Some science of fore/aft balance

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Some science of fore/aft balance

Postby precisionchiro » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:48 am

Well, after a holiday week of race training at my local area, and witnessing some more horrendous coaching --- (I watched one coach demonstrate the USSA logic behind the wider stance to a racer with a nice functional narrow stance: "Here, look. Get in that stance... see how easy I can push you over? Now, open up the stance wide. See? See? I can't push you over anymore! So open up those feet!" --- I wanted to scream as I watched that)

(And listened again to the "Move your hips forward!" command from several coaches over and over)

I did a little homework and browsing around for some science on the physiology of proprioception and balance.

All you tech-heads may like this.

"Skin receptors [in the soles of the feet] may therefore be able to detect not only the movement of the centre of pressure as it moves towards the boundaries of the base of support, but may also be able to initiate postural reflexes that promote a more stable standing position. (Do et al. 1990)."

So... not only does sensory/positional processing up in the brain happen from a much higher density of sensory information in the feet and lower limbs compared to the hips and torso --- there is evidence to suggest the existence and ability to further develop reflex arcs (basically, the sensory signals from the feet only enter the spinal cord, then directly activate motor neurons back out to key postural muscles, without traveling up to the brain for processing).

And traditional ski techniques still focus on "moving the hips forward," despite there being no muscles or muscle groups to make that happen.

Anyway, thought this was very interesting, and further confirmation to focus on the feet for fore/aft balance. :D
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Re: Some science of fore/aft balance

Postby h.harb » Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:18 am

It is really difficult to sense skiing movement from the hips period. Why do so many coaches, instructors go there to convey what they would like to see? Because it's obvious when the hips are not in the right place; therefore the coach thinks he's right by telling people to move what isn't right. What is not obvious is that hip movement doesn't start there.

The same can be said for keeping the upper body quiet. The suggestions I keep hearing are, "keep your body facing downhill." There is never any mention or suggestion of how one is able to do this. Skiing is a complex sport, and it doesn't reveal it's secrets, so instructors have made up what they think is right by observing what seems obvious. However, skiing like the great skiers doesn't reveal it's secrets.
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Re: Some science of fore/aft balance

Postby go_large_or_go_home » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:38 pm

Interesting this should be talked about.....I meant to talk about it with DR when she was fitting my boots.

I have been aware of the importance of ‘plantar proprioception‘ for about 2 years now..I have successfully used it in my waterski binding.

Here is an aftermarket product that you can buy..

However, i used non-slip tape (that you use in your bath/ shower) and covered the top surface of my footbed. So that when my BARE foot is inside the binding, the skin on the sole of my foot is touching the nonslip surface and therefore activating the proprioceptive receptors in the sole of my foot.

The only issue we have with this idea in snow ski boots, is that we wear socks..

For clarity, my waterski binding is a modified hard shell from an ice skate boot, complete with an intuition liner. The modifications that I have made are extensive and in keeping with pmts concepts. Eg, cuff alignment, etc
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