One Pole Offset

How to do this drill:

One pole only, used on your high or dominant side. Be sure to practice with both your right and left poles.


  1. Improving the “Non-poling side” Kick: This is an excellent drill to challenge you to improve your “non-poling side” kick. For many people that leg kick is weak and ineffective. In order to get back over to the other ski you will need to be very active and dynamic as you kick off that ski.
  2. Challenging core stability: Skiing with one pole, no matter what the technique, has a tendency to throw you off balance and cause you to rotate through your torso. You’ll need a lot of core strength and stability to maintain a strong structure through your torso when you offset with one pole.

Downloadable video: there’s a small sized downloadable version of this drill at the bottom of this page.

Coach Credit

Chris Jeffries, Olympian and High Performance Director of one of Canada’s National Training Centres, is one of the three founding coaches of XC Ski Nation.


Today’ drill is going to be one pole offset. In theory we can do one pole everything: one pole one skate, one pole two skate. Those are all technically drills. But the one we’ve chosen today is one pole offset.

What I like about using one pole is you have to use a little bit…you have to use one pole to help leverage yourself up the hill, but you don’t have that pole as a crutch on your other side.


So it’s basically like taking a legs only drill, but giving yourself a little bit of an aid. So we’re still able to focus on how we move our lower body independently of our upper body with a little bit of an aid.

And then, too, on the opposite side, I like being able to use it on my high side because it helps you to get over here a little bit more. And then without the pole we still have to be very active in our non-poling leg, which is the leg we really need to key on being active with.

I’m just going to spin back down the hill here, then we’ll come up a few times, give it a try, and then talk through a few working points.

1:08 ski demo


So in the intro, one of the things I mentioned was that you have to be really active with your non-poling leg, with this one pole drill.

So, if you’re not doing…say you have no poles in my hand, I can kind of get away with not quite coming all the way to my full – so I have my right pole, so my right side is my dominant side- without a pole in my hand I can kind of stay stuck a little more in the middle and not really notice it.

2:10 But if I put my pole in my hand and I kind of stay stuck here, like, my pole is out here. I can’t really use it. So in offset we still need to be able to get our weight over enough to this side in order to be active with this pole.

But when you don’t have a pole on this side here you’re fully reliant on the activity of this non-poling leg to get you up there. So you have to be very dynamic.


And when we talk about Offset, that’s the thing that really differentiates Offset, say from One Skate where, in One Skate the power comes from how you drive over top of the ski, whereas in Offset, we’re poling on one side, so we’re going to come down here, we need to be extremely active on the outside edge of that push in order to be able to get us up back over here.


So with this drill, the biggest thing that you’re able to work on is being really active and snappy in your non-poling leg. And then at the same time, again, like, really key on the postural position. You only have one pole so when you come over here you can’t fall off on one side, you have to stay much more structurally rigid.


So, I’d say those are the 2 big things. Again, like, whenever you’re doing a technique drill, all the same principles apply to offset. Stay focussed on your feet, how they’re gliding, but more importantly with this drill here, really key on the activity of that non-poling leg.


(Kim) One thing I think might happen with this drill for some people is if they’re jumping off that non-dominant leg but they’re kind of rolling off their toes, so if their ski isn’t in a very wide V-shape and it’s more pointing up the hill and they roll off the toe then the front of the ski is going to dive down.


(Chris) Yeah. And that’s a classic… sort of… error with a lot of people when they get to Offset is they kind of get wide in the back where their tails are and it’s partly because they are trying to keep a bit of a more narrow V, but Offset’s about…as the terrain gets steeper, the V gets wider and so in Offset it’s really about having a pretty wide V.


As I talked about in our Offset [Explainer] video, you’re basically on your inside edge the entire time when you step off of that ski and step off of it. You’re never trying to work on a flat ski in your Offset.