Classic cross-country skiing: 4 exercises to improve your technique

Langlauf Klassisch: Mit 4 Übungen verbessern Sie Ihre Technik Langlauf Klassisch: Mit 4 Übungen verbessern Sie Ihre Technik

It’s all about gliding properly and getting your timing right. Claudia Schmid shows us how it’s done in four exercises for you to copy.

Technical exercises

Is it a long time since you last went cross-country skiing, or do you find yourself slipping backwards when attempting a diagonal step? Then it’s worth doing a few exercises. You’ll improve your technique with a few simple tricks, so you’ll be able to ski more quickly with less effort. A positive side-effect is that it’s immediately much more fun. 

Exercise 1: Balance on one ski

  • Why: With this exercise, you learn to hold your balance and to shift your weight. This allows you to glide smoothly and move forward with less effort.
  • Material: Without poles, and only one ski.
  • Terrain: Flat
  • Exercise: At the start of the exercise, your body weight is completely above the foot without a ski.
  • Then take a step forward (push off with the foot without a ski). Shift the weight to the gliding leg and make use of the glide.

N.B.: Nose, hip, knee and foot all form a vertical line.

Exercise 2: Pushing off efficiently

  • Why: With this exercise, timing is crucial. You learn to put weight on the ski when pushing off. This is the only way not to slip backwards when using the scales, i.e. climbing skins/wax.
  • Material: Hold poles in the middle, both skis.
  • Terrain: Flat
  • Exercise: Diagonal step. At the moment you step forward, your body weight must be completely on the push-off leg. Always shift your body weight from left to right.

N.B.: Look forward and swing your arms shoulder-wide in the direction of your step.

Exercise 3: Diagonal step every three

  • Why: With this exercise, you learn to glide longer. The more relaxed you glide, the more efficiently you’ll move forward.
  • Material: Hold sticks in the middle.
  • Terrain: Flat
  • Exercise: With each third step, make a longer glide.

N.B.: While gliding, nose, hip, knee and foot all form a vertical line.

Exercise 4: Efficient double pole push

  • Why: With this exercise, you learn to use your poles and upper body strength efficiently in order to move forward more quickly.
  • Material: With both poles, adjust the strap so that the grip lies firmly in your hand.
  • Terrain: Flat
  • Exercise: When inserting the tip of the pole into the snow, stretch your hands forward and keep your arms slightly bent. Insert the tip of the stick at a point approximately parallel to your ski binding. As soon as your hands reach hip level, hold the grip with thumb and index finger only and let the other fingers go – this enables you to guide the pole back smoothly. When swinging forward, grasp the pole again when your hand reaches hip level and straighten up the upper body.

N.B.: Use your upper body and core muscles to enhance the forward movement.

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