First, let’s talk about the arms. When skiing in an elongated V2 alternate (say on a gradual down), let the hands lead the hips. Meaning, after completing a poling motion (where the hands are back), concentrate on whipping the hands back up to the top (exaggerating the height). When the hands are high, that should help to lead the hips forward which is the secret to lengthening glide on each ski. Instead of focusing on pushing back hard or fast, focus on returning the hands quickly. Meaning, as soon as the stride is over…BAM! The hands are back up in front and high, this is where the gliding is done.
Ever try and take a picture of a high school racer and notice it is tough to get a picture in a good position? That’s because 99 percent of the skiers have their hips back and aren’t gliding appropriately. Take a picture of a world cup race and it’s almost impossible to catch them in a bad position. That’s because the pushing/poling phase is short and the gliding phase is crazy long. The trick is getting the hips forward. How do we accomplish this? Unfortunately, there is no magic technique drill to do this. No pole skating is the best drill for a young skier to work on. As much as half a high school skier’s time on skate skis can and should be spent no pole skating. This helps to develop the correct body positioning and leg strength for lengthening ski glide. It also helps with balance which can be an easier way to add a couple inches to every glide. My advice, no pole….lots. On ALL terrain. When you have poles, remember to keep the hands high and bring the hips forward and the rest takes care of itself. Practice makes perfect!!