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Question about Front pump Drill and or knee bend drill - Page 2
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Thread: Question about Front pump Drill and or knee bend drill

  1. #11
    Moderator Snow Sport InstructorSkier Village Coach LiquidFeet's Avatar
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    Toby, I'll add confusion to the issue.

    A few years back when I didn't ski nearly as well as I thought I did, people kept telling me I needed softer boots so I could flex them. I finally got softer boots. About the time I got those boots, I figured out how to make boots flex. Low and behold, it wasn't the boots. It had been my technique, or lack of it, that was causing all the problems. So I had brand new boots which were now too soft.

    If you were able to flex those boots in 7 degrees at any point last night, then they are probably not too stiff for you. It might be that when you are skiing your feet are too far in front of your hips for you to flex them.

    You need to move the feet back behind the hips if you are ever going to flex the boots as you ski. Simply bending the knees won't do it, like it will in the shop.

  2. #12
    Hi LiquidFeet. Thank you for the reply. What you said makes sense and perhaps I was doing something different in my technique last night. Probably something to do with the specific ski drills I was practicing. Let me focus on those drills again this week and I will keep you posted...

    Thanks again!

    Toby

  3. #13
    Hi LiquidFeet. I am recalling what I did different. When I forced my hands further forward I could feel my boots flexing. When I pulled my hands back I lost that sensation. Maybe the act of forcing my hands further forward is causing my hips to move forward more without realizing it? I can't imagine just placing my hands further forward alone would cause this..

    Toby

  4. #14
    Moderator Snow Sport InstructorSkier Village Coach LiquidFeet's Avatar
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    Arms weigh something. They have a big effect, more than you think.

    I have a feeling your are farther back than you think, and this is messing with everything you do. Keep your arms and hands forward as if you were holding a cafeteria tray, elbows in front of jacket side-seams, 100% of the time.

    Shins should come up out of the boots at a forward tilt, not straight up. Look at others while riding the lift. Find those whose shins are forward-tilted and compare their skiing to those whose shins are 90 degrees to their skis. You can feel when you are doing this; it's not like walking and running, you must muscularly keep your ankles closed so there is tongue-shin contact 100% of the time. This takes getting used to; it's not normal nor natural outside of skiing.

    Spine should be tilted forward to match the shin tilt. Same tilt angle! I can't feel when I'm doing this. I have to ask others. Maybe you can feel your spine's tilt.

    That leaves the thighs, from knees to hips. That angle is the primary one you mess with as you deal with fore-aft balance. If you lift your hips while not messing with the shin/spine angles, the thighs will get more vertical. This you can feel. This verticality is what gets you forward, and what allows your boots to flex as the forces grow... because much of your weight will be in front of the boot cuff.

    If you move your hips down, that thigh angle gets more horizontal, as in sitting back. This you can feel too; if you move the hips down enough, you'll find yourself tilting your spine forward more than your shins in order to stay "balanced." While riding the chair, find people whose thigh angles are close to horizontal, and whose spines are tilted far forward, way more than their shins which will be mostly vertical. This is the dreaded beginner "crouch" that feels so secure, but limits people's skiing in so many ways. Vestiges of this crouch can persist into intermediatehood.

    Put a mental surveillance monitor on that thigh tilt, another on the ankle to see if it's closing to get that shin tilt and shin-tongue pressure, and another surveillance monitor on your spine's tilt, and a last monitor on those arms. Keep checking those four monitors in succession as you make turns on a run. You can't check four monitors at once; check the ankle monitor on your first two turns, the thigh monitor on the next two turns, then the spine, and last the arms, then repeat. Closed ankles, thigh tilt, spine tilt, arms forward, repeat.

    I find setting up such sequences helps me work on more than one thing at a time.

    Let me know if this helps.
    Last edited by LiquidFeet; February 6th, 2014 at 09:22 PM.

  5. #15

    Mirroring your shin and spine while changing different states of balance

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    I cannot explain the biomechanical reason for spine tilt needing to match shin tilt. It does put your chest weight over the front of the ski for sure, however, and if you watch good skiers their torsos are not vertical but tilted forward (except when skiing bumps a certain way).
    HI liquidFeet,


    without boots on I tried mirroring my shin and spine angles at home, and I discovered that the only way to do it was to hold myself up against a wall, suggesting this movement puts you in a heavily fore balanced stance. I assume this is what most people would experience? And is it possible while holding these mirrored angles to hold a centered and or aft balanced stance as well?


    Thanks very much,

    Toby
    Last edited by Toby; February 13th, 2014 at 09:27 PM.

  6. #16
    Hi LiquidFeet,

    1. Last night I realized that even when I keep my hands out in front, they were not always in my field of view. Tells me maybe my hands were too low and simply not far enough in front (elbows at sides perhaps) On a side note, I spoke to an ex ski coach who mentioned that keeping your hands out in front is perhaps more a mental issue. Without the hands in front, a person tends to shy away from moving forward because they have no way of stopping themselves from falling on their face if they were to lose balance for example. While this probably wont happen on skis, the concept is still ingrained in our subconscious. Interesting concept, and while it makes sense, I don't know if its true or not.

    2. Shins. Being that I use a booster strap, technically they always seem to stay in contact with the tongues, but I'm guess you mean there should be a slight pressure on them at all times even if I'm not moving my com forward? From my recollection, my shins tend to stay mostly centered in the boot, so this is something I can work on..

    3. I had my boots slightly softened up last week. I had it done mostly because of the cold weather. Between this and concentrating on lightly pressuring the cuffs all the time this should help keep me forward.

    Thank you for the detailed information on stance. I never heard of keeping your spine at the same angle as the shins, and while I can visually see this, can you explain the bio mechanical reason behind it?

    Thank you very much..

    Toby
    Last edited by Toby; February 13th, 2014 at 04:48 AM.

  7. #17
    Moderator Snow Sport InstructorSkier Village Coach LiquidFeet's Avatar
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    I cannot explain the biomechanical reason for spine tilt needing to match shin tilt. It does put your chest weight over the front of the ski for sure, however, and if you watch good skiers their torsos are not vertical but tilted forward (except when skiing bumps a certain way).

    This has been a theme coming from PSIA's national team -- getting people to tilt their torsos accurately. Mat Boyd told us last season that the team spent an entire two days trying to get the spine tilt dialed in so it matched the shins. B-O-R-I-N-G for them, because they were going real slow and doing it over and over, but it bears fruit. Beyond getting you forward and thus using the fronts of your skis, I can't say what else is good about it. Oh, psychologically, it means you are heading downhill head first; i.e., you mean it and are not hesitant about skiing downhill.

    Another thought -- people sitting back will tilt their torsos too much, as if using a walker. Some skiers who stand vertical will tilt their whole bodies backwards (uphill) at the end of the turn, and they lean their whole body inside as they start their turns. All these are inhibiting better skiing.

  8. #18

    Follow up question on mirroring shin and spine angles

    Hi LiquidFeet,

    Without boots on I tried mirroring my shin and spine angle at home, but I discovered that the only way to do it was to hold myself up against a wall, suggesting that this movement puts me in a heavily fore balanced state. I assume this is what most people would experience?

    Also, while trying to maintain these mirrored shine and spine angles, is it possible to have a centered or aft balanced stance? My thinking is that even if it was possible, it probably wouldn't be very efficient?

    Thanks very much

  9. #19
    Moderator Snow Sport InstructorSkier Village Coach LiquidFeet's Avatar
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    If your shins are tilted forward a bit, and your spine is also tilted forward the same bit, but your hips are waaaaaaay back because you've got your thighs horizontal, you might be aft. It's all relative. Experiment on skis and see how your skis behave.

    I can stand barefoot in front of a mirror in the house right now with shin and spine angles somewhat forward, and I don't need to hold onto the wall. My thigh is tilted back a bit, and I'm balanced in that all-purpose "athletic stance" that people are always talking about.

  10. #20
    Hi LiquidFeet,

    Thanks for the reply. Hopefully this week I will make it up for a day on the bunny slopes for some training. I will definitely play around with the stance and see how it goes. Sounds like I may just be putting myself in an exaggerated position at home without realizing it...

    Thanks,,,,

    Toby

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