hip int. rotation -- how much do I need and how do I get it?

hip int. rotation -- how much do I need and how do I get it?

Postby theorist » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:11 am

Adequate hip internal rotation is essential for countering. But how much is enough -- how many degrees of internal hip rotation are needed for masters racing and serious skiing generally -- 50? 60? more?

The two standard stretches are either with knees bent at 90 degrees on the floor (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awN72pqI_hA&noredirect=1) (I don't do this one exactly -- it's too aggressive; actually I need to lean away from the hip that's being stretched), or with knees slightly bent while standing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EriWNHyrjbw&noredirect=1). The problem is that you can't apply external force to the femur to rotate it without stressing the knee in some way. In particular, the former stretch puts stress on the medial side of my knee, while the latter puts stress on the lateral side. The only alternative is to internally rotate the leg just using your muscles; while this is probably a good exercise, it doesn't feel like it creates much of a stretch on the hip.

A different knee-bent internal rotation stretch can be seen on page 6 of this document: http://www.seniorskiteam.com/doc/John_D ... ssment.pdf

And a broader discussion of the various range of motion requirements for skiers can be found here: http://www.warrensmith-skiacademy.com/t ... nge-tests/

I'd appreciate any insight you'd have on the best approach to take.

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Re: hip int. rotation -- how much do I need and how do I get

Postby h.harb » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:03 pm

I find your description rather complicated to learn and relate to, for how CA works in an application to skiing. So I have brought it back to the slope. The question is, how much hip "counteracting" do you need in skiing?


The red line is approximately 90 degrees to the skis, the yellow line is the angle from square my hips are turned back, from 90 degrees or the red line. (hips square, is when the hips are facing the ski tips (belly button looking between the two ski tips) or the same as facing the red line)

In my Expert 2 DVD, I demonstrate the hip range of movement relative to the direction of the lower body and boots, using a wall at my back as the anchor. With boots on and your back against a wall, turn your ski boots and legs, of course, as far as you can from one side to the other without moving either side of the pelvis away from the wall. This should be done with the boots tilted on edge, like they would be in a ski turn. This isn't necessary if you use pivoting as your ski technique.

At least 20 degrees of CA and the ability to hold the counteracting through the release is just as important as having a huge range and not using it. In this photo there is approximately 45 degrees of CA. But it's not just about counter acting, it's also about hip lift or tilt on the inside hip of the arc. If the hips are parallel with the skis you have a 90 degree countered outside hip. My hips here are approximate half way to 90, so about 45 degrees countered.

Range of motion of the femur, or pelvis over the outside femur, these ranges of motion change with the amount of leg, pelvis and lumbar flex and upper body bending. It also changes in dynamic situations like skiing, in a closed kinetic chain vs and open chain application, open chain being as in many of the stretching type exercise situations.

Stretching can only provide at most, if everything is perfect and previously there was a muscle imbalance that improved, about 5% increases. Muscle group functional range and coordinating of antagonist groups, is a more productive range extender, than stretching, especially for the lower back and pelvis regions.

The bottom line is, you can be very functional with correct hip management and the right movement direction. If you can functionally counter act even by only 5 degrees, rather than rotating by 5 degrees, you are a totally different skier. Also, if you can lift the inside of the pelvis, rather than the outside of the pelvis, you gain dramatically.
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