Inside foot pullback

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Inside foot pullback

Postby Carl R » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:36 pm

How much is correct amount of inside foot pullback?
What is the cue that I'm correct? What is the cue that I pull too much?
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Re: Inside foot pullback

Postby Jeet » Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:25 pm

I will have a go at this one. I am an intermediate so you may want to wait until some of the seasoned skiers can comment.

1. So the inside boot lines up with outside stance boot. Enough so you when your flex inside leg you can run it up and along the stance boot/leg.

2. Cue - Not sure, I have a few but that may not work for you (If the inside skii starts biting through the turn, feeling of slight pressure in my heal area, my thighs muscles engaging to stop my inside skii shooting forward)

3. How do you know if your pulling back to much - Reminds me what Mr Harb says in one of his videos which goes something like (Hirsher pulls his feet back sooner, earlier and he does it more than...."). Based on this comment I would say you cannot pull back too much, more is better. Until maybe you get to a point where you are loosing balance maybe.

Interesting question, I wonder what the others think.
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Re: Inside foot pullback

Postby Max_501 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:28 am

Carl R wrote:How much is correct amount of inside foot pullback?


Covered in Books 1, 2, and Essentials. See this link for a quick reference -

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0895/ ... 5074389459

Carl R wrote:What is the cue that I'm correct?


For pull back drill work I touch the area below the rivet of the inside boot to the outside boot and hold it there with a strong pressing movement. For verification of fore/aft placement I might take a quick look to see if they are even. When I'm skiing bumps and crud I can often feel the rivet area of the inside boot against my outside boot and when carving I can feel the rivet of the inside boot against my outside leg/knee. I'm not flexible enough to get the inside rivet above the knee but others I know get it up there.

Carl R wrote:What is the cue that I pull too much?


I've never seen anyone pull the inside foot too far back. Most people don't pull back enough.
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Re: Inside foot pullback

Postby Carl R » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:36 am

So Max, for how long do boots stay side by side? Transition only?
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Re: Inside foot pullback

Postby AnI » Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:31 pm

I'd like to add to this discussion a consideration which perhaps Max_501 would also comment on. I've been through about 10 camps in the past 10 years or so. In one of the camps, Jay made me ski like a telemark skier, pulling my free foot back with maximum effort that I was capable of for what it felt like 2 hours straight. I have been thinking about this movement and why and how it works. The conclusion which I arrived to is that it is not the range of motion that matters but the amount of effort, muscular tension. In my mind, free foot pullback is another example of a kinetic chain in action. When a skier pulls one of his feet back by tightening hamstrings and glutes, the whole upper body moves forward because of the kinetic chain which this muscular effort triggers in the stance leg and in the torso. The range of movement depends on the stiffness of the boot and is generally small. I think the cue should be not so much the position of the boot of the free foot but the feeling of pressure around the heel of the pulled back free foot and perhaps some pressure on the shin as well.
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Re: Inside foot pullback

Postby Max_501 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:28 am

Pulling the inside foot back is accomplished by flexing the knee joint with a contraction of the hamstrings. The range of movement can be quite large for a skier with excessive tip lead.
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Re: Inside foot pullback

Postby nipper » Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:37 am

I had a similar drill from Jay. My objective was to pull the inside ski back so that the inside ski toepiece was behind the stance ski toepiece. Achieving it was difficult but the intent was the important part, not the actual achievement.
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Re: Inside foot pullback

Postby Max_501 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:07 am

Yes, exaggerating the range of motion is a normal part of learning PMTS.
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Re: Inside foot pullback

Postby Max_501 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:20 am

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Re: Inside foot pullback

Postby Carl R » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:02 am

I meant longitudinal.
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Re: Inside foot pullback

Postby Max_501 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:06 am

Carl R wrote:I meant longitudinal.


Did you look at the pictures? This is a good example of where the pictures in the books and the videos really help because we can study HH's examples.

Here's a thread from 2005 that discusses pull back and tip lead -

Pulling Inside Foot Back

Here's a slow motion clip of HH carving a 40 degree pitch. Notice how the inside boot is pulled back so far that it is touching the outside knee. In extreme angles like this there will be some lead due to CA and bending the inside leg but it is controlled by a strong contraction of the inside leg hamstring.

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Re: Inside foot pullback

Postby jbotti » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:47 am

For those that are confused, read Jay's (Skiersynergy's) post from the link.

To paraphrase: free foot pull back has two purposes. 1. It puts one in proper fore aft balance. 2. it puts us in a position from which we have the proper (more) range of motion for LTE tipping of the non stance ski. Hence without free foot pullback not only will your foe aft balance be back/aft but you will have less ability to tip the free foot and without pullback your arcs will widen on any significant pitch. Key move for arcing tight turns and equally important in the BPSRT.

Jays Post:

First, a reminder: the three primary movements are inversion/eversion (tipping movements of the foot/ankle), Dorsiflexion/Plantarflexion (often combined with the more general movement of pulling the leg(s) back), and flexion/extension of the legs. With that remminder to frame my comments, I have to say that this issue is dear to my heart because it is something that I have struggled with. I have a firm sense of how important this is when things are going right and an even better sense of how important it is when they are not going right.

What are the functions of dorsiflexion/pulling the free foot back?

First, Dorsiflexion/plantarflexion is the most effective and efficient movement for controlling fore and aft balance. This is a very efficient point to initiate this because it provides a point of leverage with the ground very low in the kinetic system and therefore you can get very large direct effects with very small movement and effort. Trying to move at the knees, waist, or arms in order to redistribute one?s CM fore or aft is much much less effective and efficient -- and doesn?t always work like you want (more on this later). Now of course, most of us struggle more with getting forward enough than being too far forward and so dorsiflexion/pulling the feet back is most often emphasized.

However, dorsiflexion/pulling the feet back also have facilitating effects on the other primary movements.

An inside foot that is leading blocks the ability of the foot to tip towards the little toe edge. This is an issue of how anatomy interacts with the boot. As a test of this, just stand on the slope and push your left foot ahead one boot length. Now try to tip that foot to its little toe edge using the ankle. You will feel a definite limiting of this movement. Pull the foot back and LTE tipping becomes much easier.

Even when flexing the legs, it is usually most effective to start this movement with dorsiflexion in the ankle. As an example, while in your ski boots (but out of your skis) stand in a balanced position fore and aft. Now flex your legs starting with your knees first and do nothing with your ankles. Very quickly, you will find yourself sitting back with the toes of your boots off the floor. At this point, it becomes increasingly difficult to save your balance with dorsiflexion alone. Larger more inefficient movements of the torso and arms have to be recruited ? and often this isn?t even enough. A second time, start the action with dorsiflexion and then flexion of the knee. This will produce a totally different result with smaller more effective movements that keep one out of the back seat and in a better skiing position.


While it is important to remember that pulling the foot back is a movement, not a "place," inside leg lead is a very negative place that is difficult to get out of. Allowing yourself to have a substantial amount of inside tip lead will effectively block tipping movements and the ability to develop efficient fore/aft balance. It is usually also a cruch hiding a lack of lateral balance and effective pressure transfer.
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Re: Inside foot pullback

Postby Carl R » Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:09 pm

Thank you for the answers. It has given me much more details. I'm very grateful!

When doing PMTS movements, there is usually a sensation of a kind. This feels right.
But when I perform free foot pullback, I can't say that I have had any such sensation at all.

What I feel that when I pull back my inside tip hard, is that the front of the inside ski becomes really loaded, and I prefer it to be light. I want the pressure on the outside ski.

I'm guessing that with inside tip lead, an initial hip counter rotation is likely to occur, that could lead to hip dumping and a more static position.

Personally I really like the pullback of both feet in transition. It's an awesome concept. I like to be front in the beginning of the turn. But at apex I like to be even pressured under the outside foot, and at the end of the turn I like to have weight on my heels. It simply feels good.
When I keep the tips loaded throughout the turn, it feels like I'm digging them down into the snow.

I was watching this video of Harald doing short turns. I think his feet position looks very natural in this video. https://youtu.be/zpYP77OZW9c?t=120 (Carved short turn, starts at 2 minutes.

Can it be that I have exaggerated when implementing inside foot pullback, and that's why it doesn't work as good?
Would it be enough to ensure that the cuff has some pressure throughout the turn? Not so much pulling the ski back towards parallel?
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Re: Inside foot pullback

Postby jbotti » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:35 pm

Carl R wrote:
What I feel that when I pull back my inside tip hard, is that the front of the inside ski becomes really loaded, and I prefer it to be light. I want the pressure on the outside ski.



That happens when you lack the proper amount of Counter Balance. If you focus on CB you will not load the inside ski.
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Re: Inside foot pullback

Postby Max_501 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:34 pm

Lift the free foot off the snow and the tip won't load.
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