies.  The fact is, it doesn't fix the problem...a problem people have dealt with all their lives.  We don't have the perfect footbeds in our street shoes, or the canting strips on the bottom of our normal footwear.  We have to deal with these on a daily basis, and our bodies naturally adjust and develop slightly different muscles so that we can walk and run normally.  The result is one leg being better equipped to deal with certain situations than others.  One leg is stronger than the other, one leg has better balance, one leg can make finer movements, etc.  Also, there's just naturally a leg we like more, just like a natural hand (right/left) we use to do things.  All these show up in skiing, whether you are aligned properly or not.

 

The point is, alignment is important to get the most out of your equipment, but don't expect alignment to fix everything.  You will still have to deal with learning how to compensate for having certain preferences on one side of your body.


Can you back that statement up factually?  or admit it is only your perception of the facts?

 

In many cases it does fix the problem if the problem is misalignment, and many if not most times, it is an alignment problem.  I agree there are some cases where skiers have physiological issues unrelated to equipment whether that is muscular imbalances or asymmetric ranges of motion, or whatever.  I have assessed thousands of skiers' alignment over the past twenty years so I have a pretty good grasp on the real life results of what I do.

 

Certainly, eliminating the easiest fixes first (proper alignment) will isolate and minimize any other issues one may have.  Again it amazes me how many people seek to marginalize the benefits of proper alignment.  It is because they are influenced by boot fitters or instructor/coaches/mentors who haven't got a clue about doing alignment work so they marginalize it to hide their ignorance and their customers/students believe them.  Too bad.....

 

I doubt there is one elite skier who isn't either naturally aligned perfectly or has had his/her alignment dialed in.  Top athletes spend a lot of effort to dial in their stance alignment!  Why do you think this is?....  Why would anyone spend money on lessons/coaching without eliminating the number most important hurdle to skiing improvement?   People spend a couple thousand bucks on skis and boots but cheap out on a couple hundred dollars for the final customization to optimize their skiing performance???  How much is your recreational time worth?

 

You have to ask yourself, am I skiing to look good in my outfit and be cool or just enjoy the fresh air or......do I really want to become a good skier?


The facts are in simple geometry.  What exactly can happen in alignment?  you can raise the inside/outside and fore/aft of the boot (canting).  you can change the angle of the foot relative to the lower leg when it's in the boot (cuff alignment).  You can fix foot support and raise inside/outside and fore/aft of the foot inside the boot (footbed and footboard).  With the right combination of those 3, you can do quite a bit to get certain things lined up like knee to center of foot and proper fore/aft balance, etc. 

 

However, the discrepancies between left/right side of body is not that simple.  There can be many many differences, however slight they are, at the hips, knees, shoulders, anywhere.  Can alignment fix the fact that my right fibula is curved slightly differently than my left fibula?  Can alignment change the fact that if I sit down and stretch out a leg to one side, I can touch my right toe, but not my left due to different flexibility?  Can alignment change the differences in my left/right hip joints?  Also, my left foot pronates more than my right foot.  A proper footbed can only help give the left foot some of the support it needs in a specific position, but it does not fix the problem.  Our feet have 26 bones in them.  All these play an important role in our balance.  Our feet are constantly making minute adjustments to keep us standing up on 2 legs.  The bottom of our feet are not static, they are constantly changing shape depending on how we pressure the feet.  Unless the footbed can automatically and constantly adjust to that, there would be no way for the footbed to provide me with the proper support in all situations.  The best we can do is create a footbed that provides decent support in most situations.  The list of things that can't be fixed by alignment goes on.   The human body is amazingly complex...its a joke to think that things can be fixed by just adding a few cant strips here and there.

 

Point is, alignment is helpful and useful and I recommend people to get it (I did it).  Every little bit counts.  But it is not the end all solution.  There's no such thing as "perfect alignment" only "best alignment possible for a certain person".  The differences in our physiques play a much bigger role in determining how we make our turns one way or the other.  No amount of alignment is going to change the fact that my right leg is stronger, or that I have better balance on my right leg, or I have better control in my right leg.  You don't think any of these things will creep into my skiing as long as I'm aligned properly?  I guarantee I will play favorites regardless of how I'm aligned.

 

I still go back to the snowboard argument.  Would you say that if you got a snowboarder properly aligned, all the sudden they would be just as comfortable riding switch as they do normal?  I don't think so.  Even at the highest levels, snowboarders still have a preference to which side they put out front.  The same goes for skiing, there will always be a preference.  The best we can do is realize the differences and train to reduce weaknesses on certain sides of our body and consciously make an effort to not let our preferences cause us to rely on one of our legs more than we should.

post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

Perhaps we could have you come to an ESA event to give a talk sometime in the future?!  I would definitely like to explore more with you on how this all fits together!



I would definitely be interested in that. I'll touch base with you mid-next week once I've had a chance to check out your site and will share some of the insights I have. I've got some video of the ski show presentation that I gave that I still have to edit, but that should provide you some more specifics of my thoughts on the functional assessment+correction side. Once I get it edited! I need a few more hours in the day...

 

Great topic.

 

Elsbeth

post #33 of 38

I agree with others that the cause may not be entirely structural.  I've got a weak left turn, too--which improves, even at my intermediate level of skiing, when I'm more aggressive on steeper groomed hills.  I'm not surprised, because my hips and legs get out of alignment while standing or walking, but if I engage my core at all they even up enough to change my stance.  If I get lazy and slouch along, my right hip clicks and my right foot turns out.  I think engaging my core connects my pelvis to my upper body, where my strength and flexibility is more balanced, and that more aggressive skiing forces me to engage my core to accomplish the same thing.

 

My old PT (magic man who helped my rehab from a right shoulder cartilage repair 8 years ago) said the cause was probably old habits I developed to compensate for old sports and back injuries, as well as structural issues, such as a right foot that's bigger than my left (a common condition).  Among other things, all of this causes a tight right IT band (runs on the outside of the thigh to connect the iliac crest with the knee), a twist in my pelvis, and a flatter arch in my right foot.  Even periodically doing part of Ted's home program triggers my body memory to keep everything engaged (after all those years of off-season training I'm practically allergic to the gym).

 

I'd consider consulting with a well-certified sports PT to check your stance and gait to see if you can improve at least part of your problem with training.  Now that I think about it, I like the one-legged drill suggestions above and will start working them into my warm-ups on the hill, as well as add more core strengthening work at home.  After Sundance is over, I'll also check with good old Ted in at Alpine Sports Medicine to see if I should adjust the home program to include drills to help my skiing.

post #34 of 38

Almost all right handed people can balance significantly better on their left leg.

 

This is normal and something adjustments to your boots is unlikely to change.

 

Your left turns will improve with practice. Make lots of turns. Model your left turns on your right turns. Ski short turns, keeping a steady rhythm will help develop symmetry. Start and finish your runs with left turns.

post #35 of 38

1 -  Nearly all racers I work with have one side that is better than the other

 

2 -  Bud has given you much useful advice

 

Start at the feet and work up. If your boots are not aligned any other attempt to fix the imbalance is for naught.

post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by evaino View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

Perhaps we could have you come to an ESA event to give a talk sometime in the future?!  I would definitely like to explore more with you on how this all fits together!



I would definitely be interested in that. I'll touch base with you mid-next week once I've had a chance to check out your site and will share some of the insights I have. I've got some video of the ski show presentation that I gave that I still have to edit, but that should provide you some more specifics of my thoughts on the functional assessment+correction side. Once I get it edited! I need a few more hours in the day...

 

Great topic.

 

Elsbeth


I look forward to it!  thanks 

post #37 of 38

I'm rehashing an old thread here, but thought this would be the best place to post a copy of my functional assessment for skiers video.

 

I think I mentioned it in the thread. This is how I assess a skier's functional movement.

 

 

 

Based on this, corrective exercises would be provided. How well they succeed in correcting problems will partly depend on how long the issue has existed and whether or not the issue is functional or structural. If its a structural problem, this will still help, but the result will be limited.

 

The cool part is that if the problem is functional and hasn't been there for a long time, it can get fixed VERY fast. Like a couple of weeks. And because it is fixing the problem, the result is noticeable in other activities as well. 

 

Elsbeth

 

post #38 of 38

This is an old thread and probably everyone has long forgotten about it. I lost my left ACL years ago and decided against knee reconstruction. This was the obvious reason for my asymmetric turning. I also had some tendency to A-frame. I had my boots fitted by a professional fitter but in my case it wasn't helping much. About two years ago I designed a carving ski simulator (rollercarvers) that I use to stay in shape and prepare for the snow. This thing is ruthless in picking up things such as A-frame and asymmetric turns but it also helped me to get rid of these problems. The A-frame was a matter of working harder my inside knee which I had to do as there is no way to turn other than by rolling both knees to practically the same extent. I noticed that the asymmetric turn was also correlated with the fact that I could balance better on rollercarvers on my left leg than on the right one so I started making one-legged rides. I recently gave rollercarvers to a freestyle coach Mitch Smith who used to run the Air & Style Program at the Falls Creek resort in Australia. He made exactly the same observation and wrote in his e-mail:

 

"I found I got great feedback from the Rollercarver and was quickly able to

identify my age old habit of being able to turn to the left better than right. On snow I am able
to overcome this by cheating a little and sliding the ski. On the Rollercarver on bitumen this
isn’t possible so I needed to correct myself and apply textbook technique to get my right turn
better. As soon as I did, I was grinning from ear to ear as the Rollercarver enabled me to
correct and begin matching perfect turns."
 
I posted Mitch's video in another thread but here it is again. You can see that whenever he loses his balance a bit it's always when he initiates his right turn. It was his first long run after about 15 minutes of playing with the gear in a car parking lot.
 
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