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Hip Alignment in skiing

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Another great video from Deb Armstrong that is worth sharing widely. I post as it resonates 10,000% with the way I teach and look at performance skiing and some of the points she makes are contrary to what is delivered by many instructor associations. You can work on your hip mobility off skis and make dramatic improvements in your carving with this simple exercise.


http://youtube.com/v/ynNRGUaYQkM
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@skimottaret, that’s nice. Like the demo where she steps backwards up the stairs, hadn’t thought of that before. Last half dozen sessions I’ve run at Hemel have all looked at hip position, so might have this explanation from Deb Armstrong on my laptop for use during video feedback sessions.

Not entirely convinced about strapping the pelvis in to the ski poles, great for awareness of what’s going on but from first hand experience there’s some potential of things getting messy if it goes wrong!
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Not HSE approved walking backwards up a staircase in ski boots!

The visual is good - is it right to think of dropping one hip back though to maintain level hips?
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
- is it right to think of dropping one hip back though to maintain level hips?
Dropping in which direction? I think there’s a danger in using that word as a very common problem is skiers who are trying very hard to create high edge angles but end up dropping and twisting their hips in to the turn (a “hip dump”). Rather than creating higher edge angles they flatten the outside ski and end up in the backseat, the opposite of what they were trying to achieve.

The other common cause of hips tipped in the wrong direction is skiers who bank in to the turn, so shoulders and hips drop to the inside. Sometimes happens asymmetrically, on the weaker turn side but not the stronger turn side.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Wed 13-10-21 9:36; edited 1 time in total
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Thanks @skimottaret I do follow her but hadn't seen this one.
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@rob@rar, yeah I have used stairs and benches to demo but laterally, never thought about the stepping back and up. I really like it as it restricts hip counter. When I ask people to do long leg short leg by stepping sideways up onto a bench they invariably counter massively. Also see a lot of advanced skiers who are runners and cyclists who are very blocky and stiff in the hip joint and I think this off snow movement could assist.

@Dave of the Marmottes, less of dropping the inside hip back but more keeping the outer side of the pelvis square to the skis as long as you can until edge angle gets high. 1:50 - 2:18 describes it perfectly. There are different ways to drill this in and somewhat depends on the skiers issues.

By stepping up and back she stops excessive counter of the hip and promotes correct lateral seperation. Try doing the up and back on a stair as she demos and then try it again by turning 90 degrees and keep lower foot on the floor and upper leg a stair or two and I bet you will rotate the hip and counter more.
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The two pole spit roast I dont use in case of a crash but I like how she explains that the poles should be kept on the pelvis and not on the waist in order to really highlight actual hip position. I usually have people press a pole onto their pointy bits of the pelvis (iliac crest) when videoing so we get a clear picture of actual hip position.
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skimottaret wrote:
@rob@rar, yeah I have used stairs and benches to demo but laterally, never thought about the stepping back and up. I really like it as it restricts hip counter. When I ask people to do long leg short leg by stepping sideways up onto a bench they invariably counter massively. Also see a lot of advanced skiers who are runners and cyclists who are very blocky and stiff in the hip joint and I think this off snow movement could assist.
Yes, often get bemused glances from other people when I demo hip alignment upstairs in the cafe at Hemel Embarassed

Back in the day I was taught to imagine placing one buttock cheek up on a bar stool. Fine in theory, but always seemed to involve an instinctive hip counter (in a bar as well as on skis) so not sure that was a helpful bit of visualisation, so I’ve never used it in my teaching. Deb’s stepping backwards up a step seems to work much better in that regard.
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skimottaret wrote:
I usually have people press a pole onto their pointy bits of the pelvis (iliac crest) when videoing so we get a clear picture of actual hip position.
Ditto, although keeping the pole(s) on the iliac crest is often more of a challenge than it should be.
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Ah so I finally understand what a hip dump is - it's the twisty pelvis she talks about?
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@Dave of the Marmottes, Not quite, for me "hip dumping" is when someone tries to achieve angulation/lateral separation by ACTIVELY overdoing the movement of the hip to the inside. That overly active move can manifest in a twisty pelvis as well as an aft position through bending zee knees too much. The hip should stay level with the lateral separation coming in progressively as you soften the inside leg keeping pressure on the outer ski. When you dump your hip you lose pressure on the outside ski and usually get on the inside half and sit back.

One reason why I don't usually use "tea pot" or "superman" drills with clients. People tend to move the hip too aggressively to the inside as opposed to just softening the inside leg whilst keeping a long strong outer leg with the hips level and square through solid core tension. When you "dump" your hip you lose tension in the core and pressure on the outside ski.

I tend to try to explain it to people as keeping the inside hip "high" and pushing down with the outside hip. Does that make sense?
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
skimottaret wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes, Not quite, for me "hip dumping" is when someone tries to achieve angulation/lateral separation by ACTIVELY overdoing the movement of the hip to the inside.
Agree, actively overdoing that move (usually subconsciously) is what creates a hip dump, which for me needs to too far inside and excessively countered (twisted to face too far outside the turn) to qualify for the 'hip dump' label.
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skimottaret wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes, Not quite, for me "hip dumping" is when someone tries to achieve angulation/lateral separation by ACTIVELY overdoing the movement of the hip to the inside. That overly active move can manifest in a twisty pelvis as well as an aft position through bending zee knees too much. The hip should stay level with the lateral separation coming in progressively as you soften the inside leg keeping pressure on the outer ski. When you dump your hip you lose pressure on the outside ski and usually get on the inside half and sit back.

One reason why I don't usually use "tea pot" or "superman" drills with clients. People tend to move the hip too aggressively to the inside as opposed to just softening the inside leg whilst keeping a long strong outer leg with the hips level and square through solid core tension. When you "dump" your hip you lose tension in the core and pressure on the outside ski.

I tend to try to explain it to people as keeping the inside hip "high" and pushing down with the outside hip. Does that make sense?


Yeah I think so - but I wish you'd posted this before the weekend so I'd have been able to work out what it felt like on snow Laughing

I don't consciously think of doing anything with my hips I just tend to think in terms of low or high base angle and keeping my upper body separated. Which I think if I'm following things correctly is better than thinking "get that hip low to get more aggressive".
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You know it makes sense.
@Dave of the Marmottes, Overflexing at the knee joint to get the "hip low and aggressive" can result in hip dumping, by TRYING to get the hip low you are most likely overflexing at the knee joint and losing pressure on the outside half. If you are able to PROGESSIVELY increase your edge angles to the point of dragging your hip on the deck you are onto something Smile
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
I don't consciously think of doing anything with my hips I just tend to think in terms of low or high base angle and keeping my upper body separated. Which I think if I'm following things correctly is better than thinking "get that hip low to get more aggressive".
My skiing, especially high-angle long radius turns, improved significantly when I stopped trying to be aggressive with getting big edge angles and focus more on getting a strong stance/platform at the beginning of the turn (which is the opposite of a hip dump). When I did that, I was able to work more effectively with the g-forces developing as the turn progressed, ultimately getting much higher edge angle in the load phase of the turn than I was capable of when I used to aggressively snap at the start of the turn.
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Thanks for linking the vid, huskydave is always trying to stop me from dropping my outside hip back, will have to try thinking about it like this next time I'm at the fridge and see if it helps.
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The one thing that is messing with my head is that on the stairs her inside foot is back a step (let's say 30cm behind front foot) yet we know inner tip lead happens?

Does this somehow eliminate or reduce inner tip lead?
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
The one thing that is messing with my head is that on the stairs her inside foot is back a step (let's say 30cm behind front foot) yet we know inner tip lead happens?

Does this somehow eliminate or reduce inner tip lead?
If your hip stays strong and level you are not going to have excessive inner tip lead (excessive being the key word). If you dump your hip your outside foot is going to be too far behind your inside foot (because your hips are twisted too much to the outside of the turn), hence excessive inner tip lead, and a not very strong platform to work with the forces generated by a high edge-angle turn.
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Tried this on the stairs last night - conclusion need to move to a palace with a wider staircase to achieve anything meaningful wink
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