1. Start Position
- Flexion at hips, knees and ankles
- Weight forward on balls of feet
- Head, neck and shoulders neutral, shoulder blades set
- Neck is free of tension
- Spine neutral (natural 4 curve straightness)
- Shoulders and elbows at 90 degrees
- Poles near toe of boot and angled backwards
2. Brace and Set the Poles
- Create stiffness in the tissues of the body by bracing but not becoming overly tense and rigid
- Drop through the legs by flexing at the hips and knees to set the poles
3. Push the poles
- Create some leverage to help direct pressure into the poles more easily
4. Move through the hips
- Learn the full body flexion and extension movement of double pole technique.
- The joints work from the centre of the body, outward: hips, knees and ankles, shoulders, elbows.
- Joints stay strong until it’s their “turn” to move. Hips, knees and ankles flex. Shoulders and elbow joints extend.
- Hips move down and back, knees move forward
- Weight stays forward or even across the foot. It doesn’t drop heavily into the heels.
5. Push down towards hips
- Push in the direction of the hips/upper thighs.
- Ease off on the pressure so that you don’t “grind out” a push behind your hips.
- The length of the pole push is variable and depends on speed, terrain and what the skier is trying to achieve.
- The forward flexion of the trunk comes as much as possible from the hip joint, not the spine. The spine stays neutral.
- Learn to time the recovery so the hands, hips and shoulders return to their start positions together. (This is variable, but it’s good to begin by learning this style of recovery.)
- Cue: imagine a band between the poles that catches the hips as the poles swing forward.
- Recover so the weight is forward and the trunk is angled forward.
- Shoulders ahead of hips. Hips, knees and ankles maintain some soft flexion. (These joints only fully extend when an expert skier is sprinting on fast terrain.)
- Keep shoulders down, relaxed and neutral as you come up.
- Head and spine neutral
7. Power up
- When you want to create more force, think not just of pushing more through the upper body, but actively work the hip flexion to help drive the skis forward in the tracks.