Sunday, 10 November 2013

Try adding power to your Classic Roller Skiing

by Keith and Heather Nicol
Photo 1- Poles only
Photo 2- Actively swing your recovery leg forward
The diagonal stride is the bread and butter technique in classic roller skiing. Once you have mastered the basics of balance and timing you can add some power to your stride by incorporating some of these tips while you ski. First of all you can get more poling power by feeling a torso crunch as you begin the poling action. Simply using your arms will quickly tire you out so feel a stomach crunch first before using your arms and wrist. You can get a feeling for this by doing this poles only drill as shown in photo 1. I try to drop my upper body slightly as I load my pole and I finish with good arm extension. You can also add power with your legs by not only pushing back strongly with your kick leg but by also actively swinging your new glide leg forward. You can get a feeling of this by doing this variation of the scooter drill. The key is to stop and  then actively swing your recovery foot forward (photo 2) and glide on it (photo 3). Practice this with both the right and left legs and once you are comfortable with it try to incorporate it into your skiing. By adding these elements to your skiing you should be on your way to developing a stronger, more powerful diagonal stride (photo 4) The following video shows examples of these drills and I thank Cross Country Newfoundland and Labrador, Rossignol, Jenex Roller skis and Infinity Ski poles for their help with this video.

Photo 3 - Glide on the new ski

Photo 4 - Putting it all together