Author Topic: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.  (Read 3681 times)

jim-ratliff

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2012, 09:00:56 pm »
An observation and a question.  PMTS emphasizes pulling the feet back to get the hips forward, and that this pull-back is by the hamstrings.  At the lesson with Bob Hintermeister I was rocking fore and aft and asked. He said that I was using my anterior tibialis, not hamstrings. They also have a drill called "flappers" to use the hamstrings to pull the tail of the ski off the ground (I have a strong dislike for this drill!!).

Question. Why is the hamstring the preferred muscle?  Just because it's largerstronger?   
Epic/BW, what do you use/teach to accomplish this fore-aft change in balance?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 09:03:29 pm by jim-ratliff »
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HeluvaSkier

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2012, 10:09:18 pm »
I am a little surprised by Helluva's statement that lateral ( side to side ) balance is poor.

Just because they aren't falling over doesn't mean they are properly balanced laterally and not relying on two-footed stability to keep them upright. Take high edge angle turns for example - lots of skiers, racers, recreational skiers, and good instructors alike can ski with high edge angles. The question you have to ask is how many are relying on the inside ski for a significant amount of support? How many are just grinding away on a highly edge outside ski without extracting much performance out of that ski? The answer is... pretty much everyone. That is why outside of high level racing it is rare to see high edge angle carves where neither of the skier's feet are under them. This is also why, when a skier finally starts to learn this, their edge angles decrease for a given turn radius... they are using the ski. Do you need the above to be a good skier? No... but you need it to be a great skier. Anyone interested in being better than "good enough" should pay attention.
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Svend

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2012, 10:14:52 pm »
I do think there is a differenece between not being back and being forward. For certain types of skiing not being back is enough, but to tighten the arc of a ski and bend the tips and the whole ski there is only one position that will get this result. You have to be way forward (hips in front of the boots) at the start of the high C. Any other position will produce a wider arc and a ski that will not bend. Few people at resorts know how or are able to do this. Everyone on the WC comes close to doing it on every turn. Some races are won by the guy that manages his fore aft balance the best (is the most forward at the start of every turn).

Good to have you say that, John.  I recall arguing this point several months ago with someone here (can't remember who) regarding the supposed impossibility of getting a ski with a stated turn radius to make an arc of a smaller radius without skidding.  My position was that it most certainly is possible, using exactly the technique you described above.  Takes some effort, particularly with a stiff ski, but it's not difficult.  Thanks for the verification.


jbotti

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2012, 10:44:36 pm »
john: I always assumed that WC skiing was even more subtle -- that a key was knowing/feeling how much pressure was needed in each turn for the amount of ski bend required for the turn radius desired.  But this is, for sure, way beyond my pay grade.

As my good riend Thor Kallerud (former Mens Head Technical  Coach for US Ski Team) "there is no room in WC racing for the skier to get back even slightly for even a mllisecond in the upper part of the arc."

Look at WC Slalom skiing and take it down into slow mo and watch where the fast guys (Hirscher) is at the top of every arc. They are crazy forward.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 10:52:18 pm by jbotti »

jbotti

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2012, 10:51:25 pm »
Just because they aren't falling over doesn't mean they are properly balanced laterally and not relying on two-footed stability to keep them upright. Take high edge angle turns for example - lots of skiers, racers, recreational skiers, and good instructors alike can ski with high edge angles. The question you have to ask is how many are relying on the inside ski for a significant amount of support? How many are just grinding away on a highly edge outside ski without extracting much performance out of that ski? The answer is... pretty much everyone. That is why outside of high level racing it is rare to see high edge angle carves where neither of the skier's feet are under them. This is also why, when a skier finally starts to learn this, their edge angles decrease for a given turn radius... they are using the ski. Do you need the above to be a good skier? No... but you need it to be a great skier. Anyone interested in being better than "good enough" should pay attention.

I have learned much from asking the question (or being asked it) can you pick up the inside ski at any moment in that arc. Clearly if you can't your lateral balance is not where it needs to be. I also agree that perfect lateral balance at speed in high edge angle arcs is a very lofty goal, one that even WC skiers don't achieve on every run. Yes, for sure a characteristic of great skiing.

ToddW

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2012, 11:30:23 pm »
Jim,

The tibialis anterior (shin muscle) is extremely weak compared to the hamstrings.  As a means of establishing fore-aft balance via dorsiflexion, it is further "hamstrung" by the fact it has to effect the movement of a heavy object, the torso/cm, through a long lever arm to change fore-aft.  The hams move only the light-weight stuff below the knee and via a shorter lever.

Liam

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2012, 06:08:24 am »
Starting last year, I began building a 'flapper' into my turns... what the double hamstring flexing does is instantaneous fore-balance.  The second I feel aft, I pull up the tails via 'flapper' and I'm fore (tips pressured).  It is shockingly effective (and fairly easy to get the hang of).

Perfect example:  Yesterday I was at Mount Snow with my boy, I was skiing a little above resort acceptable speeds on a blue groomer, I came over a sudden knoll at pretty high speed and could feel I was too aft for effective speed control.  Now, in years past I would have made a skidding/ speed scrubbing defensive move here, but yesterday I simply flexed/ flapped both hamstrings and found myself instantly centered and in control (like coming over a mogul).  It's a money move...

And I have to thank JBotti for an Asian mogul video he posted last year (which had a long 'mogul skill' development sequence with flappers) for turning me on to the utility of this maneuver.

Svend

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2012, 12:10:36 pm »
Liam -- I'm trying to picture in my mind what your "flapper" move might be, but all that comes to mind are images of waterfowl taking off from a pond  ;D  which I am certain you do not resemble when you ski.   :D  Could you describe it for me? You mention pulling up the tails -- presumably this means flexing the hamstrings, but it seems counterintuitive and it would seem that this would pull the hips even further back.  Sort me out on this one, if you don't mind.  Appreciate it - thanks.

 
« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 12:42:44 pm by Svend »

jim-ratliff

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2012, 12:49:53 pm »

Will be interesting to see if Liam is thinking the same as me, but picture the hamstrings pulling the hips forward, not flexing the knee (well, maybe a little of that as well).  Todd's comment is correct, it's easier for the upper body to pull the legs back than for the lower body to pull the hips and torso forward.


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patprof

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2012, 05:42:13 pm »
Where can you find all the Harb slantboard exercises? I could only find 4 on Youtube.

Patprof
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patprof

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2012, 05:49:19 pm »
Found it guys. Thanks anyways. (It's on the main Harb website for anyone else looking for all of them)
Pat
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jim-ratliff

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2012, 09:26:26 pm »
Hey, PatProf, welcome. Glad to see you pop in.
You probably don't remember, but I was in your group in my first PMTS camp,
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 09:27:29 pm by jim-ratliff »
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LivingProof

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2012, 06:22:07 am »
Just because they aren't falling over doesn't mean they are properly balanced laterally and not relying on two-footed stability to keep them upright. Take high edge angle turns for example - lots of skiers, racers, recreational skiers, and good instructors alike can ski with high edge angles. The question you have to ask is how many are relying on the inside ski for a significant amount of support? How many are just grinding away on a highly edge outside ski without extracting much performance out of that ski? The answer is... pretty much everyone. That is why outside of high level racing it is rare to see high edge angle carves where neither of the skier's feet are under them. This is also why, when a skier finally starts to learn this, their edge angles decrease for a given turn radius... they are using the ski. Do you need the above to be a good skier? No... but you need it to be a great skier. Anyone interested in being better than "good enough" should pay attention.

Helluva,
Thanks for the clarification, and, yes, I was originally thinking about my fellow pedestrian skiers.  ;D

But as a picture is worth a 1000 words, just look at your avatar as an example of good lateral skiing balance. And I agree, very, very few skiers display this level of lateral balance.

patprof

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2012, 04:15:53 pm »
Hi Jim-I remember you and that camp well. First day at Greek Peak today.
Pat
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HeluvaSkier

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Re: Fore Aft Balance and how to get there.
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2012, 10:47:05 pm »
Pat, great to see you're reading. You should try to get to holimont when Gary, LP, and the gang will be there. It would be great to share the mountain with you again. It's been too Long.
Cheers,
Greg
All-Mountain: A common descriptive term for boots or skis that are designed to perform equally poorly under a variety of conditions and over many different types of terrain.