JimG. wrote:I'm still playing around with the shoulder suppression too. Here's what I've noticed:
1) It's an ideal posture that keeps the arms and elbows more contained near the body but still allows for driving the hands down the fall line. Think of it more as pinching the lats and triceps together and less as a static, upper arms pinned to the body image.
2) Are you watching how short bumpers poles are getting? I'm 6'2" and used 48" poles last season. I dropped down to 46" this year, but once I started playing with this technique those were too long also. I bought adjustable poles and started at 44" and have played with 42-43" also. Shoulder suppression is easier to maintain with much shorter poles.
3) When I'm skiing well and keeping my arms contained, I stand up straighter, look further down the fall line, and almost never get in the backseat. I think a big part of that is the shorter poles too.
I had a hard time understanding this too, and the first attempt someone made to explain it to me came out as "keep your elbows pinned to your torso" and that just didn't work for me at all. That's not what shoulder supression is though. It's more subtle than that, again think of it as pinching the triceps against the lats and maintaining that "pinch" as you ski.
Man Jim, what a great explanation! Right on with everything you said. Funny, I cut my poles even more the other day. The only thing that I have found with going really short is that you can't plant on the flats when doing drills, but 6-8" shorter than your regular pole size (the old upside down and under the basket way) is a probably a good middle ground(?). Sounds to me like you are really getting it! Shoulder supression is hard to explain without showing someone in person.
Another thing to add to Jim's explanation is that this is not meant to be a restrictive thing, but a keeping the upper body tight (no chicken winging and arms flailing) and quiet thing. Watch some video of the Fins, as they invented this technique. There elbows do get slightly away from the body, because they need to counter with the opposite hand down the hill (plus mogul skiing is very dynamic, particullarly when adding lateral absorbtion as the Fins do). This technique helps you get balanced over the downhill ski and helps prevent you from skiing by your pole and keeps the hands driving down the hill. It will also give the upper body a more relaxed feel. I suggest that you go to the Mogul Logic website and in the University section there is a glossary of terms and it briefly explains suppression (also has to do with settlinging into your center of mass which is right below the belly button, and pulling down with the shoulders). It is a somewhat subtle thing, but if you watch the video footage on that website of Sami Mustonen, you will see the suppression as he is stacked over the downhill ski (his skiing in that video is a thing of beauty).
You probably already know this, but since we are on the subject of body position and shoulders, the shoulders should stay level, square, and quiet... which is one of the purposes of suppression. Good deal with the lead change and tucking the downhill knee behind the uphill one... that is good stuff.