Binding setup with poor lower body mobility

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Binding setup with poor lower body mobility

Post by Permeated on Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:42 pm

Hey guys!

So last season I spent a lot of hours trying to find a binding setup that works for me, with less than stellar results. I tried a variety of different widths/cants/lifts/angles, but no matter what I tried, nothing felt quite right. Heelsides kept washing out, and I always came back from riding with terrible pain in the outside of my rear foot.

I started hitting the gym after the season ended, and I realised that the mobility in my entire lower body is utter crap, which is most obvious during squatting. My legs are relatively long, and coupled with terrible dorsiflexion and tight hips, the only way for me to do a proper squat is to have my feet more than shoulder width apart, with my feet each splayed about 45 degrees.


Trying to put these findings to use in my binding setup, my thinking is that for the upcoming season, what I should try is mimicking my squat stance as much as is possible (while still having an alpine setup, I don't want to ride duck Very Happy). This means: lots of heel lift/no toe lift (to get my knees forward), a wide stance width, and as much splay as the boards will allow (like a pureboarding splay, to keep my rear foot from pushing into the side of the boot, causing the pain).

The only thing I am quite certain of already is using some degree of outward canting, as per mr Beckmanns setup guide. I could really feel when I hit the sweet spot with that last season, as all of a sudden I was able to use my ankles properly. Smile


My question is, has anyone had similar problems, and found this  to be a solution? Or maybe something else that I have overlooked?

Thanks!
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Re: Binding setup with poor lower body mobility

Post by teach on Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:18 pm

You may find that footbeds that lift the ball of your foot up a bit may reduce the need for extreme splay. Not to mention reduce wear and tear on joints.

A company called Bike Fit Systems makes wedges that fit under a footbed for cycling shoes. You could experiment with these, or just layers of duct tape, to see if it helps.

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Re: Binding setup with poor lower body mobility

Post by Corey on Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:41 pm

Outward cant really helped with my pain on the outside of my feet.

Also, you may be surprised how fast you can gain range of motion. Skip to about 8:44 of this video and do what he does.


I did this every morning before work and was stunned at how quickly I gained ankle and hip motion. Improve your snowboarding and daily life at the same time!
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Re: Binding setup with poor lower body mobility

Post by Beckmann AG on Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:20 pm

As Teach notes, you might want to look into better foot support. Did you find the related boot fitting information under the 'alpine skiing' header?
Similarly, while each foot is different, a pair of feet are generally close in conformation, provided neither has been 'damaged'. That said, if only one foot hurts after riding, odds are good that you also have a weight distribution problem while on the board.
Re:ROM: Has this always been a problem throughout your athletic endeavors, or is this a recent discovery? Do you know definitively why you have restricted range?
Improved ROM will help you squat better, but better squatting is not integral to good riding or board performance. If your board won't behave from a 'centered' and upright posture, it may perform worse once you get down and get funky.
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Re: Binding setup with poor lower body mobility

Post by AlanMcK on Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:48 pm

Unless you ride duck foot a squat stance is pretty much irrelevant. Your snowboarding stance is likely to have one foot significantly in front of the other relative to your pelvis and centre of gravity. A lunge is more like the position that we use to lower the centre of gravity when alpine snowboarding.
To give you sound advice on stance, binding setup, boot setup, and turn technique to create clean carves on both sides you'll need to tell us -
How do you weight your toe & heel edge to make your turns?
What is your current stance distance, binding brand/type, angles, toe/heel lift and any binding canting?
Do you have fixed position boots or some kind of spring based boot flex control?
Have you adjusted the cuff canting in your boots to suit your legs?

All of these things may have some relevance to the issues underlying your foot pain and heelside turn washouts.

The aphorism under Beckmann's signature is true. The vast majority of carving snowboarders are NOT professionally taught. Because there are so few competent instructors, we are mostly self taught, with bad habits and fundamental misunderstandings of technique. Erik Beckmann is someone with deep knowledge about carving snowboard technique. What you think may be the problem, may not be the problem at all.
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Re: Binding setup with poor lower body mobility

Post by Permeated on Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:42 pm

Corey wrote:Also, you may be surprised how fast you can gain range of motion. Skip to about 8:44 of this video and do what he does.

I did this every morning before work and was stunned at how quickly I gained ankle and hip motion. Improve your snowboarding and daily life at the same time!
I'm at the gym every day working on this! It's tedious, but I am definitely noticing improvements. Smile Too bad there isn't much that can be done about limb length and leverages...

AlanMcK wrote:Unless you ride duck foot a squat stance is pretty much irrelevant. Your snowboarding stance is likely to have one foot significantly in front of the other relative to your pelvis and centre of gravity. A lunge is more like the position that we use to lower the centre of gravity when alpine snowboarding.
Beckmann AG wrote:Re:ROM: Has this always been a problem throughout your athletic endeavors, or is this a recent discovery? Do you know definitively why you have restricted range?
Improved ROM will help you squat better, but better squatting is not integral to good riding or board performance. If your board won't behave from a 'centered' and upright posture, it may perform worse once you get down and get funky.
The thing about my squat is more to give you an idea of what happens when I bend my knees. Basically, everything is so tight (calves, flexors, adductors, hams...), and my legs so long and ass so big, that in order for me to not fall backwards during any kind of squat, I need to spread my legs super wide with a lot of foot splay, and have big plates under my heels. Surely this would mean that when I start bending my knees on a snowboard, even with an alpine stance, my weight would immediately get too far backwards, unless I used a lot of heel lift + no toe lift?

I had to stop doing martial arts because roundhouse kicks hurt my hips too bad. Basically, hips abducted and extended meant bone touching bone, as well as a very angry IT-band... I couldn't do what everyone else had no problems with, so there is definitely something off with my hip structure.

Beckmann AG wrote:As Teach notes, you might want to look into better foot support. Did you find the related boot fitting information under the 'alpine skiing' header?
Similarly, while each foot is different, a pair of feet are generally close in conformation, provided neither has been 'damaged'. That said, if only one foot hurts after riding, odds are good that you also have a weight distribution problem while on the board.
The outside of my front foot hurts too sometimes, though not as much as the rear.

I've had a bit of work done on both footbeds and boots at the bootfitters in the different resorts I've been to, though I'm not too sure they've been very knowledgeable. The thing that's helped most with alleviating the pain in my rear foot has actually been increasing the canting, which is why I'd really like to find a binding setup that "kinda works" before spending more money on the boots...

What I think is happening is the feet wanting to splay outwardly as I bend my knees, which is of course pushing the blades of the feet (before the pinky toes) into the insides of the boots. Increasing the outward canting even more, and/or increasing the splay a little, doesn't seem to be helping much, however.

AlanMcK wrote:To give you sound advice on stance, binding setup, boot setup, and turn technique to create clean carves on both sides you'll need to tell us -
How do you weight your toe & heel edge to make your turns?
What is your current stance distance, binding brand/type, angles, toe/heel lift and any binding canting?
Do you have fixed position boots or some kind of spring based boot flex control?
Have you adjusted the cuff canting in your boots to suit your legs?

All of these things may have some relevance to the issues underlying your foot pain and heelside turn washouts.
I try using all of the technique advice in mr Beckmann's guides, though it's quite difficult when it feels like I'm fighting my board. It actually works great for pumping my longboards during the summers, though of course then the feet aren't locked into bindings. Very Happy So I feel like I have a decent grasp of what needs to be done, I just can't put it into practice on a snowboard...

For the setup, I have tried lots of different lifts and cants in every combination imaginable... I must have tried 20 different setups during my total of 50 days in hardboots. All with pain...   Mad

Front foot: everything between 2.5 - 5.5 deg toe lift, and between 1.5 - 2.5 deg outward cant.
Rear foot: everything between 3.0 - 6.0 deg heel lift, and between 1.5 - 5.5 deg outward cant.
Angles: depending on the board, from 45 - 60 degrees on the front foot, and between 3 and 10 degrees of splay.
Widths: relatively narrow.



Thanks for all your insight!
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Re: Binding setup with poor lower body mobility

Post by Beckmann AG on Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:28 pm

Permeated wrote:I had to stop doing martial arts because roundhouse kicks hurt my hips too bad. Basically, hips abducted and extended meant bone touching bone, as well as a very angry IT-band... I couldn't do what everyone else had no problems with, so there is definitely something off with my hip structure.

The IT band thing suggests you have a good bit of mobility to the medial side of your foot/feet.
Which in turn suggests you need to find someone qualified to better support your feet. Subjecting yourself to a high level of stress/ROM while standing on a wobbly base has most likely led to chronic inflammation of connective tissue on the lateral/posterior aspect of your legs.

By canting the bindings outward you are, in effect, bringing the floor up to contact the 'loose' bones in your feet.
However, using cant for this reason may be creating other issues.

Have you had any actual imaging done on your hip structure, or are you drawing conclusions based on your level of discomfort?

As a general rule, if you move a particular variable  from one end of the range to the other, and don't find what you're looking for, you're working with the wrong variable.

I've found that there is a specific order in which you want to adjust equipment, starting with definitive foot support. If you skip that, everything else is subject to compounded error.

On your stand width, how narrow is 'narrow'?


Last edited by Beckmann AG on Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:30 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : y)
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Re: Binding setup with poor lower body mobility

Post by Beckmann AG on Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:46 am

Thanks, Alan.
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