Role of the lower back in pelvic movements

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Role of the lower back in pelvic movements

Postby noobSkier » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:46 pm

For the past few weeks I've been working on CA and keeping the inside hip raised. I made an observation about the role of the lower back and I'm wondering if there's any merit to it. I observed that if I arch my lower back, I can lift the inside hip more forcefully and at least 50% higher. The effect it's had on my skiing has been very positive (IMO). Is this something that's bio-mechanically sound?
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Re: Role of the lower back in pelvic movements

Postby geezer skier » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:13 pm

One thing that I notice when I try this is that it also moves my hips forward.
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Re: Role of the lower back in pelvic movements

Postby Marc » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:41 am

If I remember correct, Reilly McGlashan, in Tom Gellies first interview with him in his podcast Global Skiing, says he skis with a "neutral" lower back because of his history of back injury. Neutral like in a squat, not over extended (tail up?) or over flexed (tail under?). That together with CA and CB will align the spine to handle the forses. Neutral = the natural curve of the spine.
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Re: Role of the lower back in pelvic movements

Postby h.harb » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:07 pm

Yes, a neutral lower back is best, you don't want anything close to the arch called "lordosis" I have some back stiffness as well after a hard ski day. I just talked to a friend who I raced with, Geoff Bruce a former US Ski team star. He has back problems as well. I guess we treated our backs as indestructible when we were young and competing.
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Re: Role of the lower back in pelvic movements

Postby noobSkier » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:32 pm

h.harb wrote:Yes, a neutral lower back is best, you don't want anything close to the arch called "lordosis" I have some back stiffness as well after a hard ski day. I just talked to a friend who I raced with, Geoff Bruce a former US Ski team star. He has back problems as well. I guess we treated our backs as indestructible when we were young and competing.


Thanks for weighing in on this one. Turns out I was always skiing with a rounded back and as soon as I found a more neutral position I was immediately hitting higher angles and skiing with more control (videos coming soon). Other than learning how to flex-to-release, I think this small change has made the biggest difference for me this year.
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Re: Role of the lower back in pelvic movements

Postby DougD » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:54 pm

One thing (among many) that I learned in PMTS camp was that I had adopted an arched back posture (ie, pelvis pushed back). This felt "natural" to me from long habit, but it wasn't optimal. I used this posture not only skiing but in everyday standing/walking around. Diana commented on it and it was visible on video... I was the one skiing in a Groucho Marx crouch. :lol:

Since then, I've made conscious daily efforts to maintain a more neutral lower back/pelvis posture. Less back arching, pelvis directly over femurs rather than behind the heels.

This has had positive effects on my skiing:
    greater range and control of foot pullback, which improves fore-aft balance and fine tunes adjustments throughout the turn
    greater tipping range, especially early in the turn
    much greater range and fine control of CA
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Re: Role of the lower back in pelvic movements

Postby h.harb » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:02 pm

Seriously, we try to cover all aspects of a skier's movements, body positions, equipment and alignment. Full service ski instruction. Enjoy the sport without restrictions.
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Re: Role of the lower back in pelvic movements

Postby cheesehead » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:14 pm

I think you have to tilt your pelvis back (sticking your tail out, unrounding your lower back) to get a pullback. If you don’t unground your back feel how the weight of your upper body is not supported from your legs through the pelvis. But in the turn I think you have to let your pelvis come under you more.

I have had problems in my lower back and sacroiliac area and I think it has been made worse by trying to keep a rounded back, tucking my tail in, which I thought was protecting it. I agree neutral is best.
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Re: Role of the lower back in pelvic movements

Postby DougD » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:03 am

cheesehead wrote:I think you have to tilt your pelvis back (sticking your tail out, unrounding your lower back) to get a pullback. If you don’t unground your back feel how the weight of your upper body is not supported from your legs through the pelvis. But in the turn I think you have to let your pelvis come under you more.

I have had problems in my lower back and sacroiliac area and I think it has been made worse by trying to keep a rounded back, tucking my tail in, which I thought was protecting it. I agree neutral is best.

I don't believe PMTS would agree with your first sentence, but neutral might "feel" hips-back to someone with a habitually tail-forward posture, just as neutral "feels" hips-forward to someone with a habitually tail-back posture (like me). Another example of why feelings can't be trusted without visual confirmation.
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Re: Role of the lower back in pelvic movements

Postby h.harb » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:36 am

I don't think we stick our tails out in PMTS to get pull back.
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Re: Role of the lower back in pelvic movements

Postby cheesehead » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:54 am

DougD wrote:.... neutral might "feel" hips-back to someone with a habitually tail-forward posture, just as neutral "feels" hips-forward to someone with a habitually tail-back posture (like me). Another example of why feelings can't be trusted without visual confirmation.


Yes, that was exactly my point! I wasn't talking about anything extreme. It is just that us back sufferers actually cause more problems by "protecting" our backs, we are better off striving for good "neutral" position.

And if I could do a good pullback, I would be better qualified to talk about it.
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Re: Role of the lower back in pelvic movements

Postby blackthorn » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:17 am

The concept of pelvic tilt, and problems that arise when there are abnormalities of pelvic tilt both too much and too little , are important for some people who develop lower back pain and lower limb problems. For some it has to do with shortening of the hip flexors. Some types of excessive pelvic tilt can result in problems with femoral rotation at the hip joint and thus may affect alignment. I am no expert in all this but I suspect it is important to understand how it might affect an individual who has problems in this area.There are some reasonably straight forward ways to check for this and exercises that might be useful - professional advice is probably the best.
The point of this being that individuals will need to concentrate on different aspects of the position of their lower back and what might work for some may not work for others.
The alignment videos and pdf from HSS allude to this.
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