Working on short turns again today for Emir. His struggles in this department just mean that he was work to do there. He made a good effort on all counts regarding a very difficult set of exercises…
Independent Leg Action
Proper and efficient control of short turns requires a lot of coordination, awareness and skill. It’s as fine a skill and as complex as playing a musical instrument – so it takes practice. First of all you have to be practising the right things! The work on independent leg action was to help reduce Emir’s body rotation – by isolating each leg and trying to get only the legs to rotate in the hip joints – and not have the pelvis rotate. This requires good pivoting skills already because each ski is pivoting separately. The static exercise standing on the heels with the feet swinging from side to side gives a chance to feel correctly what should be going on inside the body.
Emir needed to tilt the upper body forward much more at the hips to allow the rotation to take place. He has a tendency to block the hips and bend sideways instead. I explained that he needs to tilt forwards first then let the upper body rotate on top of the hip joint – when creating angulation.
The same mechanics also apply to carving – so the skills and awareness being developed here are universal.
One Leg Skiing (Pivoting)
The main goal of pivoting on one leg is to be able to understand how to control the motion of the centre of mass relative to the edges of the skis – using the foot in the process. Emir persisted and made good progress – using the ski pole for support and clearly improving each aspect of the skill.
One of the key issues here is the use of the ski poles for support in short, pivoting turns. Emir has a tendency to be waving his poles around in the air instead of making constructive use of them. This indicates tension in the hips and lack of control of rotation – exactly what we had been working on. He managed good progress in the slow exercise in the video – but later when skiing (not just exercises) – he lost the angulation, rotation control and use of his poles. This caused a delay getting from turn to turn – and a subsequent tiredness. He also tended to revert to pushing out the tails of the skis a bit – not fully pulling everything inwards into the turn – although his dynamics and timing are good and strong in general.
The Chi- Hips need to be integrated into all of this too – for protecting the back. In fact pulling the outside hip back makes it easier to get into position for control of rotation and good angulation – with a clean pole plant.