Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

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Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

Postby Max_501 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:22 am

In PMTS the "upper body" includes the pelvis as part of that unit.

Here's an old post from HH:

h.harb wrote:I've probably said this 1000 times, if I've said it once. There are many ways to achieve the combination of hip, pelvis, torso and upper body tilt to CB, as there are ways to tip your skis. Some people don't feel their feet yet in skiing, so you have to tell them to move their knees to the side.

Some don't know which way to tilt or rotate for CB or CA, so you begin with the hands and the arms, so they can at least have some idea of what they are trying to accomplish. If I could tell everyone to lift the inside hip using the combination of muscles needed and it would work, great I'd do it all the time, and do only it. But in the real world that is not how it works, everyone is different and everyone is at different levels and abilities of movement.

In our camps we offer as many different approaches as we need for people to gets their movements to go in the right direction. The deeper you get into understanding your own body the more success you will have with skiing movements. The upper body, hip, pelvis and arms, should move together. If you are trying only with your pelvis up or down, you are going to be a long time coming before your skiing is right.

We have many skiers who are "opposite" to correct, pelvis movers. They lift the wrong side, in the turn. We know that telling and showing them to lift the inside pelvis, to correct the pelvis has limited success, so you begin with the arms then the shoulders, work your way to the pelvis, (pelvis movements are what people are least aware of), to finally adjust the level. Probably the best way to get down to the pelvis correction quickly, is to work it out for yourself when you are off your skis. Do the wall leans or sits, as described in my books and web site. Then you have to keep practicing the movement while skiing.

I know skiers can often set the pelvis perfectly, time after time, while standing still on the snow, but as soon as they start moving it goes the wrong way.

I often hold their pelvis in the right place to convey the right situation. It's a battle with yourself, your own body, but the answer is, build the whole torso, shoulders and arms included, to get down to the correct angles for the pelvis.

And for Pete's sake, correct yourself as you come to a stop for your last turn. This is often the most frustrating to watch, skiers are working on a specific movement while connecting turns, but when they come into the last turn of a series, and come to a stop, they just let go or quit. That is your most important turn, don't give up on the last turn, that's where you can check yourself to see if you have done it right.


Regarding Counter Acting (CA) - we only need as much CA as required to keep the upper body from rotating to the inside of the turn but when practicing try to exaggerate. When MAing your own video look for the belly button pointing towards or past the tip of the outside ski as confirmation that you are getting some CA at the pelvis/hips. And remember, CA is a movement not a static position.

One of my dryland CA development exercises:

Stand in front of a full length mirror in tights so you can see your pelvis movement.

1 - arms/hands in a homebase position (in the beginning you could also do the angry mother)
2 - turn your feet/legs so they are 45 degrees to the right. This is a left footer (right turn). Now practice CA by rotating the pelvis to the left (the upper body will move too because its connected to the pelvis).
3 - switch and do the right footer
4 - when you can do it with flat feet add tipping.
5 - when you can do 45 degrees turn the feet/legs a bit more to increase your range of motion.

Note - don't let the hip get into goofy positions, keep the rotation around the head of the femur of the stance leg.

There is more information on the role of the pelvis in pages 93-95 of Book 2.

CB is also covered in detail here: The Pelvis in Counterbalancing
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Re: Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

Postby skijim13 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:18 am

I can say from experience that pelvis control in PMTS is hard thing to put into your skiing. I have been working on it during ski season as well as tipping board work. One of my favorite drills is the angry drill and double pole drag focusing on not losing CA in my turn. I still find I can CA better when making a right turn then making a left turn.
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Re: Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

Postby Max_501 » Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:07 pm

skijim13 wrote:I can say from experience that pelvis control in PMTS is hard thing to put into your skiing.


You are not alone! Even at the more advanced levels CA requires hard work for most of us.
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Re: Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

Postby Marc » Sat Oct 08, 2022 9:43 am

Maybe the following will allow you to increase CA during the exercise described by Max. Tip your feet side to side repeatedly, while relaxing your legs to let them rotate freely in your pelvis. At the same time wiggle and swivel your hips over your feet and see if you can increase CA. This is a relaxation exercise and not a stretch.
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Re: Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

Postby enric » Sat Oct 08, 2022 3:28 pm

Thanks Harald, better delete it to avoid confusion.
Last edited by enric on Sun Oct 09, 2022 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

Postby enric » Sat Oct 08, 2022 5:28 pm

same
Last edited by enric on Sun Oct 09, 2022 11:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

Postby h.harb » Sat Oct 08, 2022 7:10 pm

Jim or skijim
I can say from experience that pelvis control in PMTS is hard thing to put into your skiing.


Jim, This is not a PMTS "thing" making it difficult for you, it is skiing at the expert level, it's a skiing thing, an expert skiing thing. Pelvis control is a human affliction, it's the least understood aspect of skiing, not because of skiing needs, but because humans do not understand their own bodies and their movements.

CA is required to become an expert skier. All expert skiers have the ability to hold an edge by holding their CA at transition. This is how you can let the feet and legs tip off the edges and onto the new angles. If you don't, you will use other methods that cause a skid, lose energy, and start the next turn with a wedge.

Can I hold an edge while coming square at the transition, yes I can? How is that Possible? My ankles are strong enough and my feet can hold an edge while I let my hips come square.

Is this as efficient as holding CA? Never! What are the downsides for me when I come square? I lose energy, It takes longer to transition and I lose the high C in my turns. Is my goal to hold an edge while skiing square, no, because it's a lower skill level of skiing. It's an oxymoron, it takes tremendous skill and awareness to hold an edge while squaring up, but it's a diminishing movement that compromises your skiing level.

Why do you think all PSIA skiers instructors skid their turns, and have a wedge entry,? Even if they want to call it parallel advanced skiing it's not. They like to call it a parallel turn, but it is not. Because they don't hold their CA and they have no idea of how to use their feet. They don't know how. They also don't teach CA. Why? Because they don't know how to teach and develop it. A big missing piece in that system is the lack of understanding, of "TIPPING". I have said this many times, "If you can't perform a movement or know how to perform a certain movement in skiing, how can you teach it to someone else?"

It's not PMTS making your skiing difficult "Hard for You" it's just flat-out challenging to become an expert skier, getting all the correct movements in place. If it were easy then everyone would be an expert skier. If climbing 5-13 levels were easy, everyone would be a great climber. PMTS teaches expert movements, you can ski very well at lower levels, with lower speeds and easier hills with expert movements. Ask Max501 how many days and years he put into skiing slowly to develop total control of Expert movements.

We have hundreds of our campers who have achieved better skiing and improved CA. Jbotti for one. Ask Jbotti how long he worked on his CA and learned to use and move his body for the excellent CA he now has. Ask Reilly how long he worked on CA and feet pull-back. When I was mentoring Reilly he had no clue how important these essentials were.
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Re: Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

Postby h.harb » Sat Oct 08, 2022 7:12 pm

Just for your information. The Italian coaching system in my view is just as screwed up as PSIA. Why do your think they have no slalom skiers?
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Re: Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

Postby h.harb » Sun Oct 09, 2022 10:46 am

Please people do not use your personal confusion to overanalyze technique as an excuse for what you can not yet achieve in your own skiing. All you do is make it even worse. You make it tougher on yourself and you make yourself less able to use and create "simple PMTS movements."

The last long posts are filled with convoluted concepts that in no way will create something you can use on the slopes.
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Re: Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

Postby h.harb » Sun Oct 09, 2022 12:48 pm

What many are missing here is that tipping the feet has to happen first before CA for the new turn.

Tipping on and off the edges is the most important "Essential of Skiing".

If you are not engaging your feet to pressure the sides of the boots, to lever the skis onto an angle that engages the skis, no matter how much effort you put into CA, you will not achieve edge hold or carving. Without "foot tipping" the tails of the skis will skid. If the skis are too flat and you try to use CA, you will skid even further.

When tipping stops while in an arc, the skis don't tighten the radius and that is the exact moment when most skiers square up their hips. This causes the tails to skid and therefore requires an extension to get out or end the turn.

Basically, CA can overpower your skis if the lower body edge angles aren't created first. All the 'ESSENTIALS'" have to be balanced and working together. Over-emphasis on one "Essential" will not repair what you are looking for if other "Essentials are weak or don't exist.

Why do people hesitate to tip their skis both on or off their edges?

It is often fear of what will happen that holds people back, so it's a lack of commitment. Skiers will use many techniques to avoid transitions. Extending out of a turn is not a transition it's an extension. It's a push-off.

You can't use a bending leg release if you hold back your hip from crossing into the next turn; to initiate a ski turn.
Using a push or a hip twist to start a ski direction change is not tipping. The transition is where tipping off and onto edges creates excellent transitions. This is the lower body edge change and angles that have to be created first. Before CA for the next turn.
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Re: Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

Postby h.harb » Sun Oct 09, 2022 1:28 pm

I hesitate to describe how skiing "Feels" to me when I ski. I don't do this often, I rather describe what part of the body you need to move and how to move it than describe skiing by "Feeling". Everyone feels differently and how one person feels maybe no help as you may not use or understand your body the same way.

That said, I'll offer this to make a point about this discussion about how hard you have to work to achieve Counteracting correctly. Why do I say "correctly"? Because you can use CA incorrectly to angle the skis, by using a leg extension to create hip angles, (essentially pushing your hips to the inside of the arc) that is hip dumping. What is the difference? Hip dumping doesn't use or require lower body foot and ankle tipping; therefore it's inefficient and limits progress.

Again, "Hip dumping is due to a lack of foot tipping". many people do this and "FEEL', it is correct skiing.

Having gone through a hip replacement has given me tremendous insight into how CA and tipping need to work together. In the first season after a hip replacement, most of the muscles and tendons around the hip are weak and less flexible. To overcome this weakness, which compromised my tipping ability on my right turns, I tried to use a more forceful CA. All this did was cause my ski tails to skid. It is very frustrating. Now that I have my strength back, I can tip out of the old turn and tip my feet and legs for the new turn all in one movement. How has this affected my CA. I don't even think about adding CA it comes naturally as the skis are tipping to new angles before the skis point down the falline.

As I've written many times before, I don't turn my skis, especially not at transition. I put all my effort into bending and relaxing my stance leg so it can tip to the new angles.
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Re: Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

Postby enric » Mon Oct 10, 2022 12:54 am

Thanks a lot Harald!

your last two posts are A TON OF PURE GOLD and definitely provide plenty of "unconvoluted" answers, not only to my "correct-way" CAing concerns, but to many key aspects of PMTS in both the turn and in the transition.

Very, very enlightening to better understand the biomechanical links between tipping and CAing (and obviously CBing).

I apologize for the previous two convoluted posts. I am fully aware they were, but I read somewhere in this Forum a term that I thought needed to be clarified in my own mind (coupleing hips and ankles). Now it is clear, at least in my own mind.

I am sure this clearer understanding of the role of the feet/ankle-hips COMBO will show in my skiing next season. :D

This Forum is an amazing place for knowledge-avid skiers. Thank you all.
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Re: Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

Postby jbotti » Tue Oct 11, 2022 6:04 am

Enric, Harald has given some great explanation which expands understanding. But there really is one message for you to hear and get: think less and do more. The best PMTS students listen to the movements that are missing in their skiing and then work tirelessly to add these correct movements to their skiing, and in general never once ask the question of why. Often once you have mastered a movement (like CA) the why becomes self apparent, but that level of understanding often can't really occur until one is doing the movements correctly and seeing the result in one's skiing. Then the light bulb goes off. CA is a game changer and done correctly it significantly alters every arc in every condition we ski in. It also takes a boatload of time to have it show up in every turn in every condition, where it becomes the default movement pattern no matter the terrain or conditions. For me it was 2.5 seasons of constant work. I was lucky that I never developed an up move in my skiing, coming to PMTS soon after I began skiing. But for almost everyone that had one engrained in their skiing (and your is very engrained), it has taken years, often many years to rid this from their skiing. All the thinking and understanding in the world isn't going to help you change movement patterns. The only thing that will do this is slow and methodical drill work, done religiously, and checked by a coach or with video.

Ski season is almost here. Abandon the mental masturbation and focus on what will actually get you the result you are after!
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
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Re: Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

Postby h.harb » Tue Oct 11, 2022 6:20 am

Thanks, JBotti,

Right on the money, we have seen this often, overthinking things. PMTS has all the movements figured out, every step. Why interfere with the proven and tested? All you do when you go that way is dig yourself into a deeper hole.

I recommend as you did, let the mind rest and just do the movement and exercises step by step.

I'm reminded of the question asked of Michael Jordon probably one of the three best athletes of all time, "What one single thing in your career made you such a great player?" MJ's response was, " Complete and unwavering belief in my coach and what he was telling me."

The rest my friends is up to you.
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Re: Upper Body includes the Pelvis!

Postby HeluvaSkier » Tue Oct 11, 2022 5:18 pm

Conversations like this are always funny to me, because long, drawn-out posts theorizing skiing are the type of thing I expect to see on other internet forums, but not here. PMTS is about practical application--actually doing it--not theorizing. The theory to back up the practical application is well documented across Expert 1, Expert 2, Essentials, and the Instructor's Manual... not to mention the DVD and short video series that give BOTH the theory AND show you the application.

No other approach in the world is so-well documented in a way that allows a student to self-study (with the help of a video camera of course)... Theorizing on the correct way to ski is literally taken out of the equation and the conversation transforms from "what is the right way to do it?" to "am I doing it the right way?" The difference is not subtle. Doing it means putting in the time to actually do it and then checking-in with your coach to confirm you're on the right path to improving performance (e.g., camp, etc.).

Want to ski like the best skiers on this forum? There are no ski days off... In-fact there are no runs off. You're constantly working to improve, you're constantly using video, whether it is targeted free skiing or drills... And once you've achieved a particular SMIM--take CA for example--if you're doing it right--there is the next SMIM immediately following that one. In other words, you're never done. You do it over and over and over and the performance just keeps getting higher until either you, or your body decide you've hit a ceiling.

Then it is up to you to accept that, or do what it takes [again] to change the ceiling (e.g., become more fit). None of the skiers on this forum that you admire are overweight--probably all have low-to-mid double digit body fat % (HH is even lower into single digits). They all cross train and work out. They all are avid participants in other athletic endeavors (often equally or more skilled as they are on skis).

The question you need to ask yourself is "how much am I willing to do?" Then go do it.
Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.

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